Under Thigh Support

Has anyone tried to make a bean bag or something similar as an under thigh support? I am thinking of tring to make a cylinder about sixteen inches long and about four inches in diameter. I am thinking about differant types of materials. Maybe some sort of netting and I dont know about the beans, they would have to be something that did not absorb water and something that would not be damaged by water.

Happy Paddling,


tried various minicell underthigh suppor
then figured out what the problem was. What kind of seat do you have?

How long forward?
Are you thinking of something that would support your thighs for just a couple of inches in front of the seat, or something that would go further and accomodate some noticeable rise of your thigh? If so how tall would it have to be vertically as it went towards the front (bow)?

Reason I ask is that I’ve seen a number of things done to extend support beyond the seat front in NDK boats because the glass seat tends to be very short front to back. But especially in the LV like mine, the accomodations I’ve seen didn’t have to account for much of a rise in height if any because the deck is faurly low. So they may not work as well for your situation.

Knee Support…
Just use your thermarest…A rolled T rest is 20" wide and rolled up, all you need for support…not thick enough? Open the valve a few seconds and partially inflate…

Another option: a Minicell tube wrapped around 2 Nalgene bottles…Water storage AND support…

Dual use for everything, that’s the ticket!

I Have The Standard Seat
I find the standard seat comfortable and no real complaints. I am thinking of a small roll or cushion just in front of the seat. The standard seat has a pad and a low back rest made out of the same pad material and in fact all that works fine. My legs are rasied a bit and splayed out. I have good but not tight contact with my thigh pads. After paddling awhile my legs feel like they could use a bit of support.

Happy Paddling,


Commercial alternative
Sealine makes an inflatable unit which is basically a very short, thick T-Rest. A bit pricey, but it is adjustable and comfy.

Before I bought one I used 1) a sculpted piece of minicell, 2) a partially inflated dry bag, and 3) a T-Rest stadium seat rolled up.

There is no reason that your beanbag idea should not work. Try a yardgoods store for a source of beans.


standard seat in what?

Minicell Knee Blocks
Add some minicell to the outside of your knees to support your knees into the thigh braces. Not sure if it’ll work for you boat but I have them in all of my whitewater boats and makes a big difference and doesn’t get in the way of a quick exit.

Pool Noodle
The fat ones-under $5 at Wally world-cut to desired length.


Standard Seat
in a QCC 700.


those extra large pool noodles
While I don’t really experience the leg fatigue thing (even) with the wide plastic america I’ve seen folks use those 6" wide pool noodles sanded to fit.Seemed like a relatively cheap way to experiment.

use the pool noodles for feedback
move them around to get an idea of what feels good then try some permanent improvements.

the suggestion for outside thigh support is a good one. You may find that support is just as useful as straight under thigh support since it’ll reduce some tension in your legs.

Consider removing whatever kind of pad is there and velcro on a thermarest sport seat, then deflating until it’s almost flat.

Heel stops,try some method of blocks so your heels can rest/push and not just the balls of your feet on rudder/footbraces. Maybe a block or two of 3" minicell cut to a tapered wedge down to 1/4" for your heel to rest on and push against. That also may remove unnecessary postural tension.

Several Great Ideas
I will try several of them to try and see what might work. The pool noodles seem like a cheap and easy try. The knee side support sounds like it might also help, and I have mini-cell left over from some other mods. And I can see how heal suppors or blocks could help.

thank you all for your ideas,


Styrofoam packing peanuts

outside thigh
see what it’s like to put a noodle against the front corners of the seat so your leg has something to fall against when the kayak is leaned.

Before you add pads
Ditch that combo seat/pad thing Phil sent you with the boat and put in a real backband. IR Reggie or NSI WW. I think several 700 owners here can back me up on this outfitting suggestion.

That garbage sling seat forces you to slouch/lean back (it may feel fine - but it ain’t!) - this posture then creates a host of other issues.

A good low backband will give you solid support if and when needed - but will encourage you to sit upright or forward a bit and stay off off it as well while paddling. The improved posture (once you adapt) will stabilize your lower body should remove this feeling of wanting support under your thighs.

Paddle just sitting on the bare seat pan with the new backband for a while to get it right (as low as you can get it to ride). Then see of you still need a thigh cushion.

I the meantime - move your foot pegs back one notch, sit more upright/forward and try that for a bit.

Maybe even take the whole seat pad/sling out and paddle on bare seat pan with no back support at all for a bit to see what good paddling posture should be. This will also show you if you need to strengthen some core stabilizers and that the slingback seat was masking. If paddling without back support is uncomfortable/hard/painful/tiring - you need to work on you - not buy more cushions.

FYI - I tried the SealLine cushion and a few other things before I worked my outfitting out to where they were simply unnecessary. More trouble than they’re worth in my case. After the backband swap and some more time in the boat I forgot all about any thigh issues.

Another thing that seems to remove the need for thigh support is going with a full foam foot rest surface instead of pegs (a big part most discomfort issues) - but you rudder folks will just have to suffer on that one.

Another thing altogether…
Try moving your foot pegs back towards you a click or two…

Two liter Coke bottle will work as an exp. for lengthening the seat but I bet that is not what is causing problems.

Ditto on Grayak
I’ve got a 700 and did exactly what grayak did, in fact thanks again for emailing me photos of how you did yours, the reggie REALLY makes a differance! The seat pan works fine without any padding. Do like he said and just take it out with no back band and you’ll really feel how bad of a seat comes with it.


Hey Mark

– Last Updated: Mar-23-06 5:49 AM EST –

I did the pool noodle thing in my beginner boat. The Tempest comes with adjustable thigh support. I can't help but think in the near future all kayaks will have some kind of adjustable thigh support.

In the bicycle world there are many kinds of saddles to choose from and many ways to adjust the fit. The kayak world has some catching up to do. (I think Pat may play a part in that).

Another comfort fix I do is a block of foam supporting some weight at the calves / ankles. When I get tired of it being in the same place I'll move it a little forward or a little back.

Maybe Solved
I don’t remember ever having an issue before recently and just figured I was getting older and more prone to minor issues. Patrick posted something that got me thinking. I made a couple of changes recently and deceided to try and reverse some of those. I added some extra, (about an inch and a half), thigh support a couple of months ago and I placed a six inch mini cell block in front on my foot pegs to mount a pump in. I also, Maybe Key, moved my foot pegs forward as I thought with the extra padding I’d be more comfortable with my legs a little less bent.

I went out last night and adjusted my pegs back as they were before the extra mini cell. I did not get a long paddle in but after an hour and a half and completeing my six mile course, no problems with my thighs or knees.

Kris, I’ll try removing the back brace and maybe the entire seat pad also this weekend and see what that does. So happens I have a piece of a pool noodle in the shed that I had used for a project and Ive cut a piece to bring along on the next paddle.

thanks all,