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Thread: Kneeling thwart or Saddle advice wanted please

  1. #1
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    Default Kneeling thwart or Saddle advice wanted please

    I need some help and advice please.

    Today Iv'e been up the Soar, only about 5 miles each way but my knees were hurting and my legs kept going dead to the point where i was struggling to get them out from under the seat after kneeling, i have to resort to sitting with my legs out front, which doesn't feel right, I tried just perching on the seat with my legs underneath but this to caused everything to go numb after a while and i felt too far back in the boat, do i need something to 'lift me up' ?.

    Iv'e got a couple of interlocking mats stuck together with DST which i use for kneeling on, but i'm resting on my heels and this is causing pain after a while so i have to go back to sitting, my canoe is a standard set up HOU 14, would i benefit from either a kneeling thwart or a saddle ?
    I'll probably only ever paddle solo, so don't have a issue taking a seat out if anyone thinks this would help in any way ?.


    http://www.houcanoes.com/hou-14.html

  2. #2
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    I find a thwart more comfortable then kneeling using a standard seat. Some use an angled "kneeling seat", but I'm not sure about them as I feel my feet are more likely to get stuck.

    A saddle is certainly popular for some folks, maybe you can borrow one of them to try. For general paddling, I like the thwart as I can change position, and heel the canoe over, which is how I paddle most of the time. On moving water, a saddle could well be best. Your canoe is relatively small so "reach" from a central position shouldn't be too difficult (as it could be from the middle of a wide Prospector type).

    I don't know many folk who don't get some discomfort or numbness when kneeling for extended periods, whatever the arrangement! I possibly do get less discomfort in my Ally folder, where the seat is a bit like a saddle.

  3. #3
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    I have a removable saddle not in use at the moment, but as I don't know where "ditch crawling" is, I can't help

  4. #4
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    I'm the resident kneeling seat fanatic, however, I suspect I might be in the minority. Funny thing, at the last OCA meeting at Easter, everyone who tried my kneeling seat really liked it. Same thing happened at Canoefest last year.

    Now, they were either being very polite, well they are lovely people, or they were genuinely impressed. Basically, it's a seat of about 2/3rds depth with a dip or bend in the middle which is mounted on an angle. Not as steep as a kneeling thwart but more comfortable to me. Btw, Mal, I have been inverted and happily escaped without panic!

    A saddle locks you in the centre of the canoe so if you prefer heeling, a thwart (or kneeling seat) is better. I agree with Mal on that one.
    "I'd far rather be happy than right any day"..........Slartibartfast

    http://apachecanoes.com

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Impcanoe View Post
    I have a removable saddle not in use at the moment, but as I don't know where "ditch crawling" is, I can't help

    Sorry, ditch crawling is a bit vague because i move about, I'm currently on the river Soar in Leicestershire.

    Mal & MultiMark,

    I'm trying various positions including heeling the boat over, with a saddle isn't it possible to move the saddle over to one side and still heel the boat ?, at the moment i'm only paddling flat water because i'm still very much a novice and being solo i feel this is safer, I'm quite relieved that i'm not the only one to suffer with stiff joints
    Last edited by Ditch Crawler; 19th-April-2018 at 07:41 AM.

  6. #6
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    Kneel with a small pile of books under your backside whilst watching TV or reading a book couple of times a week i found this made a great difference when I first started , if you’re new to canoeing or just the kneeling position it’s not gonna be overly comfortable from the off.

    Over time you’ll think less about it or manage it.

    End of the day you’ve two choices sit or kneel and kneeling be it seat, thwart or kneeling seat your legs are in same position..
    Last edited by pipster3; 19th-April-2018 at 03:33 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipster3 View Post
    Kneel with a small pile of books under your backside whilst watching TV or reading a book couple of times a week i found this made a great difference.

    End of the day you’ve two choices sit or kneel and kneeling be it seat, thwart or kneeling seat your legs are in same position..


    i just need something to lift me up so the angle between my butt and ankles isn't so severe, when i got to one of the locks yesterday, i could barely get my legs out from under the seat, the pain on my ankles is taking away the enjoyment, surely this cant be right ?, i'll definitely try the book pile ,thanks.

    I'm thinking of a saddle, then i could remove the seat, at least then i wouldn't have to worry about getting from under it, saying that i could probably do the same with a thwart ?.

    out of interest how wide is the average kneeling thwart, front to back, not side to side obviously

  8. #8
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    out of interest how wide is the average kneeling thwart, front to back,
    The factory KT in my Swift is 55mm. The ones I've made myself are 75mm wide. I prefer the wider one as it gives more support and doesn't dig into your bum so much, which can cut off circulation.

    If you like to paddle your boat heeled over, a KT is better (IMHO) than a saddle because it allows you to slide sideways easily to get the boat heeled over.

    Even with a saddle or a KT, it's likely your ankles will still hurt a bit, but at least you won't have all of your upper body weight bearing down on your legs.
    I've found that the more you kneel, the more your ankles get used to it, but if you have long gaps between paddles then you'll hurt to some degree every time.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

  9. #9

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    You could take a look at these, I have heard they are very good quality.
    https://www.aiguillealpine.co.uk/pro...-saddle-large/

  10. #10
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    just a thought .if your footwear has a stiff heel which pushes against your achilles tendon, this my be causing your legs to go dead.
    try it bare foot or neoprene bootees?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gdd View Post
    You could take a look at these, I have heard they are very good quality.
    https://www.aiguillealpine.co.uk/pro...-saddle-large/
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    just a thought .if your footwear has a stiff heel which pushes against your achilles tendon, this my be causing your legs to go dead.
    try it bare foot or neoprene bootees?
    thank you for the links and advice, although i'll only need one saddle or thwart, is there any other manufactures of saddles ?

  12. #12
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    Black Snow Saddles are your man (is your man?) Pip is on the web and face book, based in the midlands, exceedingly helpful. Meanwhile, if you send me you email by pm, I can send you photos of my kneeling, sitting, failsafe set up, and I have a funeral to attend in Lancs so we might be able to meet up to lend you my complete saddle, but you will have to undertake to return it after a short trial.

  13. #13
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    I use a saddle, My knees and circulation are poor so my saddle is very tall about 300mm so my centre of gravity is higher and yes I have fallen out of my boat many times but none of them because of the height of the saddle, yes it does restrict you moving about the boat but for me its a much more comfortable paddling position and potentially safer than a fixed thwart. I would consider a wide quick release thwart set just under the gunnel.
    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayobren View Post
    I use a saddle, My knees and circulation are poor so my saddle is very tall about 300mm so my centre of gravity is higher and yes I have fallen out of my boat many times but none of them because of the height of the saddle, yes it does restrict you moving about the boat but for me its a much more comfortable paddling position and potentially safer than a fixed thwart. I would consider a wide quick release thwart set just under the gunnel.
    my knees aren't too bad, mainly because i do a fair bit of cycling, but youth is against me so i need to look after them, today i spoke at length to Aiguille and their going to make me a 20mm thick kneeling mat to fit their large Stingray saddle, hopefully it should be with me in 7-14 days.

    After thinking about this last night, from a comfort point of view i really don't fancy the idea of spending all day perched on a thwart

    I've just realised your location isn't too far from me.


    https://www.aiguillealpine.co.uk/pro...eeling-saddle/
    Last edited by Ditch Crawler; 20th-April-2018 at 03:01 PM. Reason: typo

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