Seating position for sea kayaking

Good posture improves your sea kayaking.

Sit more upright when sea kayaking.

It's harder to be pushed over when you sit more upright

I was doing some coaching at the weekend with Phil Hadley (Blog) when we noticed a couple sea kayakers tended to lean backwards as they came in to land through the surf. This often happens when using a stern rudder or as you try to slow the kayak down.

Leaning back slows down your ability to react quickly and you may become less stable.

Try sitting on the floor in your usual paddling posture. Sit nice and upright with your hips pushing slightly back and downwards. Some find it easier to think in terms of sitting more upright and extending the back. Just like when I was told to sit up straight by my teachers long ago.

If a paddler gently pushes you from the shoulder it should feel hard to be pushed over.

Now try sitting in the same position but with the lower back more rounded. Get someone to again push on your shoulder. It will be hard to remain upright and you’ll roll over.

Leaning back makes it easier to be pushed over.

You fall over easier if you lean back

It’s fun to demonstrate this on a beach with a group of paddlers. You’ll soon have a small crowd of curious observers thinking the coach is beating up the paddlers. Be careful in case they want to lend a hand or come to the paddlers rescue!

Try sitting more upright or leaning slightly forward in your kayak to react more quickly.

Tip: Good posture aids stability and creates a dynamic paddler who is less likely to fall in.