Kayak back rash

Has anyone found a light kidney belt style belt to prevent serious chaffing and rashs caused by proper torso rotation over long distances. Have tried using duct tape and a piece of foamy but would like soemthing better. Any ideas?

I’d suggest trying…
… a lower narrower more solid backband*, and sitting upright and mostly off it while paddling.

This sounds like a basic outfitting issue - not something to patch with clothing add-ons.

Post boat, setup, and personal size data and you might get more specific suggestions.

    • Reggie 2.0, NSI mini WW, etc. - seem to be popular with race and distance oriented paddlers (that use a band at all. The fact that some don’t should tell you something too).

Used to a lot
Then I started wearing either silk or nylon running shirts as a base layer. No more problem.

I found that cotton t-shirts were the culprit, as they get scratchy when they get wet.


Good point
I have gone mostly to lycra rash guards for the same reason.

Kayak back rash
The reason I have asked the question is that my wife competes in the Yukon River Quest, one of the few women solo kayakers who do, last year after completeing the 460 mile race her back looked like she had been given a hundred lashes while tied to the yardarm. Even the nurse at Dawson City was taken aback by the sight of her back. It does get difficult to maintain proper paddling technique over the distance and time when you haven’t had much sleep in 72 hours. I guess we will just use a foamy and duct tape again.

There are a number of skin lubricants available to reduce or prevent chaffing. Google search turns up a bunch, and your local running and bicycling shops should have a selection as well.

Tight fitting rash-gaurd as a first layer with a second slippery layer over that. The idea is to have two layers of fabric sliding against each-other rather than fabric sliding against your skin.

Where was the damage?
If it’s above her pelvis, it means that her seat back is too high. If it’s lower than that, perhaps the best thing to do is to remove the back band entirely, or at least loosen it to the point that it make little or no contact when she’s paddling hard. For vigorous paddling, it’s really not necessary. Many racers don’t use one at all.

there is a sticky foam used to treat pressure sores called douderm. You can get something called tincture of benzion from a pharmacy (liquid adhesive that protects the skin). Put benzoin on skin where you will aply the douderm. Let it dry then apply douderm. You may need a prescription for the douderm but it is only foam with a sticky side. I would recommend trying the system before race to make sure it agrees with her.

good luck


Back Rash
I’ve found a one piece fuzzy rubber or polarfleece style wetsuit works the best for me to prevent the backband from rubbing into my back on long paddles. Shorts, tights, or shirts that bunch up just exagerate the problem. I have a simple small backband on my sea kayak for distance racing. I have not had good luck with sheepskin. I did find a small, lightweight, neoprene backbrace worked well, but may get uncomfortable for such a long distance. For that kind of distance, I’d think about using the “Glide” style lubricants used by runners to prevent blisters, maybe a lightweight backbrace, and a soft, neoprene/fleece shortie Farmer Jane(and a few hours trying the combination out to see how it works). I know most racers tend not to use backbands because of the rotation rub, but I require one for long distances to prevent fatique.

Kayak back rash
Thanks for all the advise. The solution may also be as simple as a change in kayak from her CD Solstice GTS to a new QCC 700. I have never been impressed with the seat in our GTS’s in any event.

toe board
If you check www.kayaksport.net or www.kayakpro.com or dansprint you will see people paddling with a toe board or toe strap to help push and pull. (bike pedals)It also helps to keep you from sliding off back of seat and therefore your back will not rub on backband if you use it all. I like nsi backband and keep it loose. The toe board also helps stability because you can lift up with right foot if you feel yourself tipping down to right. Please practice wet exits to make sure it is loose and rigid enough not to be a problem. A plastic towell rack might work to give pull support for foot.

Stock QCC backrest,
probably won’t do the job, it is comfortable, too comfortable for racing, on my QCC I installed the NSI mini and it works well.


The seatpan itself in the 700 is good, but the sling seat/pad they use, while comfortable enough - is not conducive to the best posture/technique. OK for lily dipping maybe. I have a RP seat in great shape I’ll sell cheap!

Reggie 2.0 or NSI mini WW both seem good in the QCC.

Beachcamper recently posted that she didn’t like the seat in her new 400 and QCC is replacing with a backband? Wonder what…