sore, stiff knees


– Last Updated: Jun-11-09 9:01 AM EST –

Gotta ditch the sandles. Nothing is worse than tevas in a sea kayak, IMO. All sole and no support.

Also, try to remember to do some stretching or yoga every morning or evening. Regular stretching helped eliminate some kayak-induced stiffness I was having in my previously injured knee

It’s amazing sometimes how much the body can adapt to things, and how quickly it can do it. This is my first year with a necky chatham 17, which for me at 6’2" and 215 lbs is quite low volume, and the first 2 trips out in it i could barely get my legs under the thigh braces to hook them in, and my left leg was constantly falling asleep. Now i’m probably 7 or 8 trips in and i seem to have streched out to fit snugly into the space that’s in the boat, and my toes only get a little tingly every once in a while.

Sandals and stretching
Agree with Nate - sandals are a rotten idea in a kayak over long paddling. The straps also represent a a risk of trapping your foot on a corner of the footpeg, even the ones that fit closely and have closed toes like the Keenes. You had some wiggle room for that risk in the rec boat - literally - but not in a full out sea kayak.

As to stretching out in the boat - assuming you have foot pegs that’s the easy part. Drop your feet completely out of the foot pegs every hour for a bit, maybe every half hour while you are still sore, and let your legs lie along the bottom of the boat however they wish.

i think i’ve been
in the boat about 9 times now, and i have to say that i already have noticed the tingling in my feet to be better also. i was talking to someone with some experience today and the place that i paddle is always rougher waters, always a wind. so i am constantly up on the balls of my feet, with my thighs tucked up under the braces… the wind never really falls off where i paddle unless it’s at sundown or sunup. so maybe as i learn more about this type of boat i will learn to use my body to manipulate the boat more than just my feet and thighs…i mean i’m sure i’m doing it more than i am aware. plus i might be tense and just don’t think i am.well, guess i have a lot homework this summer. now i see why people have so many yaks!

Help for knees…

– Last Updated: Jun-13-09 11:22 AM EST –

Good advice above from celia and others regarding contact with braces. I ditched my tevas after 15 minutes in a sea kayak also. One thing I would suggest...I'm 47 with knee issues. My knees bother me a lot when I sit still for long periods of time (airplanes, driving, meetings, dinners, etc). My orthopedist suggested that I do leg lifts (lie on the floor, hands under butt, feet together, raise legs straight and hold a few inches off the ground). This strengthens the muscles around the knee joint, especially lower quads, and helps stabilize the kneecap. I have missing and worn cartilage in the track where the kneecap rides up and down. When there is an imbalance in muscle strength, the kneecap tends to get pulled to one side or the other, causing rubbing/pressure point leading to knee pain. They were a great help to me, and I can paddle for hours without pain. Side benefit is strengthening of core muscles that leg lifts provide to lower abdomen.

Give it a try. Cheap option with only an upside. Carry some advil too. (middle aged vitamins)