Nordkapp seat back or back band replacem

I recently purchased a four year old Valley RM Nordkapp from a fellow paddler whose price was too good to pass up. My intent is to use it on the Ohio river and the larger lakes near Southern Indiana.

I am used to paddling a 12’ Perception Carolina with the Zone DLX seating system and found the stock back band on my Nordkapp provided very little low back support and I grew quite uncomfortable after 20-30 minutes of getting it on the water for the first time.

Now, it is possible that I over-used my core/low-back muscles during that brief time as I experimented with edging and leaning. I don’t need to do much of either to turn the Carolina and with it’s higher back seat, maybe I don’t spend as much time sitting forward with good posture as I thought I do when I paddle.

With that being said, I still would like to replace what is in the Nordkapp with something that I can cinch either closer to my low back or is a bit higher for more support.

I’ve searched the forums and the net in general, but mostly found links to pages where the entire seat was pulled out and replaced with foam, etc. that’s more than I want to do at this point…the Jackson Sure-lock back band seemed to be a good candidate as well as an Immersion Research band with some sort of ratcheting system for adjustment. I have also found several seat backs that are just a bit taller from aftermarket companies.

Does anyone have any experience with the Jackson or IR bands in a touring/sea kayak style boat? Any other suggestions?

I’ve tightened the current band but find it still sits too low and offers negligible support for my current needs. Perhaps over time I will grow more able to sit upright w/o any support, but as it stands… Twenty minute increments of paddling will not cut it!

Thanks for your help!!


Also paddle Nordkapp on the Ohio
I may not be the one to ask because I have the full foam replacement. Valley outfitting just doesn’t do it for me.

I have used the IR as a replacement in other sea kayaks but installed it upside down for lower profile, which facilitates layback. I have several Jackson ww boats and like the backband because it will lay back with you. Of course, I look at the backband as a means to maintain the position of your hips in relation to your footpegs, not as back support. Sitting erect gives you more power and a high backband tends to interfere with torso rotation and layback. But, if you’re set on back support, an IR would probably do the trick.

The one I like the best is the smaller anatomic (without the adjuster).

Had one for many years and wore out the covering for which I was able to get a replacement.

Appreciate replies
Thanks for the replies so far. I’ll look into the NSI link you provided.

I got the boat out again on the grass in the backyard and worked on getting the present back band adjusted to better fit me. While it certainly wasn’t paddling… I sat in the boat for a good twenty minutes and found the position more comfortable than last weekend’s trial run on the water.

The back band height was about even with the waistband of my shorts. As I’d read on other sites, it seemed to primarily keep my rear end from sliding backwards when I used the foot pegs and thigh braces to rock the boat side to side.

My wife wanted to go for a paddle late in the day with our Carolinas and while sitting in that boat, I noticed that the portion of my lumbar region that contacted the seat back was pretty much about level with the coaming, so I really don’t need much more than 2-3 inches higher on the seat back/back band to feel pretty comfortable.

The backband supports your pelvis…
…not your back. High back supports inhibit torso rotation and one’s ability to lay back. You’re going from a recreational boat to a higher performance design and you should improve your technique to suit the boat, not the other way around.

If you’re not used to paddling with proper pelvic/hip support, it’s normal to have some degree of muscle soreness while you adapt to it. Also, make sure that you don’t have your foot pegs set too close; if you’re tightly wedged in, you’ll be putting unnecessary pressure on your feet and back, which will quickly become uncomfortable.

All that said, I have the IR Reggie in a couple of my boats and it’s a nicely made product. However, I contacted IR and asked them to make me a couple without the ratchet straps, which are unnecessary in a touring boat. I also added a centered padeye near the top so I could attach the backband to another padeye below the coaming. The three point attachment (two side straps and the upper back padeye) work really well in a touring boat.

Check out my video …
It shows the seat and backband.

The backband is positioned poorly for me out of the factory. It was quite uncomfortable. After the simple modification I made to where it attaches, it is very comfortable and offers lots of support for a backband. I doubt you will fond a more supportive version unless you go for a high-back seatback (not a backband).

Nice video…
you made and your modification is a noticeable improvement.

that’s good to know
I have the same backband and didn’t think to ask them to just leave out the ratchet hardware.