The ergonomics of a paddler
In order to fully utilise a boat’s potential, a good connection between the sportsman and his equipment is important. Similar to a ski boot when skiing, the seating in a kayak is the key factor which determines whether a paddler’s power is transferred to the boat in an ergonomic, untiring and precise way.
We have measured and questioned paddlers of all shapes on sizes. And we have compared and verified our results and findings with orthopaedists in order to create a seat which directly connects the paddler to the boat but which does not result in a tiring, cramped and forced posture.
That means the pelvis and spine are supported in their upright position (see photos above), because whoever slouches in his kayak with a relaxing curved spine as if on a couch inevitably restricts the radius of movement of his spine – and active paddling becomes almost impossible.
The seat shells of our boats therefore feature horizontal surfaces for the ischial tuberosity – or sitz bone – and are positioned very slightly higher than the heels (because the lower the feet are in relation to the hips, the easier it is to sit upright). The soft but yet stable backrest is height-adjustable so that it can be set precisely to the iliac crest (curved superior border of the ilium).
Our thigh braces are adjustable inwards and outward in order to support the desired width between the knees which promotes comfortable outward hip rotation. The upper legs rest on outer supports (see photo) which optimise power transfer from the body to the boat and in doing so reduce the forces acting on the hip flexor, gluteal muscles and ultimately also on the sciatic nerve. The outer supports also promote better relaxation when in the rest position.
For an untiring posture with a reduced risk of injuries, it is also important that the joints are near to their central position. This particularly applies to the ankles, because in the event of a head-on collision in the boat, these absorb an enormous amount of energy via the footrest.
Such an incident is particularly unpleasant when the ankles are »at the limit« – far away from the central position. And the central position is not basically that when stood vertically (see photo). To visualise the situation, you can lie comfortably on the couch with slightly bowed legs and look at the position of your feet.
Our footrest beds the feet at a relaxing 100° angle to the shinbones and distributes force away from the toes to the entire sole of the foot (see PRO-footrest right). That not only means you are less cramped, but that the ankles can therefore absorb the forces of a blow without pain because they are not overstretched at the outset.
You can adjust the outfittings for best possible contact to your kayak.
Adjust the width of your seat with the hippads.
You can also adjust the width of your footrest!
The thigh braces can be moved.
Loosen the rivet to move the seat along the middle rail.
© 2017 SPADE Kayaks - a paddler owned company.