I recently purchased a Necky Elaho. I love the kayak, except for one component…the seat. As you might guess, my feet are going numb, and I find the back rest to be way too low. I find myself leaning forward, as leaning against the backrest provides little support.
So, I know that some folks modify their seats, experimenting with what makes them comfortable. Two questions: Is there an aftermarket seat that folks really like…as I’d go down that road before carving things up. Second, if not, then are there modifications that typically resolve this issue. For example, more bucket in the seat, more tilt forward, more padding on the buttocks. And what about the back? I sure would like a higher backrest. Thanks in advance for your constructive input. Best, David
Back rest ?
we don’t need no stinkin’ back rest. I don’t know the Elaho seat intimately but “backrest” are mis-named. Generally what you need is support on your lower back-pelvic-lumbar area, not higher up on the back. Sit up straight when you paddle not laid back like you were watching TV in your Lazy-Boy
I just bought an older Necky Zoar Sport
and the seat back is actually too high, especially to do the sweep roll I’m learning.
I’m looking to modify mine to a back band or whatever. Spoke with the dealer about this Friday. Are you sure you want a high back?
Leaning forward is a good thing
I have a Necky Looksha Sport it used to have the hard seat back which on land and leaning back was quite comfy but for paddling it promoted terrible posture. The first guy was right “you don’t need no stinking’ backrest”. Now you shouldn’t be hunched over the foredeck but you should be leaned slightly fore. But like everything else it comes down to what YOU want. Leaned back “easy chair” style is great for putzing around the pond but for truly involved paddling it just isn’t the best way.
The back band is only for very low support. Most often you should not be leaning against it.
I’ve an original model Elaho (drop skeg poly) and it came with a Bomber Gear backband - very nice! One of the first North American touring boats to come with a white water back band.
Though I now mostly paddle my Valley Aquanaut, my Elaho is unbeatable for ease of laying out on the rear deck. The coaming is lower than the deck so one can layback without the coamng cutting into ones spine.
Elaho: Backrest & Seat
Just over a year ago, I broke my back pretty severely. Having the additional support just a bit higher feels good. It’s not a question of sitting in a barco lounger, reclining while paddling, rather as I’ve paddled other kayaks since my purchase, I’ve notice the hit my back just a bit higher, and are therefore more comfortable.
I noticed no feedback on the seat portion of my original question. Anyone have thoughts… Thank you.
Glad to hear you’re back out there.
Should’ve mentioned the special circumstances of your problem, I wouldn’t have given you the old “you don’t need no stinkin’ backband” comment. Obviously it will be important to get good support.
I hope you get it worked out.
Give it time
While I’m not about to try to tell you what’s best for your back, you’ll probably find that you get used to the lower back band over time, as you develop more strength in your abs and hip flexors and your paddling posture changes. I suggest that you don’t make any irreversible modifications.
As for your seating discomfort, many people find that additional thigh support helps. You can test this by using your paddle float as a makeshift thigh rest. If it works, make a foam pad that you can mount in front of the seat.
Seat Unhappiness with Necky Elaho
Thanks for the suggestion. As I have been surfing the web, I did come across a company that made such an item. I will take your suggestion, and if it works, I’ll make or purchase something. Thanks again.
The first place to go for that is more support under you just ahead of the seat, as from bnystrom. If you find that you ultimately want to buy a big block of foam and carve it, Weldwood cement (in the red can) available at places like Lowe’s etc will work. Great seal, can be remove with acetone which I think is also safe for your boat.
You may also want to try out a thin foam padk to put directly under your sit bones. Various manufacturers have them and it’s not an expensive experiment. You may have some sciatica going on that is separate from your more significant back problem, though possibly a result of the likely irregular posture that you may have been vulnerable to while you were recovering.
Congrats and many kudos for being back in the boat - that is a hell of a recovery to go thru. I suspect that most don’t work nearly as hard as you must have.
Seating is a really individual thing.
Personally, I can't get comfortable in any kind of bucketed seat, and prefer a simple flat, hard rectangle. Don't be afraid to modify your boat--try the extra under-thigh support, then if that doesn't work, rip the whole seat out, You can build a new seat using thin layers of sticky-backed foam. Once you've figured out what shape and height work for you, you can carve a new seat in your ideal shape from a thick block of foam and glue it in.
If you still have contact with a physical therapist, you might want to show him/her the seat and ask for advice, since this person knows your body and your injury pretty well.
Necky must have heard from
more than a few unhappy customers.
The company offers a complete re-do seat that addresses the seat itsself and the back band …for only $120. (Isn’t that a bargin!!!makes one wonder why they simply don’t offer the ‘good seat’ in the boat the first time out.)
djonathang, here are my experiences with the Elaho
As far as the seat issues go, I have had no problems with it so far (2 1/2 years). So I’m sorry that I cannot give you any help there.
The feet going numb part, I’ve been told a cheap fix is some people put a small folded towel underneath their thighs right at the end of the seat and this raises their thighs enough to help the foot numbing problem.
Backband- Can’t give you any help here either, due to I dropped my backband down a couple of inches because I did not like it so high.
Necky Tahsis owner
I have a 2003 model. It has more of a Whitewater racheting backband adjustment and the seat coaming is significantly lower than the deck. If your seat has the “Woopie” cushion configuration you may want to remove the Woopie cushion to lower your center of gravity and hence raise your backband poistion. This boat is a joy to roll into a layback position…Good luck
clcboats.com has a tractor seat that is unbeatable. I’ve been building boats for years and that seat is just right (for me).
Necky to the rescue
Fellow Necky owner -who called the factory and was told about the $120. upgrade-recieved an e-mail from Neckey who offered to send a fix for the seat problem. Seems the $120. seat won’t even be out for another month and will be in all the new neckys. They are aware the seat poses a problem…especially for folks over 40 and folks with back problems.