If you're saddled with aches and kinks each time you disembark, or if you're finding your


movements in the cockpit restricted, it may be time to improve the configuration of your seat.

Modern-day kayak seats are typically adjustable, and accessories such as seat and thigh pads give you even more control over your cockpit position. It may take some trial and error to discover the most ergonomic setup, but it all pays off when you're able to paddle longer and more efficiently--and recover all the more quickly after a big trip.

Factors you should key into when modifying your seat include the tilt and height of the backrest, the tilt of the seat pad, the seat height, and the position of the foot pegs. Beyond adjustments you can make with the original seat, you can also accessorize for optimum comfort by purchasing separate seat pads, thigh supports, back bands, and the like.

Add-ons for convenience's sake include items such as bottle packs, which make the regular hydration requisite for kayaking all the easier to achieve.

You can also look into specialized seats for particular activities. For example, many leading manufacturers produce kayak seats specifically for angling that feature amenities such as rod holders and holsters for pliers as well as adjustable seats specially designed for leisure comfort.

Don't ruin your kayaking fun with an inadequate kayak seat: Take the time to figure out a snug and pleasant alignment, and you'll spend less time rubbing a sore back and grumbling about chafing and more time enjoying the sublime scenes and restorative pace that brought you to the kayak in the first place.