Feet go to sleep

Problem: Feet go to sleep when paddling white water canoes with wet suit. Saddle height does not seem to matter much. The problem happens soon after paddling begins and requires frequent breaks ashore to exit and stretch. Besides being painful, it could be dangerous during an ichthyological sampling (fish count to you).

Is there an easy solution to this while keeping the wet suit? Someone mentioned cutting holes in the suit behind the knees. I guess this assumes that the problem is with circulation being cut off where the wet suit folds and doubles up behind the knee.

Does the problem go away
when you are not wearing your wetsuit?

Cut-outs behind the knees are a common modification amongst boaters. Radical solution, but it could work.


Some folks get relief from foam ankle
blocks. You can test it out using rolled towels of various sizes before you buy foam.

Yes, no problem without the wetsuit.

Wholeheartedly agree with the addition of blocks under lower shin & shaped for your ankles to rest on.

*Plus, have you tried on any of Keen’s water sandals? Their nicely fitting toebox together with the very comfortable method of securing your instep plus their solid soles = no bend @ball of foot, together with ankle blocks have gotten the job done for me.


I hate it when…
…that happens.

Means they will be awake all night.

Never did solve the problem myself
Sitting in a canoe isn’t much fun so I reluctently went over to a kayak

Happens to me too. I believe the problem to be related to pressure put on our upper hamstrings by most canoe seats. You have this hard bar pressed into major blood flow and nerves with your near full body weight. I frequently move to knees and stand while paddling. Standing is not an option in white water (poling aside) and this doesn’t help if you’re riding a saddle and not a seat. Nevertheless, see if you’re putting a solid line of pressure across the upper parts of the backs of your thighs. Frequently relieving that pressure has helped me.

Hope this is helpful,