Help With Seat/Seat Back

Pure novice here. Just purchased an older Perception Sol`e. Got it out on the water this past Sunday. All went well except for the seat back. I have bad back and hips. Hips were ok, while moving, but the back rest, in my opinion sux.

Are there any options as far as replacing or improving the current seat back? I would prefer something higher with more back support.

Also, getting out is a problem. Although I feel that with more time in the boat, practice and watching some “how to” videos, that will get better.

Thanks in advance for all your help and suggestions.


That is a nice kayak, but it is small

– Last Updated: Oct-23-13 4:09 PM EST –

You didn't post a profile, but could it be too small for you?
My oldest daughter who is a less then five feet tall has one, and she uses a stadium seat.
I have an Eclipse and my wife has a shadow and they have the same seat.
The back is fine, (except for mine which is so old that it is one hundred percent duct tape) but we both use pads on the seat.

As far as getting in and out: The book method:
1. Pull up parallel to the shore.
2. put your paddle behind the coaming, (behind your back)with it 90 degrees to the kayak and with most of it on the shore, (keep the other end in close to the yak)
3. reach behind you with the hand that is on the deep water side and squeeze the paddle shaft to the coaming.
4. reach out and behind you with the hand that is on the shore side and grasp the paddle shaft
5. Lean back on the shaft and at the same time pull yourself up and back wards until you can get the leg closest to the shore out and onto the solid bottom or shore.
6.then put as much weight as you can on that leg and while still putting some weight on the paddle continue pulling the other leg up and out.
If you are overweight forget all about this method. You will end up breaking your paddle.

My method:
1. Pull up parallel to the shore.
2 lean both hands behind my back and grasp the coaming.
3. Do a backwards push up until I can bend the shore side leg enough to get it out of the cockpit and onto the solid bottom.
4. then I put as much weight as I can on that leg and continue with my backwards push up until I can stand up on the shore side leg.

Good luck

Jack L

higher seat back option
I believe this would be the ticket for replacing your seat back with a higher one:

One caveat; a higher seat back will not make it any easier to get in and out.

High back might not help the back
Jack L makes a good point about paddler vs. boat size. From the pictures, it looks to have a fairly low fore deck. If that’s the case then you may have a pretty straight leg paddling position. If you have flexibility issues that can strain you back & a higher seat back actually may hurt rather than help.

In my case I have tight hamstrings and would start to have leg and back pain after 45 - 60 min. I paddle a Pygmy Arctic Tern 17’ and used the standard outfitting (thermorest pad seat & fairly high plastic back). I switched last year to an I/R back band and a carved minicell seat. I’ve added the old pad under my thighs for support & am generally comfortable. I’ve also been stretching the hamstrings on a (nearly) daily basis. also doing some work on my hip flexors as well.

I neglected to mention that I am 5’6" and around 170(ish). Once upon a time, getting in and out of this thing would have been a piece of cake!

Thanks for your suggestions!

It became obvious year ago that seats with backs inhibit proper torso rotation; tending to force the paddler’s torso towards a recline and rubbing when rotation is used. We want an erect torso in sitting and kneeling paddlecraft.

I have given up kayaking/ pack canoe paddling because the position is uncomfortable over time.

From where you sit,[sic], try removing the seat back and installing an adjustable backband.

Back Band
forgive my ignorance. How does a back band work?

seat back needed?
Being a complete beginner, I bought a Tsunami 125 this summer . It is great that Wilderness Systems uses the same seat in all of their boats. However the more advanced boats use a backband, instead of the padded seat back in the 125. At first I like the seat back, but then it began to feel in the way as I appear to be improving my paddling. I replaced it with WS backband, and definitely prefer it this way now. It also makes for easier entry and exit.

I also took a self-rescue class, and do not think I could have gotten back in the boat if the seat back had been in place. I also found when I wanted to relax and chill, that I could lean back against the coaming, and the band would slip down out of the way. Not bad at all. The backband does require vertical posture with your hips rotated slightly forward. This seems like the best posture for hip rotation.

Perception seat back Replacemt

– Last Updated: Jul-11-14 11:59 AM EST –

Here's a seat back I replaced with a IR Loungeback Backband in a Perception Avatar.

Immersion Research Seat Upgrade to Wilderness Systems Kayak | Hudson River Paddler

See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY

Issues in pack canoe
The issues Charlie mentions are certainly true.

However, the Placid Boatworks “Rapidfire” with the mid height seat installed tilts the paddler slightly forward, moving them off the backband. This allows for good rotation (at least it does for me).

Charlie may not be familiar with this seat option as the story is that the designer was well under the influence of a fine single malt the night the optional seats for the Rapidfire were designed.