Surf ski seat.

Do you put anything in the seat, like a pad?How about a back band? I see no evidence of one in any of the videos I’ve watched.

Molded in
My “bucket” is high enough to give me some back support.

I just read that on another site.
My next trick is some seat time , in the living room.

Seat Pad
Depending on the shape of the bucket, you may or may not want/need a pad. One of the best out there is the Lincke pad, available at Oceanpaddlesports, etc.

I find the bare well a bit too slippery; a couple strips of Velcro, fuzzy side out provides just the right amount of friction for me. Plus, you can Velcro in thicker pads for stability training. Paddle with the seat blocked up, and when you pull the pads out, the ski will feel as stable as a dock.

I use a lincke pad…
…in my Fenn and I am very satisfied with it. I purchased mine direct from Lincke,

Mr. Zogs Sexwax
Is what I personally use in the cockpit of my skis. There are many newer wax products on the market now for SUPs like ONIT, which I apply a thin layer to the seat area of my daughter’s Fenn Elite Spark.

For long distance paddling, I prefer a thin foam pad with two, approximately, 2.5" diameter holes to support my butt cheeks. Some paddlers like those thin waffle foam pads (with or w/o holes). Some just polish the seat or sit on a plastic sheet to get the swivel effect.

Back bands or rests are not used, since they might restrict or interfere with rotation and cause abrasion.

seat pan
For mostly flatwater training/races where stability and control is not an issue I wax my surfski pan for better rotation, but use sexwax or a thin pad in conditions, for control, when just staying in the ski is a challenge.

Regarding the OPs question, although a ski has a “bucket” with lower back support, that doesn’t mean that you lean back into the bucket while paddling. When I started on my V12 I was getting serious “rotation burns” from doing this (rotating and rubbing my skin raw against the back of the pan) and Oscar Chalupsky advised me to sit up tall (using the footstraps to help, if necessary) and prevent my back from actually touching the back of the pan. You will be very close, but not touching. This is the same racing advice often given for kayaks, that is, don’t touch the backrest unless you are resting.

Greg Stamer

Back band
I really like surfskis because they’re very efficient SOT’s. Most of my paddling is very casual, haven’t done any racing in several years. I put back bands on mine just 'cuz I like the back support. When I want to speed up or sprint, I lean forward a little bit and come off the band. Never had problems with abrasion, even at a full tilt boogie. I like my back bands.

By All Means Keep Your Back Bands
However, if you do go full tilt for an hour or more with a very rigorous stroke with lots of exaggerated motion, be on alert for possible irritation.

On the other hand, my doctor, installed a seat belt on his ski, above his lap, that keeps him from falling out in heavy seas and makes rolling possible.

Redmond and I are about the same
age and “full tilt” has a much different meaning than it once did. If I go full tilt it takes me a while to untilt.

That’s Why Today
I try to paddle as much as possilble on traditional or older classic surfskis with shallow cockpits in order to develop and strengthen my lower back. I personally feel that paddling, almost exclusively, the deep cockpit skis

contributed to my current back problem. The deep seat, with tall back, acted like a crutch, and my lower back muscles suffered accordingly.