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Old 03-14-2012   #1
Ogden, Utah
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 44
High back band for better lower back support?

A quick backround- recently, I had a herniated disk in one of my lower vertabrae which, through X-ray, also confirmed severe arthritis in my lower 4 vertabrae, I've read that a sciatica can develop from this condition as well; I'm only 34 and I want to keep ww kayaking, but I need better back support promoting better boat-posture. Any good products you've come across that could help? I've come across some touring boat seats with high back pads I could butcher and make work I guess.( has a "GTS sport" might work)

A little more info, I'm one of those people with short legs, long torso(6'1" w/32" inseam) so good back support has always been an issue. I've decided to stay off the hard-core stuff, like IV-'s and up, which I haven't had much time on anyways, so it's not that big a deal for me to stick to the more low-stress runs.

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Old 03-14-2012   #2
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 122
I had l5-s1 fusion 2 years ago. Still paddle though and ski. A high back band is a good idea however they tend to slide down my back as I paddle. My best advice is strengthen your core everyday. That should go a long way to protecting your back. Other than that you can just try to manipulate your set up to meet your needs.

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Old 03-14-2012   #3
WetExit's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 72
No experience in this, so my answer is pure speculation: Maybe try wearing a kidney belt under your gear? I know a few motorcyclists with lower back pain that find some relief from the extra support.
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Old 03-14-2012   #4
bobbuilds's Avatar
x, x
Paddling Since: x
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,634
What kind of boat do you paddle? assuming it is a playboat/jackson...

I find the ropes to dig in more than ratchets, up grade to a ratcheting system
and consider a custom back band with mini cell foam.

remove the factory backband foam, reinforce the factory plastic bb to a larger and longer piece of plastic (bottom of flat hulled broken boat works well)screw or bolt it together and re foam it with contact cement and 1/2 thick mini cell foam. then you can shape the edges and corners with a sure form. you can even add strips of foam to create contour and support. total pro set-up.

then there is a seat like in the old riot 54 pro models. it might be super hard to find but it was a plastic booster seat, it looked like a kids seat. you could retro fit that with a crotch block and build up the back band the same way...

that reminds me. a crotch block is a sure form shaped wedge that you can glue or velcro to your seat between your crotch. It will keep you from sliding forward into your boat and crunching your body.

Also pay attention to your foot block (what kind of boat) but the main thing is to have a solid contact point between your feet at the bow, and your tail bone pressed into the back of the seat. that way you can maintain good posture with your butt pushed out behind you and your back straight.

loosen up your backband in the flats and get out of your boat every so often on long trips to stretch out. i think the mini cell back band will help lots.
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Old 03-15-2012   #5
Ogden, Utah
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 44
I mainly paddled a 2009 WS Diesel 80, play in a LL Bisquit 65, and occasionaly fool around in an old Wavesport Z. The Diesel has, what seems like, the most possibilty customize outfitting- with ratcheting. Not sure if I'll ever get in the Bisquit, again, honestly- playboating always left my back hurting for a couple days.
I like the idea of that 'kidney belt', although it might be uncomfortable on longer floats.
Foot blocks are definately someting I need to pay better attention to, switching around from warm/cold weather and pool/river I always forget about the foot blocks till i'm sliding in.
I'll just have to experiment, thanks for the input
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