Elite Seating Position

9 years 4 months ago #7206 by Riggs
Elite Seating Position was created by Riggs
Hi everyone, need some help regarding the seating position on the Fenn Elite. I recently brought a Carbon Elite and I am having trouble with my left leg going to sleep.

Before buying the ski I paddled a mate's elite and had no problems.

I have paddled my elite about 6 times now ranging from 8 - 14km paddles. The first time was a 14km ocean race and I had no problems at all and felt really good in it. After the first paddle I thought I would experimented with 12mm padding to lift myself higher up to over my stroke more. Well this is when my problems started,after about 3km of paddling my left foot started going numb and soon my entire leg followed by my right. I had to stop, get out and stand up to get feeling back into my legs.

I knew the padding in the seat must have had something to do with my legs going numb so I removed it straight away. I got back into the water and continued to paddle for another 3km where again my left leg started going numb again.

Two days later I again went for a paddle with the padding completely removed. I again got to about the 3km mark and my left leg started going numb. This happen again before calling it a day.

So as you can see I need some help and advice on what has happened and how to rectify my problem if possible. Some advice I have been told is that I may have damaged the thin layer attached to the syadic (spelling!)nerve when using the padding in the seat and that this takes a little time to heal. Can anyone add to that?

I have also heard from other Fenn Elite paddlers that it can take some time to adjust to the Elite. I would like to hear peoples thought's on this.

It may be that my body is just not suited to the Elite, but what I can't understand is how when I first paddled it I had no problems and now I seem to be.

If anyone can offer their advice on the above matter it would be really helpful as I don't want to sell the ski if I can help it.

Cheers

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9 years 4 months ago #7207 by Dicko
Replied by Dicko on topic Re:Elite Seating Position
Try shortening your pedals one notch. It may not be the padding, but rather the height allowed you to sit further back, thus putting more strain on the hamstrings and lower back. Just guessing, but you never know.

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9 years 4 months ago - 9 years 4 months ago #7213 by Rightarmbad
If you were working hard and really using your legs when you raced, that may have prevented the numbness.
A damaged nerve may take some time to recover, so it may well come good in a few days without the pad.(if the pad was the cause)

You may also have got yourself excited with a new boat, paddled more than usual, and now you have tightened up a bit from the extra activity. This now showing as a nerve problem.

So recommendation:

Take a day or ten off.

Stretch everything, taking note of any unusual tightness for future reference.

Remove pad and see if it returns, if it does, it may be a postural thing that developed after a few paddles, only showing it's head after a distance.

Think about using your legs to promote circulation and general movement.

If it does come back, don't keep paddling, stop immediately, it will only lengthen the recovery.


I am not a doctor, but no doctor has ever cured me of anything, only YOU know your own body and activities enough to fix these type of things.

Try the above suggestion of shortening you leg position.
Even if it is only a short term thing to allow you to paddle without making it worse.

If it all fails and it turns out that the boat just doesn't suit you, sell it to me cheap........

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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9 years 4 months ago #7216 by Kayaker Greg
Paddling on an injury will just make things worse, give it a week or two off and try to balance things with some brisk walking, jogging and cycling, plus stretching. This did wonders for me when I was having hip flexor issues. Ultimately I had to change out of my V10L which had the seat hump to high to a Stellar SES. You can do other exercises to help your paddling fitness, plus get some good cardio with jogging or running and cycling.
Also look at making a seat pad to fit your anatomy. I do this with all my boats and the increased comfort and boat control is well worth the effort.

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9 years 4 months ago #7217 by [email protected]
Jamii Hamlin from Cape Town made a seat (resembling a k1 seat) for my red7. Solved the problem of hip pinch and dead leg almost immediately.

Cheers

S.S.

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9 years 4 months ago #7224 by AndrewN
Replied by AndrewN on topic Re:Elite Seating Position
In general, dead leg is not an injury as such but the bottom of your pelvis (butt bone is more accurate) sitting on your sciatic nerve and causing it to go numb.

Most foam pads here in SA have two holes cut out of them so that this doesn't happen to such an extent. Try cutting out two round holes where your bones sit (if you put the pad loosely in the ski and sit on it for 10 seconds and get off and look quickly, you can usually see two indentations.

They don't need to be big - the ones in our foam pads are probably 6 -7cm across.

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9 years 4 months ago #7226 by harryvolting
I too have the numb leg/foot issue in the Elite, and have had for 18 months, albeit with some improvement over time. The seat pad did help me a little, especially with the cutouts to lessen the impact of the pinching of the sciatic. However, the quickest remedy is to arch my back over the back of the seat, stretching my back. Within seconds, I start to get feeling back into the foot. The only drawback is it doesn't last and the exercise has to be repeated probably every ten minutes or so - but it does work.

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9 years 4 months ago #7229 by Robmobius
Replied by Robmobius on topic Re:Elite Seating Position
I have an elite and when I first got it, I almost sold due to numb legs issues. I go numb in almost any boat, k1,k2 surfski single or double. The good news is I have fixed the problem completely, in surfski at least. K1's with their tighter seats are more of challenge.

I tried all the tricks already mentioned. I stretched, more leg drive, less leg drive, peddle angle and so on. What fixed it for me was a home made butt pad creation.

I took pictures while making my creation. If I can find them I will post them hear. Basic premise is to flatten the bottom the bucket so there is less hip pinch. At the same build a ridge in the middle to spread the weight and take pressure of your sit bones and hence the sciatic nerve. With experimentation I have minimised this ridge to the point I hardly notice it and 3 hr plus paddles are comfortable.

WARNING - this will make the boat more unstable.

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9 years 4 months ago #7230 by Kiwibruce
Replied by Kiwibruce on topic Re:Elite Seating Position
I have severe siatic problems when paddling kayaks but am perfectly ok on a ski , I presently have a Think and can happily paddle for hours.I have owned Epics and 2 Honcos with no problems but put me in a Fenn and after 1/2 hour I'm in agony? Solution - dont buy a Fenn , you can do yourself some long term damage.

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9 years 4 months ago #7232 by zachhandler
Kiwibruce - I think your observations are 100% true for you. But someone with a different rump could have the opposite problem and be ok in fenns but not in other boats. My body is probably like yours. Problems in a k1 but none in a think ski.

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9 years 4 months ago #7233 by hobartpaddler
I had the same problem in the Mako 6 bucket... right leg would go numb within half an hour, then the left soon after. Tried a seatpad, realigning pedal angle, changing posture - all with no effect. Have not had similar issues with the XT, Synergy, Uno, or Huki S1-X. It must be specific to the person/body type, as my paddling buds have not had the same issues with the 6.

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9 years 4 months ago #7237 by Gav Needham
I had to change skis, love the Elite but theyre not that fast when you have to stop to get off and get feeling below your waist. The Nelo is the most comfortable ski i have paddled.

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9 years 2 months ago #7484 by Riggs
Replied by Riggs on topic Re:Elite Seating Position
Hi,

I have been trying a few of the idea's people have suggested. The best result I have had is by flattening out the bottom of the bucket with some foam padding. The only thing is I need to try and shape the top surface to suit my bottom a bit better as it is currently flat and my bottom gets sore!

My next idea as other have suggested is to try and fit a K1 seat into the bucket. Any advice on doing this would be great.

Cheers

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9 years 2 months ago - 9 years 2 months ago #7485 by Kayaker Greg
Get your piece of foam and put it in the oven and heat to 140 degrees celcius, get into your paddling shorts, when the foam pad is nice and hot, you might need gloves, place it into your boat in the right position and sit in it until it cools down. The foam will hold its shape to suit your boat and your bum. Remove it and cover it with some 4 way strectchable material to protect the foam and make it slippery for hip movement, spray it with aerosol glue and trim the material, now you can spray the bottom of the seat, let it go tacky and stick it into your boat.

I made mine out of a couple of layers of foam glued together and cut out circles in the bottom layer to accommodate the sit bones, comfort plus!

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9 years 2 months ago #7488 by tony h
Replied by tony h on topic Re:Elite Seating Position
dead legs is frustrating problem & severally compromises paddling enjoyment
as mentioned, it is caused by compression of the sciatic nerve (thickest peripheral nerve in the body - size of a finger).
This nerve is very sensitive to damage & runs on the outside of the butt bones (ischial tuberosity). Any solution would have to involve taking the pressure off this area of your rump while paddling.
My personal remedies are not unique:
- pad up heel area of footrest 1-2cm to decrease stretch of sciatic nerve
- pad up middle of seat 1-2cm to decrease sciatic nerve pressure whilst still allowing rotation on the seat. No one ever gets dead legs on a horse or bicycle saddle so aim for similar principle of pressure area being central. Lifting up any area of the seat may compromise stability.
- try another ski: I always liked the fenn elite but could never get the comfortable with its seat ( subjective experience as Rob says the elite fits his butt well). New fenn elite SL appears to have a more comfortable seat altho' I still use steps 1 & 2 above.

ski's - McGregor C/R // Nelo 560L // Epic: 1st/2nd/3rdG V10/10L/10 sport, V14, V12, V8, V7, double -v10/v8 // Stellar: SES 1G/2G, SEI 2G // Fenn: double, elite SL, swordfish 1G/2G // Carbonology: vault, atom, flash //hayden spec ski / gibbons oc. ski / red7 / stealth spec/ocean ski / think legend
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