Backbone vs Dropstich + Rudder

AE2023-AF1, AE2023-AFX, AE2023-AFC, AE2023-DF2.

Moderator: JCOOLEY

Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:46 pm

Backbone vs Dropstich + Rudder

Post by WaihekeAndy » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:12 pm

So.. I've read all the posts, I've watched all the videos and I still don't know what best for my case

I have the Advancedframe convertable and predominately sail in coastal chop and sea breeze and usually with my daughter. I'm a fit 54yr beginner sea kayaker really. I find it very prone to taco-chirping (that's ok) but heading into wind is an issue- especially when there are swells to deal with also

First thought was Backbone but:
a) Comfort is important and one of the things we both love about the IK. Some people clearly hate the BB.. others say its ok and they don't feel it if the floor is right or ok if they put stuff under the seat. Which it is?
b) We are around rocks - punctures are more of risk with the BB?
c) We sometimes come in on swell to the beach. The rigid pole is an issue?

So Rudder then:
a) Solves the tracking issue (I assume)
b) Still comfortable but
c) you kinda need to commit to 1 or 2 man operation with rudder or fiddle around connecting different cables-- is this hard? (Anyone managed to set up cable lenghts for forwarding steering but dress the excess cables in loops or something on the back deck perhaps when bringing the pedals back to solo, central position?

Or Dropstich?
a) Solves flexing but not so good for tracking which is one of the main issues i'm finding in wind and sea;
b) Hard on your bum. What do people do about that? Is dropstich floor + original floor an option for comfort?

Maybe Dropstich + original floor +rudder is almost the ideal- but also very expensive.


Site Admin
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:52 pm
Location: Concord, Ca

Post by rlpugh1 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:46 pm


Ok, here's some thoughts/suggestions for you:

First, if you are experiencing a lot of flex, to the point of taco-ing, there's a chance that your kayak is under-inflated or the weight limit is being pushed. In really rough seas, you will experience the rolling motion of the swells under you but not really what would be considered "flex" or folding unless the kayak is under-inflated or the capacity is close to the max.

Now, with that thought out of the way, here's some notes on the BB vs the DS. The backbone and the DS floor do almost the same exact thing. So much so that really the biggest difference between the two is the price and convenience. The backbone does provide better tracking but barely...some would even say that the difference is negligible. Meanwhile, the DS floor provides more stability, which is more noticeable than with the BB. If you are doing beach landings that could involve surf, swells, then you HAVE TO choose the DS Floor, non-negotiable. The last thing you want to do is slam into the beach with an aluminum rod running down the center of your kayak. The DS floor does take its toll on the bum after a couple hours of paddling. Adding the standard floor on top is a good idea but it probably won't work all that well because of all of the extra material but we have not tried that. Instead, I'd just find some gel-form kayak seat pads. Most kayak shops sell them.

Lastly, the rudder is a great add on and it will help with the wind. You really do have to have two different cable lengths if you want to move the control pedals around for tandem and solo paddling. There is really no way to both coil the cabling and also have it glide through the necessary areas of the kayak for proper function (trust me, we've tried it!). One option is to research various crimp-on quick releases for steel cabling and see if you can create a section that can be quickly removed to shorten the cables (or lengthen them) as needed.

Post Reply