I just purchased an Explorer, with a foam seat, and I discovered that the seat is just not comfortable. If I paddle for more than 2 hours, my butt gets really sore, and I have to shift around quit a bit. I also have a P&H Quest with a fiberglass seat, and a Sirocco, and both of those boats are fine. Has anyone else had the same problem, and if so, how did you solve it? I was looking at the Jackson Kayak website, and they sell something called SweetCheeks. I was thinking of trying that, but I’m not sure if I can just attach it to the floor of the boat, or do I need put in some sort of a platform before I install the sweet cheeks. If anyone has a solution, I would love to hear it. I like the boat, but it’s painful to paddle for any extended period.
If conventional hard seats are comfy
for you in your other kayaks, that seems to be the direction to go to fix your Explorer. Perhaps the hard, slippery surfaces in your other seats make it possible for you to make micro-adjustments to keep blood flowing in your rear end.
How slippery is the surface of your Explorer foam seat? Can you shift your seat around smoothly, or is the surface kind of sticky like minicell? If it’s sticky, you might try a temporary experiment by putting some 4 mil or 6 mil polyethylene plastic over the foam seat. You would have to tape, tack, or otherwise get it to stay in place. If you find that this improves comfort, then we could talk about ways to make the seat surface permanently more slippery.
However, it’s possible that you just need a hard seat, similar to what you have in your other boats. Check with the dealer and manufacturer of the Explorer and tell them what you need to do. Maybe they will have an idea of how to use the existing attachment system for the foam seat to hold a replacement hard seat where it needs to be.
Lemme know if this makes sense. I’m sure someone else will stop by with ideas soon.
It is very common for paddlers to remove the stock seats in NDK boats and replace them with foam seats. I happen to like the carbon seat that came in my Elite Romany.
Which foam seat does the boat now have? Many like the Redfish seat. I am particularly fond of the previous seat in RM Avocets.
Considering the number of stock seats cut out of Explorers, you should be able to find one very cheap and glass it in, if that is your best solution.
You can try…
elevating the front of the foam seat a bit. That might solve your problem. Some times flat seats put a lot of pressure on your lower butt - depending how you are built. I find that the upward slant of a seat gives me a lot more comfort because it cradles your thighs a bit. It's all subjective. but you can try that first. If you sit on the floor in your paddling position, your lower butt is on the floor. For extended comfort you would want a shape that travels upward and takes the load off the part that is touching the floor.
As far as installing a glass or plastic seat, unfortunately you would have to be fairly handy with fiberglass etc. Just by asking the question I would suggest finding a foam one that feels good to you. That can be glued to the floor of the boat. First you can try it to see how it feels.
It's not wether the seat is hard or soft, it's the shape and wether it fits you nicely.
Many people don't lke the stock half-ass NDK seats.
Necky’s new seats
I was pleasantly surprised by the seat Necky is now using in their composite Chathams. Offers good support under the thighs, is compact, not over designed and seemed comfortable for the length of time I was demoing a Chatham. If it is sold as an aftermarket product it would take a little engineering to adapt it to other boats, but could be done.
a Kajaq Sport seat in my Explorer. Got it from Newfound Boat works.