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Old 03-07-2008   #11
Monroe, Utah
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 137
I've had lower back pain since the 60's until I tried

the paddle abs excercises put on the net by the Longs of Cascade Kayaking school in Idaho. If I do one rep of them per day (5-10 min.) the pain is gone if I miss a few days in a row it comes back. I don't know the web address, but I have them on my web site at click on fitness and look for back pain or excercises. I can't remember exactly. If the site doesn't work try again later. Sometimes I have to kick the old computer's butt to get it running, but during school I keep it going for my classes. I've found too that the more time I spend in my kayak the more my back loosens up. In fact kayaking seems to be the universal cure!! Ron. ps. I just went to the site and it's about like I described there is a link to their page at the bottom. Good luck.

When the river stands in awe of me as I do her, I'll know I'm a kayaker.
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Old 03-08-2008   #12
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
Good boat for bad backs

Years back, I had chronic low-back trouble with occasional acute episodes (transcendent pain, numbness in left leg, etc.) and was really worried about my first few multi-day river trips.

The boat I chose was a Jack's Pack Cat, mostly because Jack and I are amigos, but also because it was really kind to my back. The seating position is similar to a kayak, but the back support is a high-pressure inflatable pillow that can be micro-adjusted both for fullness and fore-and-aft. It's really a great back support. The seat and footbar are adjustable, so the bending angle of your legs can be changed easily, even while you're floating (not the case with most kayaks).

Quite helpful is being able to push against the footbar to keep your back firm against the rear pillow, which is a subtle but excellent bit of exercise.

In any event, I came off my first multi-day paddle trip (Deso) with my back in better shape than at the put-in.

I really love Jack's boats and the bad-back thing is a big reason. For the Grand Canyon (and given a bunch of friends with big support cats) I used a Fat Pack for most of the trip. No back attacks whatsoever.

Click image for larger version

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(photo by Jack Kloepfer)

The photo shows the upright seating position and the comfortable paddling posture. Plus, I'm on top of the boat— cool.

yrs, Chip

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