NDK Explorer Seat Replacement


I just picked up a used NDK explorer and need to put some kind of seat in it. A previous owner cut out the original, and now there is a hard foam back support and a thermareast pad for your butt. The seat set-up seems low compared to other Explorers I’ve paddled, and the firm foam behind the back interferes w/ rotation and layback. No hip pads, so i’m sliding around when I edge hard or start playing around. Is it possible to put an molded seat and back band back in? that would be my first choice. if not, what experience have other paddlers had w/ carving out blocks of mini-cell foam, which seems to be the most common recommendation. I will be using this boat for guiding and tripping on lake superior, which can get rough. I got the boat at a very good price, so have some room to fix this.


No ace at this but…
My Explorer seat is actually glassed in - came that way from Wales - it strikes me that if you got a hung seat and wanted to put in the time you could do the same. For foam seats, I think it’s Redfish has a base seat that works nicely and can be shaved to conform. As to the back - my backband is hung off the seat, so if you were to glass in a seat probably could add the backband. The rear hook, to give a third anchor point so that it doesn’t flop around, may still be in the boat. Or one can be put thru the bulkhead with some provision to protect against leakage.

If going the foam route, you could rip out what is in back now and cut a block that is lower and sits just behind the seat, shape it to just protect your tailbone.

many use Redfish seats

happy bottom seat.
works great.


Foam back
Yeah, that’s the seat I’ve seen used. Just a comment on that back section they display - it’s not necessary that it be that much. A friend of ours who got the Refish seat for his Explorer created a much lower form that basically closes up the distance from the back of the seat to the bulkhead and is maybe an inch taller at most, continues a slight lean back that both supports the lower back but still is out of the way of back deck rolls.

I think he put a little foam on the inside of the coaming in back as well, less certain of that.

Do it yourself
Look at Brian Nystrom’s website. I followed his instructions pretty carefully and ended up with the perfect seat, and believe me I’m not very handy. After a year of sciatic pain after after a few hours on the water, I was out for 12 hours this weekend without a problem.

The great thing about foam is that if you buy 1/4 or 1/2" sheets you can just laminate them on until you are at the right height. A combination of thin sheets and 3" blocks for the hips work. I used contact cement which is easier to remove if you blow it a few times (I did).

I put a solid foam block that is only about 3" wide in the center which I’m still shaving down after each paddle until I get it perfect. It is so much better than a backband for me because it doesn’t interfere with re-entry and rolls or other rescues, and it really frees your rotational ability up. It also gives you a nice place to wedge your sponge.

You can get the foam and tools to do the job from kayakoutfitters.com. Good luck, the extra effort is really worth getting a boat that fits like a glove.

Oh, and one thing to watch out for…the NDK boats drain so nicely that you don’t want to make the seat so wide that it interferes with that. I used an exacto knife to narrow the seat when I realized I was trapping water.


Seat Blank
One can order the sculptured seat blank from Redfish for a lot less than the complete seat


This is what most I know have done.

foam seats
For what it’s worth, NDK also makes a foam seat that comes with the low volume versions. I don’t know about prices/availability, but an NDK retailer should be able to help you. If you don’t have one nearby contact Sea Kayak Georgia and they can probably help you.


template for sculpting your own?
Does anyone know of a template for sculpting out your own foam seat? I have a standard foam seat in my BBK boat, but there’s no sculpting–it’s just a block of minicell foam. It might be more comfortable with some shaping, but I’m afraid to just start cutting away.

Cut out the original seat?
Used a thermareast pad? Sounds like that previous owner was as low as you can go.

My Contour seats are also nice…

– Last Updated: Aug-04-06 2:54 PM EST –

Side support, the right shape w/ no foam trial/error, and sit right on the bottom of the hull .... add the seat pan and you have fore and aft trim to dial boat in for your weight and loading.
Seat sides allow good torso rotation and dynamically ' grab ' you as you lean back. EZ to customize if a 'click in' fit is desired.


Hafta scroll down a bit.

Or you could
replace it with a Kajak Sport Ergonomic seat . I have replaced the seats in my Romany and my Explorer with it. http://www.newfound.com/kayakacc.htm

5" from the back of the block…
…is where I locate the “scoops” for my butt. I got this from kayakfit.com and bnystrom’s webshots. It has worked over and over again. Try this for starters.