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Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Tue May 01, 2018 1:30 pm
by purelandexpeditions.com
In most of my WW boat I take out the ratchet style and have an oldschool cool - standard back band. Means I am not as tight bt can exit quickly for scouts etc.

D

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Tue May 01, 2018 3:18 pm
by Adrian Cooper
davebrads wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 12:29 pm
Going back to sprint kayakers, they can't push on the footplate therefore the way they can transfer the power from the paddle stroke to the boat is via the contact between their bum and the seat.
I'm intrigued by this Dave. The Coaching Handbook chapter on racing describes the theory of 'circles of power' promoted by Hungarian coach Imrey Kemecsey and includes descriptions of the transfer of power from the paddle through the body to the kayak. I have to admit to feeling that here there is a branch of mechanics being taken liberties with, but there is some useful description and logic.

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Tue May 01, 2018 4:10 pm
by Chris Bolton
davebrads wrote:Going back to sprint kayakers, they can't push on the footplate
Why not? I've only paddled a K1 briefly but I pushed on the footplate and, as Adrian says, I have always understood it was a key part of the technique; you reach and rotate forward, raise your knee, plant, push with the leg, pull with torso rotation and arm, so you have all those muscles pushing the boat forward, reacting off the paddle.

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Tue May 01, 2018 11:03 pm
by Chalky723
Sorry Simon but I totally disagree.

For me the back support is just as, if not more appropriate in my kayak than my car.

I certainly won't be taking it out any time soon!!

D

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Wed May 02, 2018 6:22 am
by davebrads
Chris Bolton wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 4:10 pm
davebrads wrote:Going back to sprint kayakers, they can't push on the footplate
Why not? I've only paddled a K1 briefly but I pushed on the footplate and, as Adrian says, I have always understood it was a key part of the technique; you reach and rotate forward, raise your knee, plant, push with the leg, pull with torso rotation and arm, so you have all those muscles pushing the boat forward, reacting off the paddle.
Oops I really should qualify what I am saying. I also have little experience of sprint kayaks, I am just repeating what I learned from a forward paddling course which was run by a sprint coach but aimed at both flat water and white water paddlers. I do remember that the leg movement has more to do with rotation and power than transferring that power to the boat, and there was definitely something about that power being transferred via the seat, but my own experience in a sprint kayak was long before this course so I can't back up what I am saying with any first - hand experience.

Still the course did make me think more clearly about power transfer in a ww boat, and I am more confident about what I have said in that context.

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Thu May 03, 2018 6:20 pm
by SimonMW
Chalky723 wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 11:03 pm
Sorry Simon but I totally disagree.

For me the back support is just as, if not more appropriate in my kayak than my car.

I certainly won't be taking it out any time soon!!

D

i understand why you are saying that. But then you are coming from the position of using a backband in a boat that has the manufacturers seat in it, which you can slide off, and not a custom fitted boat with a deep recessed bucket seat that you can’t slide off the back of. It’s all very well to theorise, it’s another thing to take the theory and properly test it.

The result of my experiment throwing the playboat around all over with no back band, but with the bucket style seat and custom made hip pads (I haven’t got around to making custom thigh grips yet), was that no, you don’t need a backband to keep you in the boat. It’s the thigh grips that take main responsibility for this upside down.

It felt weird at first, but as I messed around it felt like being let out of jail. Feeling slightly weird is not a reason to put it back in though. You just don’t realise how restricted your movements are until you get rid of it. I went vertical in all directions, upside down every which way. Never fell out, or even close. Doing all of this just showed me where there was still some play in the outfitting. So I just need closer, better formed thigh grips, and more shim on the hip padding. That’s it. But the lack of a back band didn’t put me at a disadvantage. Quite the contrary. And my back ached less after the session.

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Thu May 03, 2018 9:15 pm
by DaveBland
What an odd discussion.

Backbands can help as they are one of the things that keep you locked into your seat. As is the grip of your thighs/knees on the braces combined with hip connection at the side of the seat.

What's important is that you are locked in and connected not floppy, so your energy from the stoke and edging is all sharp. Kind of like tight ski bindings.

Whether you have a backhand or a bucket seat or tight hip pads or footrest, will all affect the connection, but can all be overcome and compensated for by the others if one is missing.

ps... too tight a backhand can hinder your rolling.

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 11:41 am
by KaitsuH
It might be possible, that some world class freestylers do not have a backband, but then they for sure have a strong seatbelt (like aero plane seatbelts) in their freestyle boats! So has Bren Orton also, I think.

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 12:14 pm
by Poke
DaveBland wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 9:15 pm
What an odd discussion.
haha. I agree!
SimonMW wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 6:20 pm
i understand why you are saying that. But then you are coming from the position of using a backband in a boat that has the manufacturers seat in it, which you can slide off, and not a custom fitted boat with a deep recessed bucket seat that you can’t slide off the back of.
I think you're arguing with yourself here.

"You don't need any back support †, provided you have back support ‡"

† from a backband
‡ from a bucket seat

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 12:22 pm
by TechnoEngineer
Poke wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 12:14 pm
"You don't need any back support †, provided you have back support ‡"

† from a backband
‡ from a bucket seat
Ker-ching!

No-one has yet suggested attaching velcro to the posterior of the drysuit and the seat :P

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 12:24 pm
by Poke
TechnoEngineer wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 12:22 pm
No-one has yet suggested attaching velcro to the posterior of the drysuit and the seat :P
Perhaps a squirting a can of expanding foam through a small hole your deck once you've got it on?

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 4:10 pm
by Franky
Poke wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 12:24 pm
Perhaps a squirting a can of expanding foam through a small hole your deck once you've got it on?
If only somebody hadn't already trademarked "Happy Thruster".

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 7:09 pm
by Chris Bolton
"You don't need any back support †, provided you have back support ‡"
To be fair, I think he's actually saying you don't need back support provided you have bum support. The question should perhaps be how far up your back does the support need to be / is it best to have it?

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 7:39 pm
by Joe L
I agree its a very strange discussion. Reads a lot like Corrans social media posts semi formed ideas and talking around any point anyone else raises rather than discussing it.

Anything steep will make you realise how useful a backband can be. If you get pushed backwards whether by a wave or gravity it helps to have something there to stop you being all the way on the back deck.

Whitewater is a completely different environment to flatwater racing or slalom. What works for them is unlikely to work in a steeper more dynamic environment.


A bucket style seat in a creekboat would be a dreadful idea. Hard to get stuff in or out the back and potentially restrictive on exit as it does not release like a back band can.

As for not falling out I had a jackson boat where the string was old and the backrest would come undone often mid-trick. I never fell all the way out but i came pretty close a few times.


Bucket style seats work in playboats especially combined with lap straps. Never noticed much of a difference from backrests apart from less adjustability.

Light is nicer but wont make much of a difference for most peoples ability level in a playboat.

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 8:06 pm
by KaitsuH
KaitsuH wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 11:41 am
It might be possible, that some world class freestylers do not have a backband, but then they for sure have a strong seatbelt (like aero plane seatbelts) in their freestyle boats! So has Bren Orton also, I think.
I answer to my own answer. How many of you has been competing in freestyle kayaking lately? How many of you is going to compete? How many of you is active competing all of the time? If so, it is very easy to just go kayaking with your backband loosened totally. How did it feel?

Like in snowboarding, it is possible to ride without highbacks. But, no one rides without them in competitions. https://snowboarding.transworld.net/unc ... e-ranquet/

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 8:59 pm
by Yew
Chris Bolton wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 7:09 pm
"You don't need any back support †, provided you have back support ‡"
To be fair, I think he's actually saying you don't need back support provided you have bum support. The question should perhaps be how far up your back does the support need to be / is it best to have it?
I experimented when building a power seat in my playboat, and found that 16cm from the base of the seat, with a slight overhang and rounding off in the top half, gave a good balance between connectivity, and capability for loops. I feel it is slightly different for plastic or carbon seats, as they have less inherent flex in their construction.

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Sat May 05, 2018 10:39 am
by SimonMW
one of the things that keep you locked into your seat
How? It's attached with flexible cord and straps. It will move as far as your body is free to when upside down until your thigh grips stop you. It doesn't stop you falling out in any way shape or form. It's a myth.
To be fair, I think he's actually saying you don't need back support provided you have bum support. The question should perhaps be how far up your back does the support need to be / is it best to have it?
Precisely.
Anything steep will make you realise how useful a backband can be.
Which is why if you actually read what I've been saying you'll see that I conceded that. And if you read my blog you will see that I said I wouldn't get rid of the backband out of a creek boat for precisely that reason.

But my point still stands that most reasons people give for a backband being there is based upon dogmatic supposition rather than actually going out and testing to see what is real and what is not. And one of those dogmatic reasons is that it keeps you in the boat. That's like saying that a rubber band would be useful to prevent a car from rolling down a hill without its brakes on.

Nobody has yet explained to me precisely how a flexibly attached backband prevents you from falling out of the kayak, given that I have been throwing my playboat all over the place, going over repeatedly in all manner of positions, and haven't yet fallen out without one. Interesting that.
Hard to get stuff in or out the back and potentially restrictive on exit as it does not release like a back band can.
Umm, not at all. It doesn't go up anywhere near as high as a backband. On your first point, it's actually easier to put stuff in the back because there's no backband in the way! But as I say, I will concede that it offers protection off drops. That is the only really sane reason anyone has come up with for them.

Someone earlier falsely hauled me up on supposedly being contradictory, although Chris rightly got what I was saying. The real contradiction is that much of the advice out there is that a backband shouldn't really be touching your back, or should only do so very lightly to 'remind you' to sit upright and slightly forward. Yet in the same breath we are told it keeps you in your boat upside down. So which is it, light touch, or so tight that it keeps you in your boat? It can only be one or the other.

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Sat May 05, 2018 1:00 pm
by Franky
SimonMW wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 10:39 am
one of the things that keep you locked into your seat
How? It's attached with flexible cord and straps. It will move as far as your body is free to when upside down until your thigh grips stop you. It doesn't stop you falling out in any way shape or form. It's a myth.
Wasn't "locked" being used figuratively? I don't think anyone's suggesting that if you hold a kayak upside-down, the backband alone will prevent the paddler from falling out.
Someone earlier falsely hauled me up on supposedly being contradictory, although Chris rightly got what I was saying. The real contradiction is that much of the advice out there is that a backband shouldn't really be touching your back, or should only do so very lightly to 'remind you' to sit upright and slightly forward. Yet in the same breath we are told it keeps you in your boat upside down. So which is it, light touch, or so tight that it keeps you in your boat? It can only be one or the other.
Why? Surely it can be somewhere in the middle, i.e. snug but not tight.

In your first post you wrote,
Others say it is to stop you falling off the back of the seat so you can lock yourself in with pressure on the feet. This is a better explanation, but if you need to be constantly pressing in order to fit properly in your boat that just says to me that you need much better, more tailored outfitting and adjustment.
It's not a question of "fitting properly in your boat". You should be snug in your boat, but not hemmed in.

The body is flexible, and how much pressure you exert is variable. For example, your foot can be touching the footplate, but if you press harder you can just feel that there is more tension in your muscles, and more pressure on your foot. There might not even be any visible movement at all, except that your muscles are tightening - because most of the increase in pressure is absorbed by skin, fat and muscle. But you certainly feel it. I've always assumed that these small adjustments in pressure are key to paddling.

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Sat May 05, 2018 2:30 pm
by KaitsuH
The seat belt in a kayak of the Finnish freestyle champion.Image

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Sat May 05, 2018 9:08 pm
by Jim
Most composite high backed /bucket seats come in different sizes. Plastic boat seats are usually one size fits all with hip pads and backband to provide adjustment.
Neither of my slalom K1 or WWR K1 seats come as high up as the backband in a freestyle or creek boat, they do enough to stop me sliding backwards but don't impinge rotation much.

Much has been said over the years about pushing on the footrest, my coach tells me I shouldn't be pushing back into my seat on the footrest (although I still do), but the pressure on the footrest comes from stopping my bum twisting in the seat during the paddle stroke. The thing is that having learned to paddle properly with nearly full rotation after 25 odd years of paddling the way most rec boaters do, this all makes sense in a way I don't think it ever did before.

When you take a paddle stroke you will pull yourself forward out of the seat not push yourself back out of it. In slalom what pushes me back is some of the aggressive manouevres, in wild water, Im not really sure anything does, even when I take hits I am still pulling the boat forward. In playboating going vertical on the stern does it, in creeking, I guess mainly ending up backwards does it.

The seat back in your car is actually quite important if you crash. The seat back and headrest help keep you in place and reduce whiplash, especially with the belt stopping you from going forward, or in a modern car the pre-tensioners on the belt pulling you tight into the seat back so you don't get rattled about. And in fact for creeking that is pretty much why you need such a high back, to keep you in place craching off rocks - a band is more flexibly and comfortable for that than a carbon/kevlar seat back. Similar in playboat, you could use a high backed seat but most will prefer something a bit softer.

From what I remember of sprint/marathon seats there is no back at all, if you hit something you will slip off the back of it, but when paddling you are pulling yourself forward to the foot rest, and sprint/marathon a regenerally non-contact sports :)

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Sun May 06, 2018 3:36 pm
by SimonMW
I don't think anyone's suggesting that if you hold a kayak upside-down, the backband alone will prevent the paddler from falling out.
Some people are very much suggesting that. When I posited the same question on Facebook one of the first responses was "because it is what keeps you in your boat upside down".
Why? Surely it can be somewhere in the middle, i.e. snug but not tight.
Depends, Franky. If you are doing a lot of play boating you want things very connected indeed with no play at all. Really this is what you are after in any boat. The outfitting needs to be very snug, giving you instant response to movement. Any slack means that you lose aspects of control. But good contact in this way doesn't have to feel like you are hemmed in at all. This is what I am finding by making my own outfitting. It is fitting in a way that I have never achieved with off the shelf outfitting. It just takes a lot of effort to do.
Most composite high backed /bucket seats come in different sizes....
Thanks Jim, brilliant reply!
The seat belt in a kayak of the Finnish freestyle champion.
Yep, suicide belt. Been around for years. But notice that he's not using it due to a lack of backband. He's just using it anyway, which some elite freestylers do. Not for me ta!

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Wed May 09, 2018 2:16 pm
by Joe L
If theres no need for a backband then why have you replaced yours with a power seat?

If the backband is totally unnecessary as you seem to think then what is a power seat replacing? Couldnt you just have a normal seat with no high back if a backband does nothing?

A backrest is attached at multiple points to your boat. Of course it can transfer force to the hull. Not being solid dosent stop this.

Waves can be steep too. Playboats are not exclusively for tiny little man made ditches and park and play. Lots of people use them on steeper runs still, its great fun.

I agree that thigh braces do a good job of keeping you in the boat and giving control. However with a normal seat and no back band there is not too much to keep you in the thigh braces. Overly tight hip pads are (for me) much worse comfort wise than a tight back rest. If my backrest is undone I move backwards out of where I should be in the thigh braces.

While not falling out of the boat completely I definitely fall off my seat and out of where I want to be. Im sure if I was in a rowdy enough hole or big surf my chances of being removed from my boat would be vastly increased with no backrest.

I feel any ambiguity in terms of what a backrest does is just down to the fact that nothing about kayaking is an exact science. Everyone is a different size. Every boat a different shape. Everyone has different opinions on how tight a boat should be. Everyone wants to do different things in there boat. Small people paddling a large boat may well fall straight out when upside down without a backrest. Someone in a squirtboat or an old school playboat can only be removed slowly and carefully despite no backrest.

Many people have discovered like you have that custom outfitting works better for them. However for commercial kayak companies sticking a different range of power seats of all sizes, designs and heights is not practical. Multiple companies have offered power seats as options and its never been that popular. Backrests do the job while being usable by a wide range of people and easily adjustable.

If power seats offered such vast performance increases every competitive freestyler would be using them rather than just the few who prefer them.

Sorry there is no quotes. Have never worked out how to use them.

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Fri May 11, 2018 1:45 pm
by TechnoEngineer
SimonMW wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 10:39 am
But my point still stands that most reasons people give for a backband being there is based upon dogmatic supposition rather than actually going out and testing to see what is real and what is not. And one of those dogmatic reasons is that it keeps you in the boat.
This is where I take issue; I don't use a backband for dogmatic reasons, I have actually experimented and discovered that my bum lifts off the seat when inverted with no backband.

There is general advice to have a loose backband to avoid restricting body rotation. Personally I have the backband on tight in a WW kayak, mostly to ensure I keep my weight forwards in the WW scenario. I even went to the effort of replacing the backband with a wider one so that it would be more comfortable. In a sea kayak I tend to have a looser backband.

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Fri May 11, 2018 2:37 pm
by Mrstratos61
Absolutely no point commenting. The OP has made up his mind.

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:24 pm
by Chris C
By loosing the backrest off and moving the footrest slightly forwards encourages you to engage your core muscles, better posture and in turn better technique. My back band is loose for most things including creeking and playboating, if I get tired I can adjust it in to give more support, this idea has been passed on by some very very good coaches and works for me and I let others try it. If you are too tight in your boat you can hinder your posture and may reduce your body rotation, sure it is not for everyone but try it you may be pleasantly surprised.

Power/ Comp Seats do offer more support than standard seats as such don't need a backrest but these are very supportive but not for everyone
Mrstratos61 wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 2:37 pm
by Mrstratos61 » Fri May 11, 2018 1:37 pm

Absolutely no point commenting. The OP has made up his mind.
Don't think that seems fair, Simon is floating his idea and findings out there for discussion so not sure why you needed to post this comment

At the end of the day try it if it works for you great, if not then thats fine too the most important thing is to get out and have fun paddling :)

Chris

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:20 pm
by jamesl2play
You do not need a backband for forward paddling. Whoever said that you don't push with your feet in a K1 has obviously never paddled one.
If in doubt have a read about 'locking the blade' With the blade locked you actually pull yourself forward and almost off the seat, transferring the power through your feet and into the footrest.

If you can feel pressure in the back of the seat during a forward stroke you have poor techinque.

I have recently been involved in providing Paddle Clinics for sea kayakers and it is surprising how little work paddlers do to prefect their forward stroke.
Flat water paddlers excluded.

Now when the boat is upside down in white water that is a different thing.

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:27 pm
by DaveBland
jamesl2play wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:20 pm
With the blade locked you actually pull yourself forward and almost off the seat
...that's very good point and correct for flat water.

I'd argue that in ww it's important to be able to lock yourself into your boat when you need, by tensing up. And for this a backrest is bloody useful to act as one of four anchors working together along with footrest and thigh braces.

As Chris says above, too tight all the time restricts movement and cuts off circulation. The trick is to have it sloppy enough to be comfy and free and tight enough that you can lock yourself in when you tense and brace against them.

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:29 pm
by Jim
DaveBland wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:27 pm
jamesl2play wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:20 pm
With the blade locked you actually pull yourself forward and almost off the seat
...that's very good point and correct for flat water.

I'd argue that in ww it's important to be able to lock yourself into your boat when you need, by tensing up. And for this a backrest is bloody useful to act as one of four anchors working together along with footrest and thigh braces.

As Chris says above, too tight all the time restricts movement and cuts off circulation. The trick is to have it sloppy enough to be comfy and free and tight enough that you can lock yourself in when you tense and brace against them.
WWR is perfect contradiction between needing minimum contact to achieve efficiency as per flat water racing, and having enough contact to control the boat through the rough stuff.

I'm sure I already mentioned that I don't use a back band in my WWR boat and that the knee braces are lengths of wood that I can grip tightly or relax and be free from, although my balance is such that I mostly lock in rather than relaxing (which most race coaches will identify due to under-rotation in my stroke and a tendancy to swing my arms to make up for it).
This years world masters (and worlds) course was over 4km of relentless grade 2+ leading to a grade 3 section with an enormous mid-stream boulder to steer round before the finish. Although technically easy, the river had irregular waves dotted with small holes and rocks over the entire distance and took quite a bit of reading and steering in a long composite boat that turns slowly, and there was no stretch where it was possible to relax and slip into flat water paddling mode.
In the week I was there I mostly missed the things I really wanted to miss and rolled my boat twice* (my first successful rolls in it) all without the support/hindrance of a backband, so whilst they are useful for helping you stay in the boat upside down, they are not absolutely essential for that.

*my only swim was before the race course on the warm up trib - there are 2 low bridges which you have to duck for, and when the river was up around 60 cumecs there really wasn't much room - I had a wobble and tried to brace and ended up wedging my paddle between the beams that make up the bridge and the bottom of the river (blocking the highest spot to get under), even if I'd had the paddle it was probably too shallow to roll...

Re: Do you need a backband?

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:15 pm
by SimonMW
Don't think that seems fair, Simon is floating his idea and findings out there for discussion so not sure why you needed to post this comment
Thanks for the back up Chris.

An interesting note for others who are disagreeing with my view on things. Recently a world renowned freestyle kayaker had a go in my Jitsu to see what it was like now that it was much lighter, doing loops, back loops and all sorts of other stuff in inlet gate at HPP. They liked it. So I asked them if I should put the backband back in. They replied "You don't need to bother putting the backband back in."

I think that speaks volumes.