fanny heigt in relation to waterline

Is there any train of thought on this subject? Do you want the bottom of your butt to be @ waterline or the center of your hip? Does it matter from an efficiency standpoint? Would “butt” hgt be more efficient for paddling and “hip” hgt be more efficienct for rolling? Would appreciate any thoughts (thinkin about raising the seat in my yak).


Type Of Roll
If you lean way back to roll, a raised butt might be a good thing. You’ll be a little less stable, though. Try a little padding and see if you like it.

A Couple Of Thoughts

– Last Updated: Jul-29-06 8:47 PM EST –

Changing your seat height will change your height from the water. If you raise your seat your shoulder will be further from the water and could affect your perfect paddle length. Raise your seat will place more of your body further away from the center of balance and will provide more leverage to tip your boat, it could change the perceived stability of your boat. Depending on how much you raise your seat the above changes could be slight and not noticed or more significant.


feeling of stability…
Is that where you were going?


negative, stability is not what I was
thinking about, however, its a good point. I was thinking about efficiency w/regard too: A) paddling & B) rolling.

From a geometrical aspect it would be logical that the easiest roll would take place if the center of your hip was at the waterline (when upside down of course). additonally, since when paddling, the center of rotation is @ the torso you would think that having center of hip @ waterline would also be most efficient.

Depends on the shape of the hull
If the a cross section was circular that would be true, but hulls with various chines and rails effect how much force is needed to roll the boat back 180 degrees.

For instance look at the surf kayak and whitewater boat given as examples here …

Impacted by the boat
If a boat has a high back deck and you want options other than a more forward roll, having your butt higher may help. But moving the seat forward to create more distance from the seat to the rear coaming could also help. If the roll involved is sometyhing like a sweep or CtoC, it’d probably make less difference.

Sitting real deep in the boat can similarly make some sculls and stuff like a balance brace more difficult. But raising the seat per se can also impact how much you have work to bring the boat over to get it on edge and its stability.

Kinda hard to respond to without having a specific boat and paddler in mind.


– Last Updated: Jul-30-06 1:45 PM EST –

The higher your butt is, the more your body is sticking out of the boat catching air (like a sail). No, I don't think you gain any paddling efficiency by being higher up.

Rolling might be another story. For me, whatever helps keep my head down and back is good. Like Celia said, scooting the butt forward helps the layback.

Careful with your wording …
“Fanny” means vagina in England.

Stability Will Be Affected

– Last Updated: Jul-31-06 6:41 AM EST –

to the negative.

The question is what are you're trying to achieve with added height. In most touring situations, there is no benefit to adding seat height. It will just make the boat more twitchy expecially in any type of conditions. If the coaming is too high and impacting your roll and stroke, the raised seat may help but at the above mentioned cost. You're better off getting a better fitting boat.

The situation with surf paddlers elevating the height of their seat is to get more leverage on drastic cutback turns when at planing speed on a waveface. They are not paddling but stern ruddering or draw stroking (which really is not a movement but a maneuvering type stroke). The price for the greater leverage is greater instability. Generally, elevated seats in a surf kayak is undertaken by folks with more experience. It often necessitates adding on a seatbelt to keep the paddler in the boat. Now, you're talking having utmost confidence in one's roll in maytag situations and the ability to come back up and stay upright in a very twitchy craft.