I recently purchased an older Perception Dancer XT as my first kayak (woot!) and am insanely excited to use it. However there is no seat back on it…I bought it for incredibly cheap and I am a beginner to the sport. I know its a pretty old model, so I’m just wondering if there’s any type of seat back/back support I can get for it. I don’t plan to use it for anything hard core, just cruising along the springs in Florida. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated
If something is missing/broken, the manufacturer would always be a good place to begin. Two other places you can try are Harmony Gear and NRS, both of whom sell kayak seat parts.
Old Whitewater boat
The Dancer that I know of is an old whitewater boat. One of the classics that started the modern era of WW kayaking. Most of the older boats didn’t have much back support except for some foam at the back deck. That allowed freedom of movement to control the attitude of the hull. You were expected to engage your core muscles to maintain your posture. It looks like Perception continued to make the Dancer until 2010 although the link that showed up has a co.uk address. The picture there looks like they went to a plastic block behind the seat.
You don’t want a high back on that boat. Just something against your lower back since you’re not planning to do WW tricks. NRS has a backband that you might be able to retro-fit in if you don’t mind drilling. IR (Immersion Research)has some good ones as well.
Given that it’s an older boat that’s not really designed for flatwater paddling, it’s very likely not your last. I’d be tempted to try to improvise a backreast - can’t make specific suggestions re how, since I don’t know the boat, but a little closed cell foam and some thought should find a solution. On my S&G sea kayaks, the backrests are made from 2" closed cell foam insulation. After cutting it slightly oversize, I use a rough file or rasp to pare it down until it fits snugly under the rear deck. A couple of strips glued to the back brace it against the rear bulkhead. Costs pennies, dead easy to do, and works for me. A friend makes his seats by scrounging old stacking chairs, then cutting them down to size and shape he wants.
Pnet to the rescue
This aftermarket seats sales guide randomly popped up for me here at Pnet, may have something for you:
Get a backband like snapdragon or NRS. Then you can remove it to use in the next kayak you will buy when the Dancer starts to drive you crazy because it won’t paddle straight.
Thanks for the advice! And at some point I’ll get a newer (straighter) one, but this was super cheap and anything to get out on the water is a good thing.