Monday, March 8, 2010

Kayak Back Pain - Why Is Everybody Silent About It?

Just a quick thought -
It took many decades before doctors began investigating the effect of smoking on their patients' health, and it took even longer before a causal link was firmly established between smoking and certain lung and heart diseases.
This is although anyone could see that people who smoked had more breathing and lung problems then those who didn't, and suffered from more heart problems as well as deteriorated health.
In the beginning, cigarette manufacturers promoted their products as being healthy, and later as 'cool', 'in' and socially appealing. The data related to health problems was concealed, and when anyone brought it up, cigarette manufactures would ignore or dismiss it, but that didn't prevent them from offering low-tar, low nicotine and other types of 'healthier' cigarettes that were far from being healthy, unfortunately.

This is reminding of the situation with kayak seats designed for the traditional L kayaking position: Everybody knows they are uncomfortable and cause back pain, and in some cases may even cause certain injuries, but nobody wants to admit it, or investigate it.
Everybody knows there's a link between kayaking and fishing in the L position and leg numbness, discomfort, fatigue and pain. However, that doesn't prevent kayak and kayak-seat manufacturers from offering kayak seats that are promoted as being 'ergonomic', although they don't really solve any problem.
It's possible to say that the equivalent of the 'improved' cigarette filter is the extra padding in the newer, more expensive kayak seats, and the equivalent of the low-tar and 'healthier' cigarette is the 'ergonomic' kayak seat.

Let's say it again: Sitting for long hours in your sit-in or SOT kayak in the L position isn't a good thing for your lumbar spine, your circulation and your well being.
Padded seats won't help you, because the problem isn't related to insufficient padding - It comes from the fact you're locked in a single position and unable to switch to another position, while your legs keep pushing your lower back against the backrest of your kayak's seat.

Don't expect paddling or fishing magazines to expose this story. It won't happen because those publications depend on kayak manufacturers' advertising dollars.


treon said...

kayaking isn't as bad as smoking, but the numbness, discomfort and pain are the signs your body gives you that something is wrong.
Many people get it, and stop kayaking. Others slip into something more comfortable, like a motorboat, or a wavewalk kayak.

Anonymous said...

The author of this thing is promoting wave-walk kayaks but there's nothing wrong with that since that yak works