View topic - combating leg stiffen/pain after prolonged kneeling

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PostPosted: March 30th, 2019, 10:10 am 
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Remedy #1... paddle close to shore so you can get out often and stretch when needed. Peeing also helps with relaxation.

Remedy #2... if the canoe's large enough, sit down on the bottom with the legs up, pedal the imaginary bicycle. Motorboaters will avoid you after seeing that.

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PostPosted: March 30th, 2019, 12:03 pm 
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I'm loving the great advice and Info and I'm hoping others reading the thread are too. Thank you to all those contributing to this conversation.
Personally I'm viewing this through the lens that I'm going to focus on WW tripping for a number of years to come until my wife says "enough, take me to a quiet lake". The boat we recently bought is outfitted with bow & stern air bags, thigh straps and nice big knee pads courtesy of Mike Yee. If I'm being honest to date I do spend more time on my butt than I do my knees just because of what the body can bear. Having mostly been paddling the drop and pool rivers of Ontario they naturally provides a situations to switch between positions. Heading for Quebec this summer and rivers with long multi-kilometer rapids I'm concerned for my legs. I will definitely start the preparation and heed peoples advice to change positions.

Frozentripper Remedy #2 was definitely a LOL for me

River Rodent Yah, seat placement. So Andy (our canoe builder) is really against bow sliders in a WW boat for safety reasons. Since I have 80 lbs on my wife we worked with him to optimize the fore aft seat placement (as much as possible, a bunch of compromises) so we naturally rode more level in the water. I also asked him about raising my seat but he was really against it for stability reasons. I can at least get my feet under the bench as is. It's not as bad as some boats I've been in.

Red Pine OK, Tia Chi, tried it once. A whole world unto itself. imho

Martin2007 and others have suggested the foam under the ankles. After thinking about it further maybe I'll give that a try but with two separate pieces. I think a continuous piece of foam like a pool noodle would be a safety hazard for me and my big feet.
The rule of thirds is a neat idea. I took a one day course last summer on Canoe Poling. Maybe I'll introduce that as one of the thirds instead of using a SUP paddle. I don't know what it is with me but once I start paddling I don't want to stop. So pulling off for break would fight against my nature. I do occasionally just take a break and stand up in the middle of a lake or river for a few seconds.

Side Note: Yah, Big Bill Mason fan. My parents were not paddler (prairie folk) but I was first introduced to him via his films I saw as a child, Paddle to the Sea and Rise & Fall of the Great Lakes. Memories of watching those films as a child have stayed with me my entire life. I've now purchased all his films on DVD. I make non-paddlers I take on canoe trips watch Path of the Paddle before they go.

Paddle Power Are you suggesting a kneeling chair to use a my desk? Interesting. I used to use an exercise ball at my desk but the company outlawed them after a few people tumble backwards off their balls. I also find excise balls don't allow you skin to breath and it gets sweaty. A WW saddle at home to watch TV on. Another interesting suggestion. That might be a way to experiment with one of those to see if it would be compatible with me on a trip.

open_side_up That's a sad story. Good information about circulation.


Last edited by Dave_k on May 27th, 2019, 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: March 30th, 2019, 12:14 pm 
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Oh, another thought. I realize that some people modify their bench seats and tilt them forward so the seat can take more weight, like a kneeling thwart but I'm not sure how that would feel when you do use that tilted bench seat as a bench seat. My first reaction would be to say not comfortable...but that is speculation on my part.

I had thought that someone would invent a seat that would easily flip between a bench seat and a kneeling thwart. Anyone seen anything like that out there?.......hmmm but thinking about that further. If the front flipped down that would be a foot entrapment issue especially for someone like me..... hmmm, unless the back flip up instead of the front flipping down...... but would that still be effective. You'd potentially sit higher. Now I'm rambling.

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PostPosted: March 30th, 2019, 2:43 pm 
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Canted seats are so much more comfortable to me than flat seats.. Every seat I have is a bench aside from two boat that have only kneeling thwarts and is canted and has been on some 20 canoes for 20 years
What the seat does when tilted is avoid the back of the thigh pinch of sciatica and is far easier on your back.
Never again will I use a flat seat.
Foot entrapment is serious issue but how many of you with sizeable feet have actually done a safe capsize in a safe place and watched how your body and feet twist sideways?


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PostPosted: March 30th, 2019, 5:28 pm 
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Another user of tilted/canted seats, much better than a flat seat for kneeling support or regular sitting. One of my seats in addition to a slight tilt has an rounded/angled crosspiece on the front so that when used to support a kneeling position the angle matches that of my ass instead of a sharp corner.

Personally I only kneel when running Class II+ and up and occasionally on flat water when there are high winds and waves.

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PostPosted: March 30th, 2019, 9:57 pm 
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Kneeling chair at home

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PostPosted: March 31st, 2019, 1:26 am 
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I have this seat in one of my solo boats....https://www.shopswiftoutside.com/contou ... -2018.html .

I kneel on one knee most of the time, switching sides with outstretched leg. Makes a huge difference on my back as well as knees. I also try to pack gear so i can use a drybag as a foot brace. Both knees down when needed.


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PostPosted: March 31st, 2019, 7:50 am 
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Gripe #1... there isn't enough room under the seat for feet to move freely when shifting from kneeling to sitting, and from sitting to kneeling. During warm weather, going barefoot might help make more room under there, but then stable flies will sniff out the bare feet and start biting relentlessly.

Gripe #2... the seat is overbuilt and won't flex when shifting from kneeling to sitting, and from sitting to kneeling. Like sitting on a block of concrete.

Gripe #3... can't sit on the bottom with the back resting on the seat, and feet up on a thwart... whew, what a workout, time to relax. This might seem overindulgent and whimsical to some, but at my age it's quality time.

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PostPosted: March 31st, 2019, 9:31 am 
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littleredcanoe & recped. How many degrees of tilt would you say you have in your bench seats? When you made the adjustment did you raise the back or lower the front or a combination of both to get the tilt on your seats? Did you do some testing on the tilt angle before making it permanent and if so how did you go about doing that?

scoops nice looking shape on the Swift seat. I went to the their website. It looks like Swift mounts their seats level but the fore-aft cross members introduce a slight tilt to the seat. Interesting to see how the shape evolved from the 2017 to 2018 models.


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PostPosted: March 31st, 2019, 9:51 am 
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I removed a kneeling thwart to make room for a DIY adjustable kneeling/sitting block that could be moved front to back, side to side, and up and down, so that when my legs started going numb from kneeling, I could sit higher and farther back from the carry thwart for the sake of leg room.

The top of the block is slightly canted forward, and the front edges are rounded for comfort when kneeling.

A strap on the block passed through a floor mounted D ring keeps the block attached to the canoe, and for portages I just snug it up tight against the floor and leave it in place for the carry.
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This system works well for me. I can sit and kneel comfortably as I choose, and the block can move to either side for heeling the boat, and the wings take only 2 seconds to fold out or in to raise or lower the block.

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PostPosted: March 31st, 2019, 1:47 pm 
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guyfawkes041
that looks like a very interesting arrangement. Thanks for taking the time to attach the images. I don't suspect I would have pictured it properly by words alone.

I'm not sure I follow how the wings come into play? Are they solely for adjusting the height? Your profile picture shows you in moving water. Do you use this system in WW? How far laterally do you move the foam block? Do you need to adjust the strap length to do that?

My eyes picking up other details in the front end of the canoe leave me curious. What I'm seeing along the inside of the bow?


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PostPosted: March 31st, 2019, 2:21 pm 
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Dave_k, yes, the hinged wings serve only to raise or lower the block by 1.25".

When I want (need) to sit to allow more blood flow into my legs, I slide the block away from the carry thwart, back to the thwart that I added after removing the kneeling thwart and rear seat. It gives me about 34" of space for my legs.

That's when I lift my butt and fold the wings under the block for more height. I use a canoe pack tied in just forward of the carry thwart as a foot brace.

I leave the strap under the block fairly loose, and it allows me to move front/back/side/side by lifting my weight off the block and moving it where I want with my hand. I can move it far enough to either side to easily heel my boat if I want to. But, the strap is not so loose that I could get a foot caught under it.

When my weight is on it, it does not move at all, even in rapids. Not even a little bit.

For portaging, I snug the strap tight so that the block wont hang and swing from the boat.

The DIY daisy chain tie-downs in the bow were originally for lacing in an airbag, but I mostly use them to secure the front end of a roll-top waterproof gun case so that I can quickly pull out a short 12 gauge slug gun that I sometimes carry in the bush.

The kneeling/sitting block was originally an archery target that I modified, and it has served me well for many years now. It can be used as a seat around a fire, or as a writing table in a tent as well.

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PostPosted: March 31st, 2019, 3:59 pm 
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Dave_k wrote:
littleredcanoe & recped. How many degrees of tilt would you say you have in your bench seats? When you made the adjustment did you raise the back or lower the front or a combination of both to get the tilt on your seats? Did you do some testing on the tilt angle before making it permanent and if so how did you go about doing that?

scoops nice looking shape on the Swift seat. I went to the their website. It looks like Swift mounts their seats level but the fore-aft cross members introduce a slight tilt to the seat. Interesting to see how the shape evolved from the 2017 to 2018 models.


I mounted mine on my MR Guide with a slight tilt to the bow( even though they have a front down turn) and actually raised the seat a bit. Found that a bit of a tilt did not affect comfort while sitting as i try to keep my feet braced against gear for stability, when things get crappy( exciting) am down on my knees. Experimented with some different thickness hardwood blocks( drilled out to accept bolts) to adjust height. Was going to make permanent hangers but the temps have been in for 8 years. Swift seat has been bullet proof, little signs of wear after hard use.


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PostPosted: March 31st, 2019, 10:24 pm 
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Thanks guyfawkes041 & scoops for the more detailed explanations. I gets me thinking about building something custom.

I still hoping someone to take a protractor to their bench seats and tell me how many degrees are we talking about. 5 degrees or 25 degrees of tilt?


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PostPosted: April 1st, 2019, 9:40 am 
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Same trouble as you.
Stretching/yoga/doing a kneeling stretch indoors with a seat or support of similar height.
Make sure you have good soft pads for you knees both in the boat and indoors (makes a huge difference)
I too only kneel for II plus or II technical.
The pad or small foam under your ankles will help, you will have to play with the placement for you.
Sitting on the floor will create more issues for your back & shoulders if you have a deep canoe.
Footrest adds huge stability.
2 solo boats 3/4 " drop from front to back.
The one seat has a beveled front makes it even more comfy.
10" clearance in the front of the seatfrom the bottom of the boat on one.
9" clearence from the front of the seat, from the bottom of the boat for the other.
The plastic molded seats I have in the discovery are higher than those so it makes a good keeling thwart.
Playing around with all aspects of the suggestions will help you find something that works for you.
Jeff

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