Tarpon backband?

My Tarpon’s plastic backrest hits me in exactly the wrong spot and does little good. Can anyone recommend a back band to replace the seat back?

Sit up!
No, seriously.

I left mine stock and left the seat pan unpadded. It was great. Allowed some rotation and super easy on/off in deep water.

I found as my distances increased I was on the backrest less and less. Hardly at all paddling - and only using it while coasting/stopped. The smoother surfaces offered little in the way of resistance and no chafing.

At your height I can see how it could hit at a bad spot. Try to let it angle back more (to move pinch point back - and stay up off it as much as possible.

You could also leave it off for a while and see if that’s OK.

Anything else I’ve seen for seat/backband that is made to fit is it too tall, or too cushy, and will limit paddling technique and cause you other troubles. Others who like floating lounge chairs more than active paddling (most SOT passengers) will certainly disagree.

There is really no way to attach a good solid narrow backband by itself on the stock boat - you’d have to get pretty creative.

Might consider sculpting a wider lower minicell back support - but again - how to keep it in place? Glue and poly and frequent stresses don’t mix.

PFD makes a huge difference with that backrest too. I started out with a Stearns from the sports store that didn’t interfere. The I got a better Lotus vest that was lower in the back and did hot it wrong (but I was mostly off it by then anyway).

Hey String
I’ve heard several folks recommend the Surf to Summit tall seat back. I just looked at their web site though and it looks like they have a bunch of new models. Too many choices!!

seat back
I never switched mine out as it was pretty comfy stock. However, I did use a Surf to Summit Backband (Hawaiin print) in my Scupper Pro and it was the best thing since KY Jelly. Order it without the OK clips so you can clip it into padeyes you’ll mount behind the seat.

I was thinking of a narrow back band
that is about L4/L5 high. I may do some modifying to an OK band.

The Surf to Summit band hit me right in that area when I tried it out on my Tarpon. I ended up using the stock seatback as it caused me no problems and I didn’t have to remember my seat back everytime I went out. Here’s a link.


I always figured
if I had one of the new Tarpons the first thing I would do is toss out the spring up plastic backrest, I see as nothing more than a sales gimmick and a hindrance if diving from the boat and possibly a hazard in rough conditions.

I swear by my thin seat pad and lower back support I use in my Necky Dolphin. It cradles your lower back, holds you in place and keeps you in good alignment. Im pretty sure its a surf to summit (haven’t checked lately) but not a tall one, its only about 10" inches high, not 15" or so inches.



The seat I swear by
Surf to Summit brand Performance series Hi-Tech KHT20

The key is to support you lumbar region of your back and everything else will come into alignment.



me too, I ditched the stock seat on day one!!! I am surprised it took you this long!!!

Seat swap and back issues
I had planned to swap too. Big plastic thing seemed goofy and all the other SOTs had sling seats so that seemed logical.

I kept putting it off (local offerings sucked and couldn’t ID what I wanted online), and as mileage went up I began to see the benefits of the stock setup. By then I’d tried several seats on other SOTs and confirmed the benefits and left it stock and naked.

Counterintuitive at first - verified over 1400+ T160 miles miles (140/120 maybe be different - haven’t used the flip up).

More relevant info: I had pretty bad chronic lower back trouble (Centered around but not limited to L5) then that flared up and left me on my back 2-5 times a year for an average of 4 days each episode. Lots of minor episodes and pain in between. This had been going on for 7-8 years, so not some short term injury/recovery issue. After several hundred miles of paddling on the bare seatpan it lessened dramatically. After 1000 miles it was essentially gone and has not troubled me since. It is clear that upright posture and rotation are responsible (weight was fairly constant through that period) as it was the only change I’d made to lifestyle/fitness then.

I find that a good day paddling
definately helps my back feel better. Unfortunately , they are too few.

but String is pretty Tall and i can see how that thing would hit him in the wrong area… Everything in this world is designed for SHORT folks and that sucks!!!