Knee brace question

I had knee surgery. Still haven’t gotten the OK from the Doc to go paddling. The physical therapist winces when I tell her what I will have to do to board either a canoe or kayak.

Question is, Is anybody wearing an unloading knee brace while paddling? Do you have any advice?

Do you wear it over your wetsuit?

Thanks in advance for your replies,


there are bad knees and bad knees
Even my two bad knees differ, so I doubt I’ll be of much help, but you never know until you try. I don’t wear a knee brace so you’ll have to get that portion from someone else, but I do have knees that are so bad they hyperextend past about 140° (180 being straight). With that range of motion, deep knee bends are excluded. So the transition in and out of a boat has always been the trickiest part for me. Getting in isn’t so bad. I mainly just plop down on the back deck of my plastic boat, right behind the combing, and I’m good to go. Getting out is the trickier part, so I’ll describe it stage by stage. First thing ashore I put my palms on the back deck on either side, just behind the combing and push up, scooting up onto the back deck. From there I quickly fan my legs out, one on either side of the boat if I’m not in surf. From there I do a sort of “pommel horse” dismount, swinging one leg (usually left) back over to join the right out now perpendicular to the boat, during which I also roll onto my stomache across the back of the boat and do a push up off the back deck to stand up. Fortunately I’m just limber enough to make it up from that position, but the whole routine has to be a bit disconcerting or comical to the uninitiated. In all other respects kayaking has been a joy for me and a Godsend; something athletic I could do when all other avenues where closed. Heck, I’ve even thrown out my knee swimming and sitting at the dinner table. So enjoy the limited range of knee motion that kayaking demands! I know this isn’t what you were asking about, but, long story short, there will always be at least one person out there looking more awkward than you. Go for it! I swallow my pride because of the payoff: you get to paddle! What’s the alternative? Not paddling?! All the best! (Don’t even mention those “swimming machines” docks!)