Seat Ergonomics

on Aug 04 in Evo, Legend, Skis, Uno by

As important as selecting the right ski and paddle are, selecting the ski with the right ergonomics to suit you is vital.
How often do you hear of paddlers complaining of having dead legs during and after a paddle? Quite often I would say. Severity ranges from slight pins and needles, to total loss of sensation in the leg, and with that, power application through leg drive. While this has obvious effects on the speed you can maintain in training and racing, the discomfort is enough to make some paddlers consider their purchase, and in some cases, sell their skis and search for a more comfortable option.

At Think Kayak, we listened to what customers were saying about craft on the market when we created our first ocean ski, the Evo. Lots of paddlers kept coming back to the theme of comfort. With that in mind, we set about creating the most comfortable seat and foot well arrangement we could. In many cases, ski designs revolve around a creating a quick hull, and then making everything fit into that. We took a different approach. We created an ergonomically efficient seating position, and created a high performing hull around it. The seat height is set higher than the ankle height, which puts the paddler in a more powerful position in their seat, setting them up for a strong catch. The theory was that by putting the focus back on the paddler, by providing them with a stable and powerful position from which to work, they would excel. And that is what happened. The Evo exceeded our expectations, providing both speed and stability, and has proved to be a fantastic ski in all conditions.

Another important factor in our seat design is the shape of the bucket. By positioning the seat higher than the ankles, we were able to create a seat that wasn’t too round at the bottom, and therefore wouldn’t impinge on the sciatic nerves, the main cause of dead legs and numbness in paddlers.

The last thing to consider, when dealing with an efficient seating position, is setting the leg length on your foot plate. Setting too long will mean little power being applied through leg drive, too short will mean proper rotation is restricted. This will also have an effect on the position of the glutes in the seat, and possible pressure being applied to the sciatic nerves. Our adjustable system, while being quick and efficient, also allows for micro adjustments, which means you can set the leg length that is ideal for you, down to the nearest millimetre.
Such was the success of the Evo’s seat and foot well, that we took it complete, and popped it into our next development, the Legend. And yes, we did it again with the Uno, our elite level ski. Throughout the development of our range, we have never strayed from the focus on the paddler. To perform, the athlete has to be comfortable, and that has always been in our minds as we designed new craft.

So when you are choosing a new craft, ensure that the seat and foot well offer you a few key features:

- Ergonomic paddling position which allows you to apply maximum power

- Comfortable bucket that suits your body

- Adjustable foot plate