Not sure if this is more a request for assistance or a survey of others in the same predicament…likely both. Owned and raced my 700 for almost two years, and have always experienced leg numbness in varying degrees due to the legs splayed seating position forced by the thigh brac/Seal Line pedal placement. Generally I’m able to stave this off in calmer water by popping my legs out from under the coaming and strectching/jiggling them around or paddling knees up, but this has become progressively worse recently, and particularly in rough water where I don’t have this luxury. Result is pins and needles, then total leg numbness, then pain, primarily the left, inability to work rudder (loads of fun in a following sea) or even feel to brace against the pegs, and hamstring cramping. To date, I’ve tried posting cushions under the front of the thigh, adding a thin pad to the pan itself, etc. Nothing really works. Ironically, as my torso rotation and forward stroke form has improved, this condition has worsened. I no longer use a backband, and I don’t experience same in my surf ski or in some other boats I’ve tried (ie* Valley Rapier, etc.). The simple answer is: ‘Well, paddle the surf ski,’ but there is so very much I like about this boat, I’m not so willing to give it up. Has anyone else experienced same? I know Seawave has, but curious if this is more prevalent, and if anyone else has remedied it with some suggestions. Many thanks.
No Pins & Needles Here
I paddle my QCC 700 purchased about eight months ago and have not experienced the problems that you have described. A normal paddle for me is anywhere between 1 and 4 hours which may be a shorter time in the cockpit as compared to you. I likely dont have the differant boat experience that you have and only have day rentals as comparison. With that said, I have not changed the standard cockpit at all as it seems to work for me.
My only complaint is that I dont have room to articulate the rudder peddales if I wear more than the smalled shoe. Never thought of having big feet but my size tens in sneakers of sandles wont work.
I had my avocet custom
outfitted to solve this problem for me when touring. My outfitter used some foam to build up the seat, and change the angle so I wasn’t sitting so directly on the sciatic nerve (the presumed cause for this dilemma). We also removed the foot pegs (which won’t work for you with a rudder), and placed foam in front of the bulkhead so that I can maintain good contact with my boat, in rougher water, while still being able to move my legs and feet. I also do all of of the other things you mention.
This problem comes up for me, sooner or later, in every sink I paddle, and now influences my thinking about what boat I can/will paddle (no rudder dependent sinks for me) I love my avocet and am off this weekend to visit family and demo a ski. Good luck figuring this one out. Maybe changing the angle of the seat will resolve for you. I’ll keep my fingers crossed since you like your QCC.
make a new seat, make a new footbrace/rudder control setup that allows for full foot bracing,
That’s interesting since I too have an Avocet. Can you provide more details of exactly what was done to the seat and/or post some pictures?
sold mine for largely that reason
probably not as bad as you, but the whole legs splayed apart thing is really uncomftable. much happier with feet together in ski or Tbolt. You need to get a fast boat with tiller steering. You can tell your wife that this new boat purchase was “prescribed” by a physician. Not sure about getting insurance to cover it, however.
I never had a bad problem but there was some at first and it was 90% foot peg induced - 10% seat/backband. Did some things you can do and some you can’t.
First I ditched the Rapid Pulse seat it came with. Popped in an IR Reggie and rigged it as low as I can.
I sit on the bare seat pan - and have found it more than comfortable enough over several hours (I have never had a single seat comfort issue)- and more so as it aids rotation - which as you already know prevents stiffness and increases lower body circulation - both of which help your problem. Pads can impede this.
I tried a thigh cushion for a while - and found it was just a pain - and impeded active padding movement. Helped the splayed leg position a bit, but further limiting movement was not helping after first hour. Maybe OK for lily dippers - can’t see it working for you.
The one thing that absolutely removed all comfort issues was removing the pegs entirely and going to a full foam bracing surface. People who have only used pegs have no idea just how much they can screw you up. Once this was done I suddenly had no back band issues, no more adjusting things, no thigh issues, and all other plans I had to further modify outfitting were unneeded. Take care of the feet and the knees/thighs/hips/back take care of themselves.
Unfortunately - you have a rudder and can’t do this easy fix. My condolences. However - there is another option. Look at Pat/ONNOs rudder control system with the bar that goes all the way across. You can also ask Hexledge about it as he put one in his EFT.
I would recommend putting that, or something similar, in - in conjunction with smooth seatpan, and see what happens.
i believe most back and leg problems be they pain or tingling, can be traced to tight hamstrings and lower back muscles. if you work on stretching the hamstrings as well as your ileopsoas and other lower ‘girdle’ muscles i think your problem will go away.
Be sure you are using the footpegs …
correctly. Putting the balls of your feet on the pegs puts a lot of force on a small area. The pegs are rounded and fit better below the balls of your feet. At that point your foot is rounded to match the peg and force is distributed over a wider area. If necessary put some foam on the inside of the hull to support and raise the feet.
As an aside, I spend more time in WW boats than touring boats and the “splaying” is more pronounced in them. You get used to it and then come to prefer it. Give it time.
I put several inches of foam on the inside of the hull/shear in the knee/thigh area. This allows me to paddle with my knees closer together and still have lateral contact with the boat.
Assuming that there’s no specific seatpan problem, this sounds like compression of the sciatic nerve either in the sciatic notch or by the piriformis muscle in the buttocks. It is probably related to knees up/out and trunk forward stretching of the nerve, and the suggestions for increasing flexibility are good one. Google on sciatic notch/piriformis syndrome and you’ll see the relevant anatomy. You’re more likely to quickly get rid of the problem by padding out the boat to bring the legs down and closer together. I recall a post by Bryan Nystrom who noted that this is a natural progression with experience anyway. Certrainly has been true for me. A couple of weeks ago, I had a new paddler with a Chatham 18 complain about this problem. I suggested that she move her footpegs 2-3 notches forward, and that was the end of pain/numbness in her legs. Last note: If you notice any sensory deficits or funny feelings or weakness (for example, foot drop or incoordination) that persists after the acute numbness wears off, you likely are damaging the nerve, and ought not to paddle past the point of initial symptoms until you get the problem worked out.
Brent Reitz devotes a ‘chapter’ in his
forward stroke video to stretching. He says he stretches 10 minutes before he paddles and it prevents a lot of the associated problems. He concentrates on hamstring stretches.I wish I had seen it before I sold my SINK.
moving the pegs
forward has a definite positive effect on numbness for me. The issue is that once I do it, I need to pad the sides of the boat so that my knees can brace well. That’s my next project.
I remember paddling an Anas Acuta once - where the legs are much more straight and together, and the numbness/pain problem was hardly there at all.
My wife had the same problem…
in her 600 and got help from Hexsledge which solved most of it.
At his suggestion She changed out the back band and then added a small amount of high density foam just in front of the seat. It is the same height as the seat and is about 3-1/2" wide.
She also added a gel seat pad, and the combination of it all has cured the leg numbness.
I am lucky in that I could probably be comfortable in a bath tub and have never had to suffer like that.
numb feet and legs
Hi Trilobite 02
I have that same condition in my 700. Out of curiousity how big are you? I’m 5’10", a prosperous 215 with a strong build. I would be very lean at 195. Here’s what I’ve tried to date. I first replace the padded seat/back band combo (which came with my boat) with a back band, no good. At the same time I tried adjusting the back band back and forth which placed my rear end on different parts of the seat, no good. I tried all possible peg length locations, no good. I tore out my seat and purchased a closed cell bottom contouring form fitted seat, no good. I puchased a 1.5 inch thick closed cell sheet and sat on that, no good. I am now ordering a true chair seat from ONNO to bond into my boat. The most confortable boat, I’ve owned, to paddle was my Looksha 3 which had a chair type seat. My buddy’s Cape Horn is also very comfortable and it has a chair type seat. My hopes are on this knew seat as I now almost always paddle my ski, which is a shame because the 700 is such a great boat. The chair seat may work. Good luck. Franklin
Ps Patrick at Onno’s phone number is 858 272 7859
for such a comprehensive series of suggestions. For the record, I’m 6’1", and 195 lbs. Upon purchasing the boat, I immediately replaced the BB with an IR Reggie, then eventually pushed that out of the way entirely. Right now I have the bare seat pan, having tried a thin foam pad, using padding to extend the seat pan further under my thighs, etc. I stretch regularly, hamstrings, lower back, and the like. Have experimented with sliding the pegs out further, but eventually run into problems at extension operating the toe pilots of the Seal Line system. Spent some time in the new Valley Rapier, which allowed my legs to remain straight, knees closer together, and experienced no numbness. Wondering now if it’s the thigh brace placement in the Q-Tip, which dictates the knees splay outward for contact-in the Valley boat they were high and together with the peaked foredeck, there if needed but out of the way if not,a similar position to my ski in which I experience no numbness issues (other issues of confidence there…). Since this problem is most prevalent for me when the water turns rough, it’s hard to figure out whether it’s me forced into this position for extended periods with contact against the thigh braces for greater boat control, or just the fact that I have less freedom to pop them out and jiggle 'em around a little bit to bring some circulation back. Either way, tensing up is probably not aiding things.
Padding in the sides is probably not going to work, as I now prefer the more open cockpit for torso rotation, so it would seem my options are as follows: increase flexibility more, explore foot brace pedal/tiller bar steering setup in hopes I’ll have the freedom to actuate the pedals and get my knees together more, modify thigh braces to counteract ‘frog leg’ position, get another boat (assuming it’s covered under Andrew’s physician’s prescription). So frustrating, as the QCC has so much that’s good about it, and after two years in it, it feels like man’s best friend that has suddenly started to turn on its owner.
another option …
yank the rudder, get rid of the pedals, and glue some closed cell foam against the bulkhead to rest your feet against … in any position that suits you.
I wish I had a answer
Like you, I’ve tried about everything and asked about everybody who had something to offer. No advice to date has helped. It does help if I stop paddling, take my rear off the seat, slide down into the boat and put all my weight on the rear combing using my back as a bracing point. After doing that for five minutes my feet wake up…but I’m not sure that is called kayaking. It’s also lonely as none of my paddling buddies stop to wait on me. Once I get the chair seat (I know a chair seat is not sexy but at this point, if it works, I’m happy) I’ll let you know how it works out. Good Luck Franklin
I like the QCC seat pan
enough that I just ordered one to put in my Epic. It’s got minimal contour unlike the Epic seat. Granted, it’s short, but you’ve tried extra foam under your thighs.
I really suspect the humped foot braces for one. I ground off the humps on my Seal Line braces. Additionally, they are usually mounted too low because Sealline instructs that the hump should go in the arch of your foot, a position which few people could tolerate. Lastly, having to maintain a contorted position with knees up together but feet apart must be difficult. There must be some modification, or replacement system to allow you to keep your feet together. I put a wooden bar accross the entire width of the cockpit so I can use any foot position. I removed my rudder on the Epic, replacing it with a small plastic fin glued to the stern which aids tracking and reduces weathercocking.
Just looking for clues…
Was wondering what type of shoes (if any) you would be wearing. Paddling in Florida, I sometimes just hop in bear foot, but that doesn’t last long before the feet start to ache. Now I’ve got a skeg not a rudder, so some things will be different between us. While I’ve never had the numbness in my legs like you have, I have found the most comfortable footwear are the rubber slip on shoes called Crocs. there is enough rubber cushion to protect the balls of my feet all day long.