Kayak Backbands

I am looking to replace the backband on my Surge sea kayak which is small and rubs blisters on both sides of my back. I primarily do endurance racing. Can anyone suggest a good replacement? Thanks!

back band
Hi Pam, Roger Crawford here.

I just put a new Snap Dragon band on my boat and find the support wonderful. I got the "smaller " one and it was easy to retrofit in my boat and my cockpit is small like the Surge. It was also reasonable at about $30. See their web page.

I did find though that the best orientation for the band is “up side down”, or with the SNAP DRAGON logo/name inverted. Sorta looks goofy, but I am working on scraping the logo off!




– Last Updated: Apr-29-04 12:59 PM EST –

Don't know what comes stock with a Surge, but in general, I 'd recommend the smaller narrower (as in less tall) ones . Often listed as WW models, not taller "touring" models. I prefer good solid ones, not padded fabric slings. Keep it mounted low and it shouldn't rub - even with your energetic paddling!

With Immersion Research - Look at the "Reggie 2.0" Approx. 13 1/2" x 4 1/2 or 5"


With NSI - look at the "Anatomic Back Band - Whitewater". Comes in two sizes. Whitewater: 5 1/2" x 15 1/2" and Micro-Whitewater 4 1/2" h x 13 1/2".


Somewhat similar items - for good reason.

FWIW - I have an IR Reggie 2.0 I like. It's not on my back at all really - more on hip bones. Has ratchet AND web straps. I use the web straps to hook down to the back of the seat pan - and can adjust height with them. With both sets of straps and the rear bungees I have 6 point attachment and a lot of control over where the band stays. If/when I wear it out I'd buy same - or maybe try the 2" wider NSI WW (as I'm not exactly narrow myself).

Ditto for the IR Reggie
I retrofitted my Explorer with it and never looked back. I plan on using same for my other boat as well. The ratcheting buckles enable easy fine tuning. The whitewater band has plenty of support; the touring band is just too wide for something like endurance racing- think it would chafe and interfere with torso rotation. If the mounting points for the band are two long, there are nylon strap extensions available to allow them to reach, but on mine, the mounting bolts contact the fiberglass seat, a hair too short, and have sawn a groove in the seat itself. Longer extensions would be a fix, but the band itself is wonderful.

Second that
I have a Snapdragon band that I’ve used for more than 2 years, and I’m going to put the same model in my S&G. It’s adjustable, flexible, sturdy, and has nonrusting hardware.

LOL on the upside down installation! So that’s why the guy who sold me my boat and retrofitted it with the backband did that. I thought it was a goofy mistake! I’ll make sure to make the same “mistake” in my S&G.

worked well, NOT THE HIGH TOURING KIND, GET A LOW ONE. They have metal adjusters to tighten or loosen the band while you are paddling. The only thing I don’t like about NSI is their hardware rusts.

I just installed an IR 'band today…
… and will test (and no doubt tweak) it tomorrow at Lake Del Valle.

I ripped out the RapidPulse seat back in my QCC (should have done it months ago). Got an IR whuitewater band on eBay; it’s printed with a Perception logo and I’m not sure exactly which IR model it is. Drilled a couple of new holes and slots and it went on like a charm. As Greyak says, it really rides more on my hip bones and already feels better, just sitting on the garage floor!

Stuck some foam on the cheek plates, which will also get some adjusting tomorrow. Feels good to have a boat that feels good,


Perception and Dagger bands on eBay
The ones I see are mostly Reggie 2.0s. May be identical, may have strap differnces (earlier models). If you dont’ mind the logo they often go about half what a new IR logo Reggie goes for.

Me, I lke wasting money and the grey/white IR logo colors match my boat!

thanks for the ID, now…
…I have to decide what to do about the “Perception” and the logo. Since I don’t see them when I’m in the boat, I guess the $21.00 price was justified. :slight_smile:

Some have suggested that the band feels better installed upside down, so I may try that as well.

Who is Reggie?


That upside down thing might be worth trying!

for racing? no back band
Unless you’re going to be paddling a seakayak in really rough open water, a back band doesn’t do much for you. I can’t recommend any particular backband but can suggest that you have one that is easy to remove for flatwater paddling, marathons, and such and that you can reinstall when conditions warrant.

I don’t have a back band in any of my boats. Backbands interfere with rotation, hence the sores on your back. When you push with the onside leg, all that force should go to turning the hips and be transfered via the torso to the paddle blade. Pushing the hips/lower back into the back band is wasted energy.

Heck, try out a sprint style tractor seat and see what you think.

I have both the Immersion Research Reggie 2 and the Snapdragon backbands. The Snapdragon wins hands down.


I like nsi with it barely touching my back. To keep it up I drilled small holes in back cockpit rim with small cable and cable clamps so it does not fall down when getting in. You could wrap it with a plastic bag. Nsi will still build an older style backband with bungees to hold it up.Do not understand their new design

Inflatable bladder behind the seat
into a forward, aggressives paddling position. If you wet exit and climb back in, the bladder does not collapse under you. Get one with a long inflation tube you can blow up while you are sitting in your boat. Add or take out air to get the righ amount of back support.

NSI again!
I just finished installing an NSI anatomic whitewater backband (5 1/2 x 15 1/2) in my sea kayak. I ordered it with the bungies instead of the power posts.

I sat in the kayak for about twenty minutes after installing it to see how it would feel and am happy to say it feels MUCH better than the stock seat QCC installs in their kayaks. I hope to “sea trial” it this weekend.

This is my second NSI backband, the first being the anatomic touring with the lumbar support adjustment (I never used the lumbar part)that was installed in my other QCC kayak I just sold. It was comfortable too, but it now belongs to someone else. :frowning:

I would recommend the NSI!!


Just Installed IR
Wankle (15.5 x 5.5) in my QCC700. I would have preferred the Reggie but this was in stock at 30% off so… To avoid drilling the seat again for enough strap clearance, as with this band the hard plastic straps go behind the seat as opposed to on the inside as on the stock pad, I used strap extensions. Plenty of room for adjestment and a major improvement over the soggy wet diaper one piece that was in there. May have to fiddle with the strap buckle assembly at the rear a bit, to prevent the buckles contacting the mounting point (bungees would be better here), but well worth the upgrade.