Need help with seat

I think I found my kayak!! Checked out a Current Design Isle today. I absolutely love everything about this boat except for the awful IR backband. It seems to ride too low. I tried the adjustments to no avail.

Salesman tells me that comfort and sea kayaking don’t go together. I know he wants to sell the boat but I must disagree with him.

Does anybody know how difficult it is to switch out the IR backband. i did not see if it was attached via screws or rivets.

If I can switch what do you recommend.?

I don’t necessarily want a seat back like I see in SOT. But i would like something a bit more comfortable.

Can I just stuff a block of minicell behind the seat?

I really like everything about the Isle but the backband must go!!


– Last Updated: Jun-24-12 8:44 PM EST –

I have a backband that slips low - I use a bungee from the D-rings on the backband to an under-deck cleat which is centered behind my back. On my composite boat, the cleat was already there for the terrible seat back I replaced. On the SOF, I added it myself.

By the way, my back band is a Snap Dragon, which is pretty nice. Many recommend the IR, so maybe if you can get it supported you'll like it better.

PS - the Isle looks very nice. I've been happy with my CD, bought used 6 years ago and holding up well.

congrats on the Isle!
fine boat, paddles strong, beautiful,& you can get good speed out of it. Not a boat you outgrow. A gear sponge if you camp.

I have the Suka, at the other end of the scale, e.g. Suka–>Caribou–> Isle so I know how the cockpit is laid out.


  • remove the extg one and paddle w. no backband. You may like that. Or your butt may keep slipping back which makes it harder to pump on the pegs in the forward stroke. You will soon know.

  • sure, a block of minicell. Carve it a little tall, a little wide & go paddling. Evaluate. But glue it down, otherwise first time you capsize and wet exit it might go on its own expedition.

  • a backband - even a minicell block - is suppose to ride low - but not be a torture device. Stiffening it up like the first poster suggests may be worthwhile. Get it to stand up straighter and higher up, you may like that.

  • for some boats/folks the Snapdragon backband is better - stiffer, and wraps a little more around than the Reggie. Try the Snapdragon 2 - I put on in my Prijon Catalina to replace the joke that was in there. WW ppl like it and they put a premium on performance fit.

  • if you can find an old Bomber Gear backband those are good, too. see ww ppl.

  • and yeah, minicell.

    Lastly, as you learn to paddle w. good form in your forward stroke, you will barely be in touch w. the backband (or minicell block) when you are actively engaged in paddling. Not to be confused w. taking a break and leaning back (we all do)

    It needs to be out of the way of torso rotation, It needs not to flop down on the seat during rescues.

a low back band is good?
Mine ir band is as low as possible. This thread may explode into a long one, but a kayak is not a lounge chair. Imo, the back band is only there to hold your hips in the seat. The proper paddling position is not leaning back in your seat. Ive never sat in that boat, so I cant tell what is going on, and everybody is different. Once you get the boat, you could remove the band and paddle a bit to see if the seat is good, and then you can adjust the height or get a different one.

Btw, sea kayaking is no canoeing but it can be pretty comfortable.

Ryan L.

Backband replacement

– Last Updated: Jun-25-12 8:40 AM EST –

Not all backbands are comfortable, and you can't tell by looking at them. The original backband in my Explorer looked fine but and was in the right place, but the dealer said he usually replaced them with a Bomber Gear backband as part of a sale. Two hours and circuit of Peak's Island later I knew why. Nigel Foster boats used to have some of the crappiest looking backbands you have ever seen - a strip of plastic with plastic wrapped over it - but they were tremendously comfortable.

OOPS - that said, I just rechecked and realized that what is in there is an IR backband, one of the better ones. I should not try to post so early in the morning.

I retract the above, I'd look at height as a first solution. You may have been trying to use it for full time support and leaning back too much - which will give you a backache but you can't blame the backband.,

re awful IR backbends
First of all, they’re not awful, they’re wonderful. And second, if anything, it’s probably too high. Most beginning kayakers think they’re at home in their barcalounger. What you really want is enough support to sit up straight. I think it was Leon Somme who advocated a “butt band” (moving it down). If you do, and sit up straight and rotate, I think you will find you are much more comfortable. Think of it as there to remind you, not there for you to lean on.

an IR is on one of my seakayaks, a Snapdragon on another, and the OEM CD backband (before the IR became standard) a third.

They are all fine. Paddle for hours in any of them.

Agree w. bowrudder.

IR backband

I see your point. I don’t know quite how to explain the fit (or lack thereof)

If I tighten up the band it is an annoyance. If I slacken it it does not seem to do anything. As this is my first kayak i’m not sure what I should feel.

I do know proper seated position is straight (90 degree L position).

I am not looking to lean back. I’m not even sure the backband is necessary.

The other boat I was considering is a WS Tempest 180. This boat has quite a substantial back “rest” Called the 3XP I believe. More like a low back chair than a back band.

I suppose being a newbie I’ll just have to try out different settings.

BTW: Does anybody agree with the salesman who claims sea kayaking is not supposed to be comfortable?

Another kind of "backband"
has come along in the last few years. It’s not a backbend at all, but a small carved minicell foam block that fits between the back of your seat pan and the rear bulkhead. It’s about 5-6 inches wide, and only props up a 5-6 inch portion of your lower back/behind. I don’t have a picture of it, but someone with one will no doubt come along. I’ve heard they are comfortable. Some people swear by them. You might try that. If the IR doesn’t work.

Yeah: I was thinking of just using some minicell and forming my own little back rest. I’ll check it out.

Nice thing is I’ll get the boat this Friday. I have a week off to paddle.

Gotta have Comfort

– Last Updated: Jun-25-12 10:13 AM EST –

Sea kayaking not supposed to be comfortable ? THats like saying if you take up running you wont do well or have proper form unless you get a pair of running shoes that is uncomfortable and pinches your feet.

How often will you go out if your not comfortable ? Probably not very often. besides, why would you punish yourself like that.

I put a piece of minicell foam behind my seat pan for my backrest and it works great....super comfy. I also didnt like the feel of my backband.

you are taking delivery Friday
which means you haven’t paddled your boat on the water.

See how it goes w. the backband once you are on the water. As you said it’s your first kayak.

Give it a little time. Learn to paddle correctly, however you want to do that. A lot of newbies, have probs w. outfitting because they’re bodies are getting accustomed to paddling mechanics and motions. We have all been there!

Seakayaking is not torture lol. It does use different sets of muscles in a way not called on for other types of sports. Period of adjustment needed. Expect to feel sore in new places.

At one extreme there are backbands that are torture devices, true. But most of them are innocuous to effective, once we get the feel of our boat and our bodies get paddling-acclimated.

Is all relative, but you should be able to sit in your boat for a few hours at a time with out problem. You will always get a tad stiff because you aren’t really moving. For me, i must be able to do four or five hours before I want out.

Proper paddling position is tad forward of ninty at the blade plant. Your reach should be at around your feet so that will require your hamstrings to loosen up.

When you first start paddling alot soreness or a bit of stiffness isn’t exactly a sign of discomfort. Pain or if you notice soreness at certain pressure points then the seat maybe the issue. Also if your legs go to sleep or your knees hurt there are things that can help that.

Btw, that phase 3 seating thing is the most comfortable seat ever for me. Maybe too comfortable.

Ryan L.

Appreciate all the help. Cannot wait till Friday !

Salesman is wrong
He either did not elaborate to explain his statement properly (as in “not a barcolounger”) or he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

do not agree
And this person should not be allowed to talk to customers.

Granted, by a couple of hours in a boat we all need a stretch. But you can and should make the seating comfortable.

It may not have been the backband. I have to flatten out my seats from the more supportive angle that most prefer. I would just take the boat, paddle it for a bit and work out the details.

I keep an inflated paddle float behind my backband. Adds a bit of support, displaces a bit of water, and I can still yank it out of there if i need to use it.