What Is Kayak Back Pain, and What Does It Mean?

This article first appeared on the PAINLESS KAYAK FISHING blog.

A new article just got published on this painful subject.
Here’s a quote of a couple of comments made by readers:

1. “Glad you mentioned unmanly and bragging about being out for a long time. Heard that many times and still do on a regular basis. Some folks even comment about how they are in such great shape and it can’t happen to them. Frankly they don’t get the joke, being in good shape does not make up for the fact the body is damaged by the wrong position. Now maybe if they commented how much they could stand pain verses someone else OK. But being out there fishing in pain kinda sorta takes away from the enjoyment.”  and –

2. “Sporting injuries are more frequent among people who exercise on a regular basis than among people who don’t exercise at all. Each sport and physical activity carries some potential problems that people who practice it should be aware of. Some sports and activities are more prone to get you injured, that’s all. It’s not a mere coincidence that kayakers appear in ads for pain medication – Kayaking has become almost synonym with back problems, and people who aren’t aware of this issue learn as soon as they start.
The main point here, in my view, is that physical damage can happen to you over time – You don’t get a herniated lumbar disc the first time you go fishing in your kayak, but over time, your risk of suffering from such a severe injury increases.”

The article explains what kayak back pain is, what are the nerves involved in it, the meaning of back pain when you’re kayaking, or kayak fishing, what to do and what to avoid, and the benefits of paddling Wavewalk kayaks, fishing from them, as far as your back is concerned.

Is ‘No Pain, No Gain’ Always True in Kayak Fishing?

This article first appeared on the PAINLESS KAYAK FISHING blog.

Everyone knows the motto ‘no pain, no gain’, and most people assume it’s true for kayak fishing as well – with a twist: Kayak fishing involves spending long hours seated in the infamous L position, which tends to become literally painful after some time.
But does it really have to be so?
-Not if you get a W fishing kayak, as these new, patented watercraft don’t require their passengers to sit in the L kayaking position to begin with, and they offer a variety of other, more comfortable positions to switch between – anytime, including standing up in full confidence – that is for real, and not as some wishful thinking kayak manufacturers advertise…

So, next time you’re seated in a fishing kayak in the L position, with your own legs relentlessly pushing your lower back against your kayak seat, and causing you discomfort and pain, remember it doesn’t have to be so, and you have an alternative, finally.

What Happens If You Suffer From Back Pain and You Keep Kayak Fishing?

This article first appeared on the PAINLESS KAYAK FISHING blog.

If you’re suffering from back pain that’s not properly diagnosed, you should stop paddling your kayak and fishing from it, and consult a physician without delay.
Don’t start playing with foam in your kayak seat or under your knees, or hope that a new, fancier and more expensive kayak seat would solve your problem, because it won’t.

Different sports can cause different injuries, and kayaking and kayak fishing can cause injuries in the shoulders, elbows and wrists, but are they known to be especially hard on the back, and this is why you should be cautious and attentive to any signs of a potential developing back injury.

Paddling a traditional kayak, whether it’s a sit-in or a SOT won’t help you, and it may very well be the cause of your back problem, or at least a factor contributing to it. Therefore, don’t procrastinate, and seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Delaying treatment and keeping paddling and fishing from those kayaks could aggravate your condition, and make it more difficult to treat your problem.
Similarly, leg pain, leg numbness, tickle in your legs, butt pain and other unusual physical symptoms in your lower body shouldn’t be taken lightly, because they could be linked to a developing back problem, such as sciatica.

Yak Back Pain: The Eight Hundred Pound Gorilla In The Room

This article first appeared on the PAINLESS KAYAK FISHING blog.

The eight hundred pound gorilla in a market for a certain product is the biggest player in that market, and the eight hundred pound gorilla in the room is an expression that means the obvious problem no one is talking about.

As with everything related to sit-in and SOT kayaks, that problem in kayak fishing is poor ergonomics, especially back pain and discomfort that prevent many anglers from joining the ranks of kayak anglers, and causing a considerable number of kayak anglers to quit the sport once they realize the problem is intolerable for them, and there is nothing they can effectively do about it.

These ergonomic problems are often discussed in private, or in online forums, but usually the attitude towards them is either acceptance, as something that’s inherently part of the sport (like getting wet is supposed to be), or as a personal problem of the person complaining about it, and one that can be superficially addressed with some extra foam under the knees, or on top of the kayak seat.

Manufacturers and other vendors of sit-in and SOT kayaks have identified these serious ergonomic problems, and use them as an opportunity to sell more gear – mainly expensive kayak seats with extra cushioning and varying angles for the backrest, none of which can in fact solve any of the problems in question.

Sit-in kayaks have been used for centuries, and SOT kayaks have been commercially available for over four decades. Had there been a way to solve this problem that comes with the use of these kayaks, it would have been discovered and offered to the public. But there is no such solution, because of the L position and the footrests-backrest system designed to allow modern kayak paddlers and anglers to stay in place and exert control over their kayak through their legs continuously pushing their lower back against the backrest.
This means that as long as a kayak passenger is required to sit with their legs stretched in front of them, there will be a need for them to use footrests and a backrest, as well as use their legs to push their back against the backrest – constantly, thus creating pressure in the lumbar area – resulting in discomfort and pain.

In contrast, the new W kayaks present a solution that frees both paddlers and anglers from back pain, due to these kayaks’ patented form, which requires their passengers neither to sit in the L position, nor to use any type of footrests, or backrest.
W kayak passengers are free to switch between a number of ergonomic positions anytime they choose to do so, and even stand up if they feel like paddling or fishing standing, or just in order to stretch. The new W500 series is stable enough to enable the passenger to lie down and rest, stretch, and relax.

Over the years, reporters and editors in publications that cover kayaking and kayak fishing have systematically avoided reporting about either this critical ergonomic problem, or the real solution recently found to it.
Talking openly about that eight hundred pound gorilla in the room would have surely annoyed the kayak market’s eight hundred pound gorilla, as well as the smaller players, who pay for advertising their kayaks and kayak seats in those specialized publications.

Meanwhile, a large part of the public is still unaware of the solution offered to their kayaking and kayak fishing problem, and they are not getting this information from the paddling or fishing media.

Paddling Kayaks Can Cause Back Pain, But Apparently Canoes Are Problematic Too

This article first appeared on the PAINLESS KAYAK FISHING blog.

This is  W kayak review from a Canadian canoeist who has suffered from back pain:

-“The most important thing for me is that I can ride the [W] kayak “straddled” [I.E. in the Riding Position] with my knees bent. I have a back condition that has made the past few years of using a regular canoe painful after a short time out. I must always kneel in a canoe because I cannot sit with my legs straight out in front of me without causing back pain.
I still can use the canoe but am limited to about 1/2 hour before I need to hit the beach and get out and stretch. Your design is much easier on my back and I can easily turn around when I need to stretch a bit.”

Read the entire review >>