Your bottom will breathe
a sigh of relief!
The Bumfortable seat is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to improve the paddling experience that I have come across in almost 3 decades of kayaking.
- Kevin Palmquist, Batavia, IL USA
It fits perfectly in my Nelo - I tested it yesterday on a cold and windy lake and felt I could paddle forever - and it even kept my backside warm.
- Ulla Keil, Germany
Do your legs go numb?
Can you hardly feel your bum?
Does your kayak chafe?
Does your bum often ache?
Do you get leg cramps?
Are you sick of cold, rigid and unfriendly fibreglass seats?
There’s no need to crack under pressure!
Enjoy the comfortable, Bumfortable, now!
It all started
with a pain in the bum . . .
Everything else was awesome, my paddling skills were ripping, and I was paddling like the wind! But it hurt, my bum and my kayak seat just weren't getting along
There’s a famous saying: “energy flows where attention goes” and most of my attention was going to the pain instead of fun and good technique. My energy was bottoming out instead of heading forward fast.
The duration I could train for was limited by pain too. I was desperate to make my kayaking comfortable.
I was working as a graduate design engineer in the foam plastics industry, so it was inevitable I suppose, that I, a competitive kayaker, would invent a solution for sore bums and numb legs! … I was sitting on some good information!
As soon as I’d chopped and glued a foam seat masterpiece together for myself, my mates wanted one too - I must have had an annoying grin as I kayaked past them! So I gathered a list of all of the pains and ailments that paddlers suffered from. The number one complaint I got from my research was numb legs, followed by sore “sit bones”, then chafing, then cramps and coldness. Then I spent a couple of months developing and testing the best seat that I could to solve our combined posterior problems.
The results? The comfortable Bumfortable:
The Bumfortable is a factory moulded, closed cell foam seat with the following features:
It's a material difference (foam vs. harsh fibreglass)
- Warm closed cell foam - the Gurney Gears Bumfortable is warmer and more comfortable than fibreglass. Less abrasive and much less likely to make your legs fall asleep.
- Soft: The softness reduces pressure points and allows extra rotation.
- Smooth surface finish allows ease of rotation to aid in paddle efficiency.
- This closed cell foam can be custom moulded to your particular bum shape by gentle use of heat, (hairdryer, hot-water bottle, or domestic fan heater), if you so desire. Or it’s easy to cut, grind or glue.
- Light weight & nonabsorbent
Good for your body:
- Reduced pressure on ischial tuberosity (bum bones) by concavities in the underside of the Bumfortable.
- Designed to prevent chaffing by structurally supporting your back while kayaking through proper posture, rather than allowing pressure on flesh where chaffing occurs.
- Extended length into the hamstring area to reduce pressure and keep hamstings warm. This aids circulation and reduces cramps.
Good for your kayak:
- Lowers your centre of gravity which increases kayak stability (choose the model to suit your kayak's dimensions)
- Reduced incidence of kayak hull damage - A rigid seat structure is more likely to hole the kayak when a rock scrapes along the hull because it represents a sudden change in elastic flexibility of the hull. A Bumfortable, by comparison, will allow the hull to continue elastically flexing as the hull passes along the obstruction highly reducing the chances of structural damage and subsequent required repair.
- Available factory installed: Increasingly, kayak manufacturers are offering the Bumfortable as an option when ordering new boats. If you are a manufacturer and are interested in more information on OEM, please contact us.
Packed with features
- Bilge pump flow tunnels incorporated into the underside allow liquid to flow to your bilge pump
- Back strap option] through the moulded backstrap tunnel. (25 mm webbing)
- Side mounts available to firmly attach your seat into any cockpit.
The bottom line
I rate kayak comfort as more important than hull speed,
to finish first, first you must finish!”
Q: Hi Steve, A question for you about the bumfortable. I have one fitted to my kayak, which has solved my short term seating issues, however I'm starting to have problems with my upper hamstrings in paddles over 1 hour. It seems to hit me at the 1 hour 30 min point. I get a pain in my leg just about where the front edge of the seat sits. Is this similar to what people that you had tilt the seat forward suffered? Thanks!
A: Sorry to hear you've got numbness.
- Yoga: Many paddlers have tight hamstrings. Are you're unusually tight? Do you need to start some yoga? ("downward facing dog" is brilliant)
- Footrest position: Try shifting your footrest away one or tow notches. This will load the lower hamstring onto the seat a bit more , taking the pressure off upper. Or try shifting footrest closer one or 2 notches, your hamstring might have a sensitive bit that needs to be loaded differently.
As a general rule i like to have footrest to seat distance such that I can alternately straighten one leg to the bottom of the hull, whilst the other knee is bent up to touch the deck. Paddle like the Olympians with pumping knees so that circulation is maintained.
- Increase the width of the seat: Numbness is often caused by too much "wedging" action. If your hull is very narrow, then the sides of the hull may squeeze in too tight in a subtle way so that you don't notice it till an hour or more.
Test this by sitting up higher a few millimeters, (place a couple of flannels, piece of sheepskin, folds of fleece off-cut etc, down your pants)
If this is the problem, then you can raise your Bumfortable by glueing a strip of closed cell foam sleeping mat under the Bumfortable to lift it up. Make sure it's only under the bottom of the Bumfortable and not around the sides, otherwise it will just create the same problem, approx 12 cm wide.
However, this will make the kayak slightly more tippy (but better to paddle by getting "over" the paddle more). If you want the stability to be the same and you find this is the issue, then it's easy to fix, grind of cut some of the sides of the bumfortable away in the region where the pressure is on the sides of your bum. You can do this on the hidden side of the Bumfortable with very coarse sandpaper, so the surface is not disturbed, or if you need more relief, then cut the entire sides out in that area. There are diagrams on this website that show this.
- Change your tilt:
You can change the amount of pressure on hamstrings by playing around with the forward or backward tilt. Either add more forward tilt, or backward tilt.
Forward tilt will take pressure off hamstrings and increase pressure slightly on other areas such as ischial tuberosity which might solve your numbness.
Backward tilt will put more pressure on hamstrings, but this might be useful for your particular anatomy.
I usually sell tilt kits, but since the earthquake, my machinery is still unserviceable. I'll eventually be able to get back into manufacture, but till then you can make your own tilt by closed cell foam sleeping mats. Cut strips as in the picture, but laminate varying length strips to get the wedge.
- Paddling Technique
Make sure you're pumping your knees like an Olympic paddler. Rotate your bum in the seat as you pump, once again, in the same way Olympic paddlers do.
This gets blood circulating and cyclically relieves pressure.