My butt hurts


After 1/2 hour in the boat, I begin to feel my legs go numb. After one hour, my lower body is numb. I stop paddling, do a few leg excercises, and blood seems to flow back again. Of course, this only last for a short while. The bottom line to all this is that I’m having some serious blood circulation issues. Has anyone experienced this, and what can I do to make this go away. I have a Current Design Andromeda kayak.

Get a canoe :wink:
Sorry couldn’t resist.

Seriously there has been a fair amount of outfitting discusion around issues like yours.

Try searching “kayak outfitting” or “leg falls asleep” or “kayak seat replacement”

good luck

Thigh support to

– Last Updated: Nov-13-04 5:20 PM EST –

distribute weight

Best solution is a custom carved seat, or you could carve a thigh extension, or you could get a sealline thigh support pillow.

Check the archives.

Relieve the pressure
on your legs by placing something under your thighs. I usually inflate one side of my paddle float and place it under my thighs to relieve the pressure. Or you could use a throw bag or any other equipment you normally care in your 'yak.



Please give your…

– Last Updated: Nov-12-04 10:48 AM EST –

...age, height, weight, and general fitness level - including flexibility.

Also info about your equipment.

Without knowing that stuff, we could make useless or even bad suggestions.

There are several standard remedies - but many paddlers are not fit enough to really benefit from the best solutions. Instead, they try to make their kayaks into La-Z-Boy recliners that can make the situation even worse over time.

And get a canoe. That solved it
for me.

Pressure points?
The only time my legs–actually it was only the left leg–went numb was due to my hand-shaped minicell foam seat having a slight ridge that made a long high point. Once I determined where this ridge was and ground it down, the problem disappeared.

As your lower body starts to feel uncomfortable, try to figure out where the pressure points are. (For instance, if your left sit bone hurts and you pull ashore and walk around a few moments, does the pain go away but return in the same spot a little while later? Then you know something under your left sit bone must be pressing too hard.) Don’t wait till your whole lower body is numb because that disguises where the problem originates.

A piece of
foam rubber under the thighs. Takes pressure off the feet on the pegs, and by extension, pressure off your knees and hip joints. Leave the foam uncovered and it doubles as a bailing sponge and won’t mildew. Just wring it out at your rest stops. Mine is 5" x 6" x 36" long. The extra length curves up the sides and gives lateral support as well. I don’t know how I paddled for 2 years without it.

Definately check archives and
other paddling web pages. All will suggest padding of some sort under the thighs. i was having very serious knumbibng, pain, quivering etc. a while back but at this time Im pretty comfortable for the most part. I was paddling a lot at the time of which may have been part of the problem, my lower back was bothering at the time of which I feel didn’t help the situation or caused the the problem.

My solutions came from making some adjustments.

I relieved the tension on the back band allowing me to slide further down in the seat pan rather than being forced forward and having less butt in the seat to distribute the pressure, I then let out my foot rest/pegs 1 knotch, this releasing the pull on my hamstrings, I could use about a 1/4 inch of padding under the hatch combing for my thighs for a tighter fit but Im comfy so Im not messing with it. I wondered if that 10 pounds I gained back has helped …hummmm

Stretching is said to help also, I believe in theory for the hamstring pains.

The key is to get more backside distributing your weight, lift up in the seat every once in while when conditions permit and you will learn to live and enjoy the sport much more.


my but t hurts
my son had a similar problem in his whitewater boat first we thought it was just because he is a very big boy in a very small boat .We finnally sent him to a chriropractor and found out sitting was pinching a nerve after a few treatments he was fine

I use the paddle float, too.
Something custom carved from foam would be better but this gets the float off the deck and about halfway inflated. In fact, I don’t have to inflate it any higher to use it. Makes the fit better, too.

re age fitness body stats
FWIW I paddled a perception america (one of them large cockpit rec boats with a plastic tractor seat and backband)for 4 years and had few if any problems with the legs and butt. I then built an osprey and used the oem seat from Pygmy…It took less than an hour before I felt like the recipient of some midevil torture system.

The america had allowed me to half bend the legs with the feet on the foot braces due to the large open cockpit. I couldnt’ do that with the osprey and THAT was where my problem lay. The lower volumn the deck the less a paddler seems able to bend the leg at the knee and the more often the problem seems to arise.

Different boats, different problems,…

– Last Updated: Nov-14-04 6:08 PM EST –

In my first kayak placing foam under my knees worked wonders. Currently I find useing a self inflating air cushion allows me to paddle for usually about 3 hours without leg discomfort. The shape of the seat is important also, since I let some air out until I can just start to bottom out.

Sealline self-inflating thigh cushion
Supports your thighs, relieving pressure on lower back. Comes with adhesive velcro patches to attach to your boat. And since it’s self-inflating, when you’re not using it (for cartopping, etc), it rolls up to the size of a large beer can.

I even got one for my paddling buddy for Christmas.

Numbness in lower body
Numbness does not mean lack of blood flow, unless your lower extremeties are getting cold as well. It sounds like a positional problem, probably a disk in the lower back impinging on the nerves that exit the spine and run down the legs. Do you have this problem during any other activities, like driving long distances? Besides a MRI, you might just try changing your sitting angle, try a more layed back position, with the paddle float under the legs as previuosly mentioned. Hope it helps.

Changing my seat pad did it for me and

– Last Updated: Nov-15-04 8:05 PM EST –

all the others that have followed the advice.

What you do is to take your kayak seat pad and put it on the seat of a very good solo canoe. Sit on the seat and paddle. No more problems!

;^) Hee, hee, hee ... but does work!

Happy Paddl'n!


Oh yeah. You really should throw away that fancy kayak seat pad as it will no longer really be needed. ;^)