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

Numb Feet / Legs

11 years 9 months ago - 11 years 9 months ago #3202 by Paul101
Numb Feet / Legs was created by Paul101
I recently got a Fenn Elite but am finding that after about 20 mins my right foot starts going numb then eventually my whole leg, which becomes painful after a while.

I have tried adjusting the pedals a bit shorter and added a 1cm pad in the seat, with holes cut in it to relieve the pressure areas. This has helped but not enough so that I am able to spend over an hour in the boat without having to stop and dangle my legs in the water to get some life back into them. Paddled a few different ski's before this and never had this issue.

Would stretching or gym work (bigger Gluteus Maximus for more padding) help?

Any suggestions welcome.
Thanks

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11 years 9 months ago #3203 by rojo
Replied by rojo on topic Re:Numb Feet / Legs
Gotta be a 'feature' of the Fenn bucket. I am experiencing the same problem.
A seatpad with simple holes did not help much but when I put a chamfer on the edge of the holes the situation improoved enough to make longer paddles a bit more enjoyable.
I have not found the perfect seat setup for really long sessions yet but have not completely lost my hope.
Looking forward to hear of other solutions.

cheers

Rolf

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11 years 9 months ago #3205 by Chasp
Replied by Chasp on topic Re:Numb Feet / Legs
Yep - same problem here for me too - I have moved from two other single ski's and a double to a Fenn Mako 6 and haven't had this problem before - except in my K1 Jaguar where I don't last very long with numb feet and legs. It appears to be a problem with the Fenn bucket then as it occurred immediately after acquirng this ski.
A colleague of mine who is a top placed Coast to Coast competitor here in NZ plus numerous international multisport races as part of Steve Guerneys team where he has paddled numerous boats has never encountered this numb problem until he got a Mako 6 ??
Solutions would be grateful

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11 years 8 months ago #3209 by nell
Replied by nell on topic Re:Numb Feet / Legs
Paul101, gym work probably won't help, but lunge or leg press exercises might not hurt. Did you ever see the "King of the Hill" episode where Hank Hill was prescribed butt implants for DGS, aka Diminished Gluteal Syndrome? So, strap-on's or silicone butt injections might work - I need them too.

I don't think the problem is specific to the Fenn seat bucket shape but think that it's because of the narrowness or non-flatness of the bottom of the seat buckets on most all racing skis like the Fenns, V10's, etc. Because the seats are getting lower and lower, they are becoming more rounded at the seat bottom - essentially following the curve of the hull.

When you've got "DGS" and wide hips, your greater trochanters are pressure-ing against the sides of the bottom of the bucket. Right underneath and medial to the greater trochs is the sciatic nerve and that's the likely point of irritation, i.e. not the ischial tuberosity (sit bones). So, cutting the common two holes in the seat pad won't help if the point of pressure is out by the hip.

The only solution that I've found is to think about making your seat pad one that flattens out the curve on the bottom of the seat bucket. It should be thicker in the middle and taper to be thin on the sides. Also, it should not extend up the sides of the seat bucket where it could pressure the underside of the hips.

The Custom Kayaks seats in the Mark 1 and Icon were pretty flat on the bottom of the seat bucket and a great shape for those of us with DGS and wide hips. I paddled the newer synergy the other day which is very similar to the Icon, only with a much lower seat. With a 2 cm seat pad, I was lifted off the seat bottom and comfortable. Without any seat pad, I was feeling a bit of hip pinch - just like I do in the v10, mako6, and mako elite. The manufacturer's fix, of course, is to raise the seat and make it flat on the bottom, but then we paddlers would complain that it's too unstable . . .

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11 years 8 months ago #3213 by Paul101
Replied by Paul101 on topic Re:Numb Feet / Legs
Thanks Nell, it makes sense that flattening out the bucket with foam could help - I'll give it a try this weekend. I was very comfortable in a Surf70 Pro, so am going to see if it is possible to mold a seat pad to approximate it's seat shape.

I also came across an article on the subject (see below link) that recommends stretching as a solution to the root cause of the problem. I am going to give that a try as well but suspect that it'll be a while before results (if any) become apparent.

www.tumtum.com/kayak/equipment/KayakComfort.shtml

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11 years 8 months ago #3223 by Tim
Replied by Tim on topic Re:Numb Feet / Legs
I spent a month trialling a V10 and Fenn Elite swapping between the two.
The Fenn did my head in at first...5 minutes and I couldn't wait to get out of the thing to get some feeling back in my feet. I played around and found by changing the angle of the foot peddles so they weren't as upright improved things.:)

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11 years 8 months ago #3228 by Chasp
Replied by Chasp on topic Re:Numb Feet / Legs
Hey thanks Tim - did you need to move the pedals towards you a notch or two before you altered the angle of them forward, as I would assume the forward angle on the existing notch may make the pedals harder to reach or push off from ??

Charles

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11 years 8 months ago #3229 by Tim
Replied by Tim on topic Re:Numb Feet / Legs
The solution came about because I was too lazy to adjust the rudder cables as well as the heel pad when I borrowed it to paddle the first few times. So to answer to your question the heel pad was set to a position that was comfortable for me and then the peddles were set away from me. Pressure on the rudder peddles is only light if at all while paddling in a straight line so having the angle less upright was no big deal. I'm only talking mm not cm but it certainly helped the pins and needles and didn't effect steerage.

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11 years 8 months ago #3257 by AdamV10L
Replied by AdamV10L on topic Re:Numb Feet / Legs
Just to add anotjer perspective.
I used to get a numb left leg paddling my old spec ski which I thought was a result of my first hip resurfacing opp and the scar tissue etc.

With my right hip due for the same opp I feared that I would be unable to paddle so I tried a few different ocean skis.

To my surprise I found that I can paddle with great comfort in an epic V10 seat without any numbness or pain.

I also tried a Fenn Mako 6 and whilst it was better than the spec ski my left leg still went numb.

In contrast to the flatter seat improvement found by others, I have found that the more of a curve and snug sides actually creates a more even spread of pressure over my two scar areas and is far more comfortable.

My advice is that as we all appear to have different shapes or needs the best approach is to spend at least 1 hr paddling a ski before you chose which one suits you best. No point being in pain if you dont have to.

For those that already have a ski that gives them pain, try all the options in these posts and if still not satisfactory, consider trying another ski.

Im now 12 months post opp on the right leg and can paddle up to 2 hrs with no numbness or pain. Beyond 2 hrs Im not sure or fit enough to find out.

Spending time finding the right shape worked for me.

Adam

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11 years 8 months ago #3265 by topher1966
Replied by topher1966 on topic Re:Numb Feet / Legs
:( When you talk about changing the leg length do actually mean to shorten it? I am in real bother and cant paddle more than half an hour without bad back pain and numbness in the leg etc. Has anyone experienced this and found a solution. I was recently chatting with a well known Epic legend who advised me to shorten my leg length. This had worked for himChecking this with my Physio he agreed that mechanically for my lower back this was a better position. Comments, thoughts, solutions sought please."My new Mako 6 is still very new" :blink:

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11 years 8 months ago #3266 by garykroukamp
Replied by garykroukamp on topic Re:Numb Feet / Legs
I had a similar problem in a K1 on the (very) long Berg River Marathon, with pressure on my sciatic nerve. I shortened my leg length, which made it worse, I think because this meant there was more pressure on the sciatic nerve directly. So if the problem is the lower back, then try shortening and if it is direct pressure on the nerve from the ischial tuberosity, then try lengthening. The foot pedals angled towards the paddler would tend to put the sciatic nerve under more stretch, so try angling them forwards.

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11 years 8 months ago #3270 by topher1966
Replied by topher1966 on topic Re:Numb Feet / Legs
Ok tx for that.....i dont think mine is because of direct pressure. I have definitely tried my leg on the longer setting already which is where it is set now....i hope to try the shorter setting in the coming weeks.

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11 years 8 months ago #3271 by thebigadski
Replied by thebigadski on topic Re:Numb Feet / Legs
I just thought I would share my experience with this issue, painful that it is....

I too suffered terribly from numb legs, training for the Avon Descent here in WA a few years back. Although I had this issue in only 2 boats I was paddling at the time, a plastic surf ski (Finn Endorfinn) and my Hayden Spec ski.

However when I paddled an ocean racer I had no issue as the seat was smooth with no contour unlike what I found in the surf ski's where both seats seam to try and mould around your under thigh & buttocks - not necessary if you have a boney arse like mine!

The solution - the idea was to lift up the centre part of my groin to try and relieve the pressure that was cutting off the nerves in the glute. I did this by moulding a piece of firm 1.5 inch foam. (approx 20cm long, 8cm wide) and placed it into the middle of the seat. In conjunction with a standard foam seat pad with pelvic bone cut outs this lifted your perineum up and relieved pressure off the nerves.

I'll try and post a photo if people are more interested.

Now I only paddle an ocean racer and have never experienced it since......thank f.....!!!!:woohoo:

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10 years 10 months ago #4094 by AntonH
Replied by AntonH on topic Re:Numb Feet / Legs
I would love to see the photo you referred to. I am desperate to find a solution that works for me.

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8 years 11 months ago #10105 by Ralapraic
Replied by Ralapraic on topic Joust with kaput, honourable a assay
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8 years 10 months ago #10513 by Kneewall49
Replied by Kneewall49 on topic Re: Numb Feet / Legs
As a member of the senior or rubber loving ranks, I'll put my two bobs worth in.

I've paddled Fenns since giving up brown water, XTs, 6s and now the SF. I have been a major customer of Clark Rubber for quite sometime.

I currently have my SF set up and very comfortable, after an initial period of some weeks with both leg and feet nodding off on me. I have the standard rubber seat pad fitted and found that the further back I put it ie approx, 3/4 to the back 1/4 to the front works for me. The further towards 50:50 makes the forward edge of the pad do something to my cause the leg/foot sleep issue.

However recently I also bought a Epic double. All my Epic mates crow on about Epic vs Fenn seats and how the Epic is so much better.

Anyway with the same setup crossed over to my Epic, my foot went to sleep after 15min? So last weekend I tried a different tack and cut some rubber out that was perhaps only about 10cm long (front to back) same normal pad width, and positioned this from the lowest point on the seat, back aft.

This means I sit on the narrow (10cm) rubber strip, not a large round or bum shaped pad. Sort of like sitting on a very thing 4 inch wide plank.

I raced 15km with this reduced size pad last weekend and I had no issue at all! found it very comfortable.

So I'm thinking that I've been sitting on too much pad, and the pad at the front of the seat is not required, and causing some iusue with nerves or arteries flowing to the leg.

Who knows? It's working for me currently.

Northern Beaches, Australia.
[Fenn Swordfish, Fenn Spark, Carbonology Zest Double
Pain is temporary, glory can be even less so...

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8 years 10 months ago #10520 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: Numb Feet / Legs
Did you try the Epic without a seatpad first?

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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8 years 10 months ago #10527 by Kneewall49
Replied by Kneewall49 on topic Re: Numb Feet / Legs
Yes, but Having a skinny arse I need something to stop we rolling around like a cherry in a bowl. Plus the extra height is useful due to my poor paddle posture.

Northern Beaches, Australia.
[Fenn Swordfish, Fenn Spark, Carbonology Zest Double
Pain is temporary, glory can be even less so...

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8 years 10 months ago #10628 by Pirroo
Replied by Pirroo on topic Re: Numb Feet / Legs
I live in perth and own a fenn elite, i find the elite's seatwell can get tiring and sore especially after long paddles. I find myself constantly changing my seating position/posture from leaning forward and power stroking, to relaxing more and leaning back because sitting in the one position can get painful after a while.

I'd like to get a seat pad to see how it works for me but what is more frustrating than all that is.. Theres no bloody place that sells them in Perth. Ocean paddler has closed down on canning hwy. Any from P-town know of a place that sells decent seat pads? Its either that or i think i'll take someone aboves advice and take a trip to clark rubber and see what i can fashion.

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8 years 10 months ago - 8 years 10 months ago #10629 by wags
Replied by wags on topic Re: Numb Feet / Legs
Hi Pirroo

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Roger Aspinall sells a range of Kani seat & back pads by mail order. I'm in Nth Freo and got my order in a few days.

Cheers

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