Looing for ideas to add extra padding to my backrest


My kayak is older and the backrest has lost some of it’s support so when I’m in it, I’m sort of leaning back as I paddle (instead of sitting up straight) which makes for an uncomfortable day.

I don’t want to replace the backrest (because it doesn’t come off) so does anyone know of an aftermarket product I can simply attach to my backrest to give me some added support or maybe you can share with me what you use to build up your backrest?


Picture of the seat??? I have a Wilderness Tsunami and I like the adjustable backrest to be close to 99°, but the plastic slide buckles don’t hold the seat back upright. It slides back about mid trip. So I bought a cheap stainless steel surgical (mine is similar with a curved jaw, but dont think it matters). I clamped the nylon stap so.it doesnt slip. Its stainless so it doesn’t rust in the brackish water of the Chesapeake Bay. Not sure if your seat is configured to use it as a fix.

90% not 99%

Duh, I forgot to add the picture. Not sure whether you have a strap holding the back gorward.

I picked up a vintage touring kayak last year in which the seat back buckle is too worn to lock the adjustable strap in place on one side. The hardware is not notreplaceable because of the way the back is constructed. Though I got an entire new backband to replace it, removing the old back will be a project (since other hardware is corroded in place). So to use the boat for the time being I cut some lengths of stiff foam pool noodle about 2 to 3’ long and stuffed them behind the seat to wedge it in place.

I used 3” noodle plus a piece of 5” noodle sliced in half lengthwise to fill out the space and position the back right where it fit me best. This has worked surprisingly well and I’ve paddled the boat numerous times comfortably, even using it in some skills training sessions at kayak camp. The noodles are stuffed so tightly that even when I was doing self rescue maneuvers and practiced dumping out the flooded kayak they did not budge.

This only works in a sit inside kayak with a rear bulkhead, of course, so if you have a sit on top it wouldn’t be useful.

Pool noodle foam doesn’t absorb water and can be a very useful material for fitting out cockpits in a pinch. The wider types, sliced lengthwise (use a serrated steak or bread slicing knife) can be used to support a sagging or broken seat bottom, placed for under-thigh support or wrapped in a U shape behind a seat back — a long enough piece can fill in a too-wide cockpit to allow better thigh contact for a smaller person.

People have also bundled them to shove inside open hulls to add flotation and water displacement. I cut short pieces of the hollow type noodles to slip inside my tall paddling boots to speed drying after rinsing them post-outing. And I slice 2’ lengths of hollow type halfway, slice a hole in the middle to slip over coat hangers I use to hang my drysuit, dry top and wetsuits so that air circulates better as they dry and to reduce stress on the shoulder areas. I also slide the hollow ones over rope to create cushioned trapezes for suspending boats from the basement rafters.

The stuff is so useful I always snag more pool noodles of various diameters at the end of summer when the stores dump them cheap.

1 Like

You can insert a “Crazy Creek” style seat and back and adjust the back support so you can sit up more erect for paddling and comfort. Also you could insert behind and in front of the wobbly seat, a square seat cushion, like they use on a boat. Pushing the seat back forward with the seat cushion or something similar would enable you to sit forward.

It’s a Walden Vista.

small Thermarest inflatable pad is often used for kayak seats.

1 Like

Check out the TopKayaker site. They have dozens of padded replacement seat backs, some of which slip over the existing backrests. You just have to look for one of the right size. Might take a bit of looking.


shawnshank, the Walden Vista was my first kayak, the gateway craft to my kayak addiction… For more support and to have a night running light or day banner, I made a “behind the seat platform” for my Pungo (Sept. 2020) - it takes some of the stress off the seat straps; I once slipped getting into another Pungo and the strap tore away from the hull screw. That and extra padding should do the trick.

(Oct 28, 2022)

(Dec. 29, 2021)

Many seats might have to have removed and back band installed. Could various portions of harder foam padding in different places to see where they help the most.