Research on lumbar support in kayaks, demonstrates that remaining seated in the L position with footrest/backrest combo creates tension that is greatly unhealthy for your back, and results in an excessive amount of discomfort and pain.
Cushioning the seat of your fishing kayak with extra padding may alleviate pain for a short while, but it fails to solve the dilemma in the long run. What pushes the Lumbar spine up against the backrest while in the L position is the strongest muscles in your body, your legs, which are perpendicular to your back and are pushing against the footrest:
You don’t want something pushing against your back that can also propel you for long distances at running speeds, as well as lift your entire body of the ground when your jump.
Your legs act as a sort of piston when in the L position, slamming your back against the backrest of your fishing kayak. Since there are very few bones and no large muscles in the are where the backrest and back meet, all the pressure is focused on a small area, your lumbar spine.
The forces pressing against your back are almost equivalent to the force needed to support your body weight, to put the pressure in perspective.
The harder you paddle, cast, or do other activities that require your legs to keep you in place, the more pressure is applied to your lumbar, or on top of your fishing kayak.
The more tired your body becomes, and the more uncomfortable, the more tense you become, and the more your legs have to work to keep you stable and in place, greatly increasing the pressure on your Lumbar spine, as well as exponentially increasing the pain, and creating an endless circle of fatigue.
Foam does not provide a good solution to the lumbar spine problem to start off, and due to foams compressing over time tendency, initial temporary relief will vanish after a time, and will increase the back resistance, as there is less movement room between your back and legs.
Also, if you are a heavier person, you have the possibility of experiencing butt pain, or as it is more commonly know among kayak fishing circles, yak ass, after kayak fishing in the L position. The nerves in your body, and the foam of your seat, will both become as compressed as pancakes. Leg numbness, leg pain, and butt pain are all directly correlated to compressed nerves, and are a common phenomena in the kayak fishing world. This intense pain is not a joke once you start feeling it, and has discouraged many prominent kayak anglers.
In summary, most sit-on top kayaks nowadays are equipped with heavily padded foam backrests, designed to reduce pain. Even with these specially designed seats, kayak anglers that use these fishing kayaks experience many of these symptoms: Fatigue, back soreness, yak ass, yak back, and leg pain. This creates a need for rest periods, where you must interrupt your kayak fishing for a “un-kinking” rest break.
In the Wavewalk fishing kayak, there is no L position, instead there is the Riding Position. Similar to riding a horse, your legs support your body weight, while helping you paddle, balance, and fish.
This revolutionary new type of fishing kayak allows the angler to change between a number of other positions at any time, which include the Standing Up position and the Sitting position (this position is like being seated in a canoe) . This means you can relax, stretch, and fish comfortably for very long stretches of time, without having the problem of pain, numbness, or soreness in any part of your body.