Finally got out on the water with my Seda, I have some questions

I’ve never used one of these things but I had heard about them:

I think the rudder will be the way to go if you go out in the wind.

A sea anchor is pretty much what it sounds like. It is generally used in high wind conditions and deployed from the bow or stern to keep the boat aligned with the wind and waves to minimize the chance that a boat will roll over due to high waves hitting it broadside. Sea anchors are often deployed if a boat loses steerage or power in an area too deep to use a conventional anchor.

Sail boats often use them in extreme conditions to ride out a storm where having more than a minimum of sail deployed could be dangerous. It also slows the boat from being driven downwind. It can free up the crew from having to run an engine and steering for the duration of the storm.

It can be useful in a fishing kayak again in keeping the boat aligned with the waves and slowing drift while enabling one to concentrate on fishing.

A sea anchor by design has a large amount of drag when deployed. While in a normal kayak it will lessen the tendency of a boat to weathercock or leecock, it will also make it very difficult to make any forward progress or speed.

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Can the seat pan be removed from the tabs that come down from the coaming? On one boat I found the seat pan objectionable so I bought a Happy Bottom seat from CLC. I was able to cut down the middle of the hip pads so they could slide over the seat tabs. I’m not saying it will work in your boat but it was a huge improvement on mine and required no modification to the boat. Modified seat is on the right:

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Unfortunately I don’t think that’s possible. The seat and the coaming appear to be a single unit so I would have to cut it out, which I would prefer not to do.

I did try out the seat pad and it seemed to help, but I foolishly also changed the position of the pedals and removed the thigh braces at the same time so there were too many new variables. Suffice to say, results were not as good as I hoped so I’m going to move the pedals further away and try again soon.

Seats are a funny thing. I really like the seat on the left, and knew it as soon as I started paddling my Whisky 16 Rocker. I did fill in those hollow thigh brace areas underneath by gluing in some foam, so that I could glue a thin pad of foam across the bottom of them. It worked out better than I had imagined for simple and secure thigh braces. That is a really fun kayak for playing in waves.
Now I can relate that slippery seat to my feet not getting tingly. Now I can’t say this is you, but tingly feet is a very common thing among paddlers from simply keeping too much pressure on their feet. Anything that causes people to be a little bit more tense vs a little bit more relaxed, such as directional control issues, tends to make folks keep even more pressure than normal on their feet. My first thought when I read the original post was to suggest that you pay attention to not maintaining constant pressure on your feet. Right after your right blade is planted, you use pressure on your right foot to the extent that it rotates your right hip back a little, and your left hip forward a little. Think about being light against the seat, and using as little pressure as possible to accomplish this movement. If you feel your back pressing against your backrest, this is not useful pressure, and should be eliminated to the best of your ability. Right after that quick twist and stroke, the pressure is off of your right foot, and completely off of it as you put pressure on your left foot after your left blade is completely planted. Now getting these leg muscles involved, even periodically during your paddle in between arm paddling distances, creates increased circulation through these areas. The result you’re going for is increased power that doesn’t feel like you’re working the paddle harder due to smarter and better involvement of different muscles in your strokes. And increased comfort due to eliminating harmful and counterproductive pressure points as well as increased circulation through your lower half. But to keep it simple, you might just practice backing your foot off of the pedal as you’re doing a stroke on the opposite side of the boat.
This is the first thing I would have you think about.


Thank you, this tracks pretty well with my experience. On my most recent outing, it took conscious effort to not have my feet/knees/back totally braced and locked it. I think I need to extend my pedals forward a bit so I vary the pressure on my feet as you describe.
The seat pad I ordered seems to be working well. I got some self-adhesive foam as well but I’m reluctant to install anything permanent until I get everything sorted. By which I mean, getting better at paddling and settling into a relaxed pace/full body movement wherein I’m not constantly readjusting and reminding myself to relax. Funny how I seem to have the same problem with keeping a death grip on my paddles and I need to relax. I imagine it will get easier with more practice.

Indeed they are. My wife strongly prefers the factory seat and backband but I found them uncomfortable. I also used 1/4" minicell foam in the thigh/knee areas and think that should have been done at the factory. I also smoothed the inside lip of the cockpit rim where it makes contact with your thighs.

Seats are really personal. I love the seat in my Cetus and @Lillyflowers isn’t fond of it. She loves the seat in her Seguin, and, you guessed it, I’m not fond of it.

You need to sit on it and talk to your butt.

Hi ho, back with a few updates:

Re: seat and leg issues - For a while I thought the seat was too narrow but it’s glassed in one piece with the coaming so there wasn’t much I could do about it. I took out the supporting foam on the sides to allow a bit of flexibility but that didn’t help much. Then I got smart and measured my hips and measured the seat and whaddayaknow they’re a perfect match, so that wasn’t it. Next step was to try changing the angle by “filling in” the rear part, and it worked! I haven’t worked out exactly how much rise I want/need but I’m going to keep experimenting until I find the Goldilocks foam combo. Also, the paddle float thigh rest works very well. I find that I don’t need it all the time but its nice if I’m just heading out to chill. @CapeFear your advice about pressing on the pedals really helped, I think I finally got them at the right distance where I can voluntarily apply pressure but also have room to relax while staying in the same position.

Re: tracking/weathercocking - The problem is undoubtedly me. I went out on a glass smooth pond and the boat still felt very squirrely. If I put my mind to it and really focused on every part of my paddle stroke and movement of my body I could go perfectly straight for quite a distance. But if I got distracted looking at the birds or sunset or whatever it was back to willy nilly zigzagging. I’ve come to the conclusion that this boat is very responsive and if I’m not paying attention, I make all sorts of mistakes/unconscious movements/weight shifts that are affecting what the boat is doing. Long story short, I need practice and seat time to be a better paddler and improve the boat handling. Because of course. Isn’t that always how it goes?

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Tight seat leaves no room for rotation if you use leg drive and torso not just arms. You don’t need much for me a little is much more comfortable.

Be that as it may, the alternative is cutting out the seat from the coaming and figuring out a replacement. The sides are smooth fiberglass so it’s not difficult to slide around. If it’s really not working then I’ll resort to the coaming surgery, but I’d like to avoid that if I can.

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Most people in a sea kayak prefer a fairly tight fit in the boat. The operant word is torso rotation, not butt rotation. That is the purpose of foot pegs, thigh braces, and, if needed, hip pads. You should be torqueing your whole torso, not just rotating on your butt.

Using your whole torso leads to a more efficient transfer of energy to your paddle stroke and a tight fit in the cockpit enables more precise boat handing.

Rotate your torso your butt will move a bit too unless your Gumby.