NDK Backbands

So I broke down and purchased a brand new Explorer Elite yesterday. Just a beautiful kayak. Mine is an orange deck(not 1st choice but it’s growing on me)and is really light. About 50 pds.

Question I have is the backband. I have this real nice 1/2" thick bruise across my *** cheeks from being pinched between the backband and the seat. Really not a pleasant sight :slight_smile:

Any thoughts on how to remedy this from others who experience this in NDK boats. Is it just finding the adjustment or swapping out for another type of backband? If so what kind?

Thanks much…

with ANYTHING besides another NDK! :slight_smile: I have 5 or 6 of 'em if anyone wants one, real cheap!

The North Shore deluxe model is nice.


Congratulations Mau on your new Explorer. May it bring you many years of fun paddling. I love my Explorer but have also found the backband to be uncomfortable although I haven’t swapped it out yet for a new one. Suggestions from the peanut gallery on a really comfortable backband would be greatly appreciated!

NDK backband
So, it’s not just me! Paddled my new-to-me Explorer over the weekend with the same butt pinching experience. So, the backband has to go. I have an NSI band in my other boat and it’s very comfortable. Only problem is that the ratcheting buckles have corroded quite badly from the salt. I’ve heard that other manufacturers use stainless ratchets and NSI may even have switched since I bought mine. Will be looking forward to others’ inputs.

Happy paddling!

I can add two more unwanted NDK backband
I can add the two NDK backbands my wife and I pulled out of our NDK boats to Flatpicks stack of unwanted bands.

I agree with Flatpick. Replace them with ANYTHING!

I put a snapdragon band in mine. From memory I think my wife chose a NSR band. I really like the IR bands too.

Good luck!


the new NSI us a corrosion free buckle/ ratchet. The IR, Bomber Gear, and Voyageur use buckles/ ratchets that corrode after time. Snap Dragon and the NEW Wilderness backband uses NO metal buckles/ ratchets.

The cat’s meow is the anatomical NSI, IMHO.


take the whole kit/kaboodle out. if you or a friend, have a dremel and some foam, customize it to your very own butt profile and then pad the back out as well.

you can sit a little lower in the boat (if that works for your torso height) and then you will have a seat that you have ultimately customized.

besides…if your stock seat is in straight…there is a rumor that it could be one of the few!


– Last Updated: Jul-06-04 12:09 PM EST –

I see I'm not the only one with this problem. Just ordered an IR Reggie/ratchet backband. Hopefully it's here by the weekend and is easy to install....

IR corrosion…
but you already knew that.


but thanks for the tip. My brother has had one for a couple of years and hasn’t had any issues and plus it was in my budget…just bought an Explorer Elite yesterday…so that’s what I’ll try for now. If it doesn’t work I’ll go for the NSI. Plus I’ll be checking to see if my seat is mounted straight or not. I paddled yesterday and nothing felt funny or weird…but I was just overexcited to be paddling my new ride :slight_smile:

the only
thing that corrodes is the ratchet pivot pin. seems as the whole thing is made of good ss save for the pin. weird that they don’y make good on it since a bunch of folks in the boat industry use the same ratchet.

I seriously advised WS NOT to use the ratchet in their new backstrap cuz many folks are going to be using them in salt water. go figure. sea yak/ salt water. =:-0)

good luck on your new ride!


I shot an email to NSI this morning inquiring as to whether or not they had switched to non-corroding ratchets. They answered “unfortunately, we are unable to find a stainless steel ratchet.” Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not using something other than ss that is also non-corrosive, I guess :slight_smile: IR claims on their website “all stainless steel, salt water resistant hardware.”

So, your reality-based inputs are most appreciated!


What sort of installation is required for the NSI Anatomical Backband in a NDK Explorer?

IR Reggie
I too, swapped out the stock band (quickly) for the IR band. Haven’t had any corrosion problems in over a year, and the band is worlds better. I also drilled and attached a new bungee mounting location higher up, right by the coaming, which helps keep the band from rotating down. I think I may have permanent pinch scars from the months spent pre swapping it out. Good luck with the new boat. BTW-‘light’ and Explorer are two terms that are generally mutually exclusive of one another…

ndk backband
works fine for me, made a foam back brace, peeled

off the ndk foam and glued to the mini cell foam

back brace, adds a little confort…tossed the rest


drill a
couple holes and bolt her in. take me 10-15 minutes. me thinks you have to be creative rigging the bungies that hold it up but no biggie.


I just installed one (the whitewater) in my Caribou. It fits great but is in saltwater five days a week. I will let you know how the corrosion goes…

The power posts look like a good thing… GH

Another NDK buttpincher
I just don’t get why they put those things in their boats, suppose you could just trim the botton of the offending beast. I have a bomber gear back rest, but she is corroding badly at his point.

That’s why there’s chocolate & vanilla.
I use the NSI Anatomical and if I were buying one now, I’d save the extra few dollars and buy the standard NSI. I don’t know anybody who has really found any difference after adjusting it.

It is a comfortable band though and you can sit for hours (at least I can), without any problems.

First thing to do is replace the backban
I used a Rapid Pulse Whitewater backband … worked out real nice, and comfy.