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swordfish - numb legs after paddling

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10 years 11 months ago - 10 years 11 months ago #17388 by he82342
Apologies if this has been discussed before.
I'm currently paddling a carbon Swordfish in local time trials. I'm finding that after 12kms my legs are so numb at the end of the race that I'm barely able to stand , let alone run up the beach to the finish line. It's frustating to be passed by people that I've worked so hard to beat !!I've never had this problem on other boats.
Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks
Last edit: 10 years 11 months ago by he82342.

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10 years 11 months ago #17389 by Ranga
Try build up the bottom of the foot plate to increase the angle your foot pushes on.
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10 years 11 months ago #17390 by Kayaker Greg
Suspect the seat is the wrong shape for you, a custom made seat pad may help to spread the load and prevent you pinching a nerve or blood vessel that is affecting your legs.

Have a look at my album on seat pads for some ideas that may help.

www.facebook.com/kayaker.greg/media_set?...0002425151844&type=3
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10 years 11 months ago #17391 by Love2ski
I was getting a sore bum. After reading some posts here I got a pair of zhik deck beater shorts. The padding goes all the way down the back of the legs and I think they would help numb legs.

They work perfectly for paddling.
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10 years 11 months ago - 10 years 11 months ago #17392 by tony h
Seat issues have been discussed at length multiple times & there are no easy answers to your problem.
Essentially this problem usually occurs due to sciatic nerve compression.
I had the same issue with the 'sword' which is a great ski.......after trying all the suggested solutions I had no success & sold my 'sword'.
This ski however suits many out there.
I am now very happy with my selection of ski, as this issue has been resolved.
One needs to accept that different ski's suit different people/ butts & extensive trials usually yields a solution - so just because fenn suits the Mocke bro's & epic suits Robinson et al doesn't mean they will suit you.............so after all the adaptions have been tried move on to trying another ski brand.
Life is too short to paddle a ski that doesn't suit you - whatever the short fall:-)
Good luck

ski's - McGregor C/R // Nelo 560L // Epic: 1st/2nd/3rdG V10/10L/10 sport, V14, V12, V8, V7, double -v10/v8 // Stellar: SES 1G/2G, SEI 2G // Fenn: double, elite SL, swordfish 1G/2G // Carbonology: vault, atom, flash //hayden spec ski / gibbons oc. ski / red7 / stealth spec/ocean ski / think legend
Last edit: 10 years 11 months ago by tony h.
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10 years 11 months ago #17393 by zachhandler
I have had this problem bad enough that i have been unable to stand or walk for a minute or two after a race. I agree with tony 100%. Sciatic nerve compression. If you havent tried a seat pad, then do so, though you may need something a little more custom. One approach is to get a supply of foam padding and start creating seat pads with 2 holes near your "sit" bones such that pressure on the nerve is alleviated. May take a lot of trial and error, and if each trial takes 12km, you will be in great fitness by the time you have a comfortable seat. It is very possible though that you may be better off selling the boat if all this fails. Good luck!

Current Skis: Epic v10 g3, NK 670 double, NK exrcize, Kai Wa’a Vega, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X
Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Nelo 550 g2, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy
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10 years 11 months ago #17394 by Kayaker Greg
FWIW, I've had 7 different kayaks and skis and had to make my own custom seat for all of them, we are all built different and comfort is important to enjoying your paddling time so don't sell the ski until you have tried to solve the problem first, sometimes it takes awhile to get it right.
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10 years 10 months ago #17423 by TaffyMick
Paddled a friend's carbon Swordfish for the first time today for about 14km. At the 12km mark my feet and legs felt numb. Got back to launch point got out of the ski and legs gave way. Winter here and the water was cold. Recovered after 30 seconds or so.

Will give it another go tomorrow with the foot board slightly more forward to what I am used to. Hope this works as the speed, stability, both primary and secondary, was very surprising. More so as my other Fenn is a Blue-Fin. Looking for a (mainly) flat water boat for races and time trials. Have never experienced this numbness on other boats and would be a shame if I had to give this a miss because of this problem as I really like Fenns.

Thanks for the advice on this problem in this thread. Might also try a seat pad too.

Stellar SEI, Fenn Bluefin S, Sladecraft Comet Long Rec & Vajda K1

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10 years 10 months ago - 10 years 10 months ago #17432 by Kayaker Greg
Taffy, I think there are faster flat water ski's out there if thats what your looking for.

The seat is a problem for me in the Swordfish too, I've almost over come the problem with a seat pad (not numb legs, more lower back issues along with having to move the position forward due to the seat hump being too far forward and high for me. I have it close to working for me. I know some people have had to sell their Swordfish because of the seat not working for them, others find its the best seat they have had without using a pad, so we are all different in that area.
Last edit: 10 years 10 months ago by Kayaker Greg.

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10 years 10 months ago #17434 by nell
For the seatpad, you'll want to raise your "sit bones" / ischial tuberosities a little bit to relieve the compression along the course of your sciatic nerve which runs from just behind your ischial tuberosities to the area just underneath your greater trochanter of the hip (look up the anatomy and it'll be straight forward).

Therefore, a seat pad with ischial tuberosity cutouts might make it worse - potentially. You might want almost the opposite shaped seatpad, i.e. something narrower that puts less pressure over your lower outer butt cheek area.

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10 years 10 months ago #17440 by tony h
the hairy leg (not mine :) below shows the sciatic nerve running along the outer aspect of the ischial tuberosity / tail bones!
however, whilst padding should be oriented to taking pressure off this area sometimes anatomical variants make some more susceptible to pressure injury ..... so, try different adaptions to limit direct pressure & sciatic nerve stretch.
all these issues have been covered at length in this forum some time ago.
as mentioned, some people are susceptible to pressure by virtue of compartment syndrome where anatomical abnormalities or scar tissue produce the 'numb leg' symptoms with any pressure on the lateral compartment in this region of the leg.
Best recommendations:
1. bicycle seat type padding (never heard of anyone getting numb legs on a bike)
2. build up heal on foot plate to decrease sciatic nerve stretch.

ski's - McGregor C/R // Nelo 560L // Epic: 1st/2nd/3rdG V10/10L/10 sport, V14, V12, V8, V7, double -v10/v8 // Stellar: SES 1G/2G, SEI 2G // Fenn: double, elite SL, swordfish 1G/2G // Carbonology: vault, atom, flash //hayden spec ski / gibbons oc. ski / red7 / stealth spec/ocean ski / think legend
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10 years 10 months ago #17482 by TaffyMick
Problem solved... simple thing really. Zach and Tony's replies got me thinking. Due to it being Winter down this part of the world I wear wetsuit shorts. These shorts are a bit thicker than your normal paddling pants and combined with the swordfish's bucket makes for a pretty tight fit. Therefore, the pressure on my thighs and upper legs, plus possibly some old Rugby Union leg injuries coming back to haunt me, probably contributed to my dilemma.

These issues including hardly any butt movement in the bucket made rotation and leg drive more difficult. How I did not pick up on this last weekend beats me, as in hindsight my entire paddling technique post catch was completely out of synch. With my BlueFin, it's shallower and wider bucket, "numb leg syndrome" is not an issue as you have more room to move, 53cm compared to the Swordfish's 45cm.

The simple fix?... lightweight full length leg pants(keep the chill off the legs) with normal paddling pants over the top. No compression on my legs at all, able to rotate properly in the bucket with leg drive, and absolutely NO numb legs after a 10km paddle (on a very cold river). Happy chappy indeed.

Again, thanks Zach and Tony for putting me on the right path. As alluded to, sometimes it is the simple things and more importantly the need to think outside the square. Now to enjoy pushing the Swordy to my limits, rather than it's limits ;)

Stellar SEI, Fenn Bluefin S, Sladecraft Comet Long Rec & Vajda K1
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10 years 10 months ago #17483 by zachhandler
TM you are a lucky man! And a thinking man. I am happy for you. The swordfish sounds like a great boat!

Current Skis: Epic v10 g3, NK 670 double, NK exrcize, Kai Wa’a Vega, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X
Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Nelo 550 g2, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy

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10 years 10 months ago #17485 by TaffyMick

zachhandler wrote: TM you are a lucky man! And a thinking man. I am happy for you. The swordfish sounds like a great boat!


And thank you mate for providing the spark I needed to resolve the problem. Yes the swordfish is a great boat.

Stellar SEI, Fenn Bluefin S, Sladecraft Comet Long Rec & Vajda K1

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10 years 4 months ago #19504 by Kennneee
Hey Greg,
Do yo happen to have a link to your seat photos that is public? Not on Facebook and would love to see them. A long paddle in the Swordfish yesterday is inspiring me to improve the seating for my boney ass!

Cheers,
Ken

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10 years 4 months ago #19505 by Kayaker Greg
Sorry Kennneee, don't have my own website or anything so only on Facebook.

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10 years 4 months ago #19569 by Kayaker Greg
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10 years 4 months ago #19572 by Kennneee
Greg,
Thanks from the BOTTOM of my heart! Nice work.

Cheers,

Ken

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10 years 4 months ago #19573 by Kayaker Greg
Glad it worked, must be a new Facebook thing allowing access via a different link which I only just found out about today with another photo elsewhere.

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