Lower back relief

My Northstar Magic seat hangs on the standard 4-inch +/- arched drop. Mostly it’s fine, but sometimes I could really use some back support. The Sitbacker’s 2-inch cushion seems a bit much so I’m looking at the Crazy Creek III and the Wenonah “Super Seat”. Some CC III users have posted helpful reviews, but I’ve found next to nothing on the Wenonah. Anyone out there using the Wenonah Super Seat (bench style) willing to share their thoughts?
I see some similar threads from 10+ years ago, but am wondering if today’s community members have anything to add. Thanks.

I never understood backbands; I can see where they might be nice for fishing but for paddling it seems like they encourage bad posture and relaxing core muscles. Anyway, if your Magic does not have a footbrace I recommend that you install one. I put one in my Magic and it provides some relief for your lower back by giving you a more secure (“locked in”) paddling position. I think it can also be worthwhile to explore core exercises and stretches since just one or two of the right ones (for you) may give you significant relief.


Thanks. My other boats have foot braces, and this one will too as soon as I decide whether to do pegs or a bar. I’m leaning toward a bar, but that’s another thread. No question that core exercises help quite a lot, but some days this 70 yr old back still complains a little bit.

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I paddle a tandem as a solo and have removed the two seats that came with the OT canoe and added a new seat where it was needed. My average seat time is around 6 hours and at 67 what would have been fine at 37 is no longer the case. I paddle with an extra long double blade kayak paddle and find the seat back I use has zero interference when paddling as in paddle position I lean forward and am more upright. We do river floats, fishing and just paddle some and rest some and the seat back during non paddling gives the back that needed support and makes the paddling that much better.

I just bought a $20 Wal-Mart stadium seat back and cut all the clamping junk off the bottom and then mounted it directly to my DIY seat support. The mesh seats let it breath and water dries off it in seconds. It folds down below the gunwales for car topping. I love this setup for my needs and when it falls apart I will replace with another one.

I have been contemplating a foot brace all summer and started making plans for something but I still don’t know exactly what I want and don’t want to drill holes below the water line. I’m positive I want a cross bar type though.

Here is a pic of mine.

I agree withTomL. If you do not have a strong core no support is going to help.
I gave my self a hernia trying to learn how to roll a kayak. I could not perform a hip snap because my obliques were not working. I found a chiropractor trained in Advanced Muscle Integration Technique. He was able to reactivate my core and show me effective core exercises I continue to do. Age is no excuse.

Just my thoughts on aging and staying in shape and still getting out on the water as long as you can.

By all means conditioning and exercise benefit us all no matter the age. There are things that take place as you age that can be improved and also things you need to work around. Thirty years ago I could throw a 70# canoe overhead while wearing a loaded backpack and navigate a mile or more on a rutty trail. Today I still feel like I could do that but the reality is after 50 yards my knees would have me on the couch for 2 weeks and that would be if I didn’t blow something else up before the knees went. I now have to be smarter and load the canoe on the dolly and pick and chose where I need to go.

I commend those with mad skills late in life but it is a fact some of us need a little help.

Lower back problems is one of the biggest problems with aging and I do agree strength training is a big plus in warding it off it is not always going to work. I see a seat back no different than my dolly I use to move the thing. Both are keeping me on the water and moving.

My advice is do whatever you have to do to keep going.

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Advil hour before you paddle. Don’t ask me how I know.

Thanks for the stadium seat pictures. I love it when little ingenuity and some back-yard engineering produce better solutions than fancy catalogs!
As for aging, I don’t know about excuses, but it is a reality … at least until one of us discovers the fountain of youth on a wilderness paddle trip. First one to find it, please post the GPS coordinates here. We won’t tell anyone.


I’m not against backbands, I was just saying that I literally don’t understand them. I bought a used pack canoe this year that has one and I’ve been playing around with it a lot. If it enables more seat time it’s a good thing.

Just FYI I put one of the new Northstar adjustable footbraces in my Magic (pic) because Wenonah footbraces were totally unavailable at the time. The Northstar bar was hard to tighten enough so it wouldn’t move. I would go with a different design next time…I like the Wenonah design better for sure.

I like the spring-loaded footbrace bar on my Sawyer Cruiser. I’m not a fan of the wingnut mounted one on the Wenonah Rendezvous though.

I’ve used a back band in my Bell Rob Roy ('04) with some success. The seat is on the floor so the band rides higher on the spine where it can provide decent, if not great, support. However, I’m having a tough time seeing how a back band could provide any real support when paired with the Magic’s traditional seat, even with the 4-inch drops.
Perfection is hard to find … even harder to recognize if you do find it.