Outfit Your Kayak with Custom Seats and Padding

Kayaking has become one of the most popular ways to enjoy the water, blending exercise with a new perspective on the world; looking out from the water for once, as opposed to looking out to the water. For the most experienced kayakers, their vessels are like an extension of their bodies. The better the fit, the more control they possess over the kayak, and when done correctly, the more comfortable they are as well. But with kayaks generally formed from generic molds, few people fit perfectly into these cookie-cutter shapes for a perfect fit.

For snug comfort that allows them to kayak better and longer, people have turned to foam materials to customize and form-fit the shells to their bodies, giving them better control and support than a stock shell can alone. One of the biggest parts of a custom kayak is the seat, which dictates how high or low you sit, as well as the angle at which you sit. The seat will impact stability and comfort, and in the wrong position, a ride is unsteady and uncomfortable. Custom seats are often made of blocks of cross-linked polyethylene, an extra-firm foam. This foam 4 inch thick block is easily carved and sanded to meet the contours and support needs of your body. A major benefit of creating your own seat over buying one is that you can test as you go. Feel like you sit a little too far forward? Make an adjustment. The seat’s a bit too tight around the thighs? Trim off a little bit. All sides of the foam can be shaped, so you can carve and sculpt the bottoms as well, to fit tightly in the kayak and give you custom-comfort you would pay 10 times more for from a manufacturer.

Foot, hip, and knee padding is important for kayakers too, for comfort as well as control. A loosely-fitting kayak is more difficult to keep control over in a dangerous situation than one you can adjust with leg and body weight movement. Thinly cut sheets of the closed-cell cross-linked polyethylene can add a cushion that makes a kayak more comfortable, and is easy to trim and cut the way you want. Total outfitting of a kayak will result in better maneuverability, and ultimately, better safety. Having the most control over your kayak possible, while being as comfortable as you have ever been, adds up to the best kayaking experience.