Professor Paddle: feet & legs fall asleep
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briandunnington
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  Quote briandunnington Replybullet Topic: feet & legs fall asleep
    Posted: 21 Nov 2011 at 12:03pm
whether it is my sea kayak or whitewater boat, my feet and legs (below the knees) always fall asleep. it seems like it starts the moment i get in the boat, and within 45 minutes, my feet are like wooden clubs with no feeling at all.

i know this is a common kayaker ailment, so i googled it up hoping for a miracle cure. unfortunately, there is lots of conflicting advice. some say it is due to lack of circulation, some say it is due to nerve pressure (though i dont really care, so long as i can figure out how to fix it). some say it is the hip pads (too tight, or too far forward, or too far backward) and other suggest more support/padding behind the thighs. some say it is having the foot brace too close, and others say it is too much splaying of the knees.

for those that have had to deal with this, what worked for you?
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water wacko
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  Quote water wacko Replybullet Posted: 21 Nov 2011 at 12:12pm
Stretching. Sit on the floor, straighten your legs and grab your toes, while looking at your nipples. 5-10 minutes a day works for me. When I go more than several days I'll do a big stretch. Taking my time, doing it watching a movie or something that makes me want to sit right there and stretch.
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." ~Howard Thurman
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James
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  Quote James Replybullet Posted: 21 Nov 2011 at 12:21pm
Gonna back up Bdog on this one. I have to start stretching a solid two weeks before I go out squirt boating. It ain't no joke. I have noticed a huge difference in how long I can sit in a tight boat when I implement a regime of stretching. I know I wish there were a magic pill or some little trick because I don't really like to stretch either....
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Ellingferd
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  Quote Ellingferd Replybullet Posted: 21 Nov 2011 at 12:31pm
It might actually be your hip pads being a little too far forward, cutting off circulation. If mine are off, a little forward usually, in my playboat my feet fall asleep.
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  Quote Jimmy Replybullet Posted: 21 Nov 2011 at 2:00pm
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water wacko
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  Quote water wacko Replybullet Posted: 21 Nov 2011 at 2:41pm
if you have to ask..   
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." ~Howard Thurman
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Dale
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  Quote Dale Replybullet Posted: 21 Nov 2011 at 2:44pm
I was wondering who it would be to pick up on the nipple thing... Jimmy... if that is really Jimmy... you didn't disappoint me.

Yoga for Paddlers(no kidding). I've done a fair amount of it myself.

http://www.brushymountainpublishing.com/yoga-ventures/paddling.html

That being said, next time we paddle, I'll take a look at your outfitting and make sure nothing too weird is going on.
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briandunnington
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  Quote briandunnington Replybullet Posted: 21 Nov 2011 at 4:31pm
I am going to go over all of my outfitting again to see what is up (especially the hip pads), but since it happens in my sea kayak as well (which doesnt even have hip pads and the thigh braces are just molded fiberglass), I think there must be more to it than just the outfitting.

Thanks for the tips on stretching and yoga - I definitely could use some stretching regardless, so this is just one more reason for me to make time for it.
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scottrichardson
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  Quote scottrichardson Replybullet Posted: 22 Nov 2011 at 1:02pm
Raising your seat a little to get your feet lower than your arse might help as well. I have fairly long legs compared to my torso and if the seat is too low it feels like i'm sitting uphill...unless the seat is high enough. Had to do it to my sea boat as well.
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Dale
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  Quote Dale Replybullet Posted: 22 Nov 2011 at 2:27pm
Good point about raising the seat, though in my case, I think the extra padding is what brings on the comfort.

I usually put a much thicker seat pad than the factory pads. My typical is 3/4" or 1" minicel. The seat pad that came in my Mamba is way too thin and hard. I'll replace it with minicel soon.

I think I have a Happy Seat you could try. It's a Jackson Kayak thing. A bag full of foam pellets or beads. Basically, you scootch your butt around in the beads until you're comfy, then you suck all the air out of the bag and the beads will more or less stay in place.

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briandunnington
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  Quote briandunnington Replybullet Posted: 22 Nov 2011 at 4:40pm
Dale - I would actually like to try out the Sweet Cheeks if you dont mind. Did you try it out - and did you not like it? I read about it and it seems like a good idea, but not sure what folks that had actually tried it thought about it.
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Dale
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  Quote Dale Replybullet Posted: 22 Nov 2011 at 4:49pm
I've used them before, but I like simple minicel outfitting better. Some people love it. Whatever works.

I'll probably be trying to paddle fri, sat and sun. If you can join us, I'll bring it and you can try for yourself.



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briandunnington
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  Quote briandunnington Replybullet Posted: 23 Nov 2011 at 10:44am
well, i spent *a lot* of time last night messing with my outfitting trying to see what worked and what didnt. i raised my seat up, and angled the front up and out a bit more. i moved the hip pads back and up (and all around inbetween) and adjusted the backband. i moved my foot braces forward and backward and even rearranged my thigh braces. i tried all kinds of combinations, and all of them had the same result - feet already starting to get tingly after 10 or 15 minutes.

finally, i put a pillow on the floor and sat on it in a kayaking position. even doing that, with no outfitting to press on any veins/nerves/whatever, my feet still started to fall asleep. i then realized that it was probably not the boat at all, but the problem was me. (my feet even fall asleep sitting on the toilet sometimes, but that is probably too much information).

anyway, hopefully the stretching/yoga route will yield some better results. thanks everyone for their input.

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Jimmy
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  Quote Jimmy Replybullet Posted: 23 Nov 2011 at 10:48am
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Kiwi
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  Quote Kiwi Replybullet Posted: 24 Nov 2011 at 3:22am
sciatic nerve runs right under your ass, no doubt you pinching it sitting in that tight kayak. btw donate your body to your local college, looking at a cadaver teaches you anatomy like no diagram ever will.
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water wacko
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  Quote water wacko Replybullet Posted: 24 Nov 2011 at 10:16am
Thanks for posting, Brian. Stretching has done more for me than gadgets.
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." ~Howard Thurman
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Dale
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  Quote Dale Replybullet Posted: 24 Nov 2011 at 10:22am
Maybe you're actually a canoeist instead of a kayaker.

Grab a basketball or volleyball and sit on it in a kneeling position for 45 minutes or so and get back to us.

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James
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  Quote James Replybullet Posted: 24 Nov 2011 at 1:59pm
Or look at a cadaver, what ever is easiest...
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apexskier
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  Quote apexskier Replybullet Posted: 29 Nov 2011 at 9:13pm
If I wear footwear that's too big my feet tend to fall asleep.
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Dale
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  Quote Dale Replybullet Posted: 30 Nov 2011 at 7:21am
Good point about the feet.

When I was a fairly new kayaker and went out in my first really cold weather, I added a pair of socks, which made my booties too tight, making the blood circulate too little in my feet... well... you know.

I discovered that regular booties without socks are warmer than with socks in booties that are a bit too small for the socks.

Keep juggling things around and you may get your answer, which I still suspect will be a better seat pad.
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jP
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  Quote jP Replybullet Posted: 30 Nov 2011 at 1:44pm
I'd feel safe narrowing it down to a good seat pad AND stretching.

Nipple gazing is optional. Personally, I'd rather gaze at someone else's nipples. Those things are all over the place!
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James
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  Quote James Replybullet Posted: 30 Nov 2011 at 2:00pm
Nipples are like opinions ... everyones got them, few people mind if you twist their own while most are all to happy to twist others.
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