× Tips and techniques for getting the most out of surfskiing.

Lower-back abrasion

4 months 3 weeks ago #37867 by mrcharly
Lower-back abrasion was created by mrcharly
So - with more exposed legs in surfski, and the onset of colder weather, I've taken to wearing wetsuit trousers combined with thin wool baselayer and a cheap cag.

It is very versatile and I find it is working fine down to temperatures of 0-5 C.

Unfortunately, my wetsuit trousers are rubbing a bit against my lower back. Top gradually works out, then the seam rubs. 

Did 2 hours gentle paddling yesterday and I have a weal across lower back that will take days to heal.

Any suggestions? I have a number of thin lycra cycling tops, was thinking of wearing one of them over the merino top.

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4 months 3 weeks ago #37869 by waverider
Replied by waverider on topic Lower-back abrasion
I had that with neoprene paddling shorts. Switched to vaikobi v cold and problem went away and they are way more comfortable, not too hot in summer either

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4 months 3 weeks ago #37870 by kwolfe
Replied by kwolfe on topic Lower-back abrasion
I’ve had the same issue. When that sweat dries in those pants it’s like sand paper.  I wore a cheap, thin pair of Lycra shirts under the neoprene pants.   Could also get a stick of Body Glide and rub it around before you get in the water.  I used one when my first wetsuit was chaffing my neck. 

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4 months 3 weeks ago #37872 by zachhandler
Replied by zachhandler on topic Lower-back abrasion
I have heard / read Oscar comment on this several times. He says he gets frustrated if he gets chafing there because it means he is using less than perfect technique. Obviously poor posture can worsen it. I heard that Oscar says too early leg drive can be the culprit - if the leg fires before the blade is fully locked then pelvis goes backwards and grinds the seat. Personally  when I catch myself pressuring the back of the bucket I try to sit a little more on the front “uphill” portion of the seat. I also think about using the paddle to actually pull my pelvis forward, pulling pressure into the footplate. That is probably not what I am actually doing but that is how I imagine it.

Have you ever paddled a north american canoe? The type where you sit on a seat that is about a foot off the floor? Where I live that is the main type of boat people race. In the racing models the seats are clamped onto two rails that run in the bow to stern direction. If you remove the clamp the seat can slide freely fore and aft. Most of us find that if we remove the clamp the seat gets pushed back with each stroke, which is a sign of imperfect technique. If the seat is getting pushed back it means energy is going in to the back of the seat rather than into the paddle or forward through the feet. I thing the same principle applies in a ski. 

anyway try changing your clothes and maybe lengthen footplate a notch but you could also see if technique adjustments help. 

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4 months 3 weeks ago - 4 months 3 weeks ago #37873 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Lower-back abrasion
Interesting comments there, Zach.

I'll try to pay attention to the rotation and ensure I'm not driving myself back into the back of the bucket.

In another place, it was suggested that rolling down the top seam of the wetsuit trousers can help.

Never had the opportunity to paddle a north american racing canoe. Always wanted a go in a J203 or similar.

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4 months 3 weeks ago #37875 by agooding2
Replied by agooding2 on topic Lower-back abrasion
I use the Vaikobi pants and shorts with a synthetic top and windbreaker but I also make an effort to sit upright, so not sure which it is.  A pair of lycra shorts underneath the pants may also help with chafing if they come up high enough.

Nelo 550L, Think Fit, Nelo Viper 55

Braca XI 705 EL blade, 17K shaft
Braca XI 675 marathon blade, 19K shaft
Braca IV 670 soft blade, 19K shaft

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4 months 2 weeks ago #37887 by jodiec
Replied by jodiec on topic Lower-back abrasion
I have a pair of prototype pants from Zenith Sport Sciences in Australia which are a 2.5mm blind stitched and seam sealed neoprene pants and absolutely love them. No rubbing as back of pant is designed for paddling not just a generic water sport pant. I used them all winter and the quality was great. Ultra stretch I believe the neoprene is. No seam down back of pant either so no chance of rubbing. Maybe contact them and see where their pants are at. 

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4 months 2 weeks ago #37891 by Arcturus
Replied by Arcturus on topic Lower-back abrasion
If the chafing occurs only after the shirt has come out of the pants, then the simplest fix would be to wear a longer shirt, one without any seams that could irritate that area. Make sure it is long enough and has enough slack that it won’t pull out from your body motions.

I used to feel the cold, damp so-called backband, or sometimes the sprayskirt tunnel, against my skin when a too-short shirt would  ride above my pants. I wore a longer shirt next time, but the best solution was to wear a Farmer Jane (no gaps). Better yet—a longish shirt UNDER the FJs. The stretch and snugness of the FJ kept the shirt from riding up.

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4 months 2 weeks ago #37916 by Epicpaddler
Replied by Epicpaddler on topic Lower-back abrasion
Mrcharly,

I just got a new pair of paddle pants for Christmas that might be the best thing I've tried so far for cold water paddling. Santa brought be a 3mm pair of thermal pants from a new company called Giantfish. They are designed by a surfski paddler for surfski paddlers. Super comfortable, warm, flexible, and most importantly do no inhibit leg drive and rotation. They are higher in the back with super soft neoprene. I wore a 2mm Mocke neoprene paddle shirt that overlapped nicely. Temp was 34f (1.1 C). Water temp 42F (5.5 C). This is the best combo I've found (for ME) for athletic winter surfski paddling.

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4 months 1 week ago #37933 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Lower-back abrasion
Update:
I'm now wearing a cycling top over my thermals. This has two benefits:
  • The top is very snug and stops thermals from riding up.
  • The length and smooth surface mean that I don't get rubbing from the wetsuit trousers.
No abrasion problems since I started wearing this.

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4 months 2 days ago #37959 by feeny
Replied by feeny on topic Lower-back abrasion
Vaseline helps too - especially whilst it's raw. The mocke equinox neoprene pant are also very good, as they have an extremely high waist line - they go half way up to my armpits! But, they are only a 1mm I think.

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