Seat comfort

Here is a picture of the seat from my beautiful new Norse kayak. It looks very nice but the padding is hard so the grooves make it uncomfortable. I used it twice then took the seat out and put a closed cell foam seat cushion in. I have been told I should put the original seat back in because it contributes to the strength of the boat. Apparently I am the only person who has complained about the comfort of the seat. If the original seat goes back in it will have to either be bare or have a thin layer of foam to replace the original covering. I am fairly sure I have heard of people using foam seats and even sculpting their own. I am wondering if anyone can comment on the effect of removing the original seat on the strength of the kayak.

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Seat may help support combing on the sides. I ditched all the foam padding on on all my Current Design kayaks. Just pull the plastic pop pins out. They make a tool for that but if you deform or damage them you can buy new ones cheap.

No padding lowers you in the boat, let’s you rotate easier, and makes it easier to get in for me. Padding looks great as a selling point.

You could put legs down from combing to hull if it’s a composite boat also for more support.

Pull the pins and try it out. With the seat out press on the combing see if it flexes more with no seat.

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I’d be curious to see the bottom of the seat and your kayak cockpit with the seat removed. If the seat is on a carbon fiber base that snaps to the hull then sure it adds strength but the key questions become HOW MUCH (probably very little) and SO WHAT? Is someone suggesting that you’d have a durability problem? Seems highly unlikely…seems crazy to design a boat that depends on a removable seat for strength and durability.

If you can’t feel any difference when paddling then the effect is small. You could push on the hull with and without the seat in any spots where the strength might be affected to get a direct feel for the impact of removing the seat.

My wife found the seat in her CD GTS wasn’t overly comfortable, it looks similar to the seat in your boat in terms of the padding with grooves.

This past spring, I asked a question here to the collective and got many good suggestions. One of the suggestions was for the Jackson Sweet Cheeks seat pad. We bought their 100 version and my wife has been very happy with the improvement in comfort.

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Thanks for all the advice. It was the Canadian Distributor who said there could be a strength issue and that I was the only person to ever complain about the seat.
In answer to PaddleDog52.
The closed foam seat that is in the boat now is from Seaward. They sell it as an option for their kayaks, which have a reputation for being well built, so it never occurred to me that there could be a problem with strength. My Seaward Quantum which I bought used, came with a huge high-backed seat resembling an arm chair. so I replaced it with their foam seat and an Immersion Research backband. That took more than 1kg off the weight of the kayak! The Quantum does have legs down from the coaming to the hull. There are not a lot of boat options, new or used, around Winnipeg without travelling far and this was at the height of Covid, which is why I got a great boat but one that was less than idea for a little old lady of 108lb. This summer I happened to go to my local store for a fuel canister and fell in love with the Norse Freya which is designed for smaller paddlers 110lb and up. I eventually splurged, you only live once.
The Freya is carbon, only 44lb and does not have legs down from the coaming to the hull so perhaps strength is more of an issue. I made legs out of 1/8" plexiglas and stuck foam on, so not very strong. This was only to allow the seat to wedge into position because the strength issue had not occurred to me.
The pins had already been removed in the picture. One cracked but Canadian Tire has perfect replacements.
I have been tinkering and put a piece of 1/4 closed foam on the seat last night but am considering putting the seat back without any padding because I have sat in molded kayak seats without padding and been comfortable. I have been criticized for not rotating enough so a smooth seat should help. It sounds as if the holes left by the pins do not cause a problem. I may be sitting on two of them.
To TomL
The seat has two bolts each side just below the coaming and rests on the bottom of the hull.
To mowog73
I feel better knowing I’m not the only person to complain about a seat with grooves. I paddled comfortably 44km in the Red River Paddle Challenge a couple of weeks ago using the Seaward foam seat.
To anyone who might be interested.
I have added picture of the foam seat and the original seat without padding.
My Quantum is now for sale and has been babied by the previous owner and me. No beaching or dragging.

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How about this? Real luxury.


Meade Gougeon built a boat for the WaterTribe Everglades Challenge, Voyageur, and outfitted it with a seat padded with sheep’s wool. I recall reading that it was quite comfortable.

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You guys are missing the obvious solution. You don’t pad the carbon fiber seat shell, you pad your butt! Load up on the ice cream, french fries, cheeseburgers…whatever floats your gravy boat. Just trying to help.


Looks like an eddyline seat which are hard and horrible.

Current Designs seats flex on front corners when you drive your legs I find them great and indestructible.

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The Sweet Cheeks is a GREAT seat. I have an Anas Acuta that came with the famous Valley torture device they call a “seat”, and I took it out within a week of owning the boat. Never really found a good replacement for it until a friend that does whitewater suggested I try a Sweet Cheeks. It’s a keeper. Gets me lower in the boat for better stability in chop, and is really comfy.


This is also a good solution in the event a boat has too much volume. Any boat is low volume if you’re fat enough. :grin:

There is also nothing like building your PFD right into your body as well.


Hey Angela, I was thinking more about the structural effect of your seat brace and I suppose it could reduce flexing in your boat around the seat which might be relevant in a light all carbon boat. I suggest that you contact the manufacturer or designer to see if you can get better insights from them.

If all you hate is your padding you might try Ridgerest foam which has a great reputation in the canoe world and is even recommended by Wenonah for their hard shell seats. I use the same pads shown in the hard shell seat in my pack canoe too. Even a single layer helps a lot.


in fact if you stay on that diet long enough you will not even have to wear a life vest.Your body will have enough buoyancy to stay afloat if you fall out of boat


I’m curious how much natural extra padding you’d need to be adequately buoyant. I have at least thirty pounds extra floatation that I’d like to shed when I’m not using it for flotation. It get in my way when I’m not on the water.

I have a Dagger Axis and the seat is uncomfortable and awful on longer paddles. I tried a small air cushion on top but even though I thought it wasn’t thick, it threw the centre of gravity off. I’ll have to play with ideas a bit more or just suck it up.

Most kayaks seats are crummy and need improvement.
Most canoes seats are pretty good especially webbed seats and rattan or woven seats.
Drift boats and rafts have great padded seats.

It is now the end of December and here in Manitoba we can only dream and plan. It was strongly recommended that the original seat be put back in for structural reasons. It is now back in place but without the original lumpy padding. I was expecting it would work well like that but it is a little hard on the bony bits so I have cut out a 1/4 inch closed cell foam layer ready to try out in the spring.

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When I got my first WS, it was mostly for the high back seat, now at times I find it’s not at necesssry. I thing rotation help to strengthen and stabilize my spine. One day I might install a backband. Dunno, just dunno.