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sore hip

Nick Kelly
11/02/20 #27950

Any of you 'more experienced' paddlers ever have a sore hip after paddling? For the last month or so I start limping due to hip pain (just one side) after every paddle. Bad form? Or maybe I'm joining you in getting old? I'm paddling way less because of it, so it is time to get it diagnosed.

David Scherrer
11/02/20 #27951

What boat are you in? I suggest an appointment with a physical therapist. Bring your boat along and show you sitting position…(yes, outside) They will see something you may miss.

Duncan Howat
11/02/20 #27952

Nick, just run down to your local joint parts store and buy the biggest size titanium twopieces you can fit in there and you'll be A-1. Maybe get a quick X-ray first, that will tell you whats rubbing on what and how bad. If the pain wakes you up every night around 2 it's time to do it. If your sleeping all night then perhaps not. Best elective surgery I'v had done. Flexible boy

Michael Medler
11/02/20 #27953

I threw in two new titanium and ceramic hips a few years ago. The old ones were not working anymore, especially after paddling surfski. I couldn't walk or sleep normally. In retrospect, I kind-of wished I had tried a wider cockpit for a few months before letting them saw off the last three inches of my femurs. Fitting nice and snug may not be what you are after in a boat. My new hips still need a bit of space on either side, or I only have about 30 minutes in me. The good news is that paddling without hip contact actually let me learn to rotate. If you have a nice secure attachment to the boat on your hips you aren't actually rotating your trunk very much, no matter how much it feels like it. If we are taking about an OC, we need to Larry G. in here. He has thoughts.

Tyler Irwin
11/02/20 #27954

Time to get an OC1 Nick ;)


bill F

11/02/20 #27955

Suggest changing the geometry of your boat (move the footrests one way or the other and see what happens). Get a stretching book and start doing whatever stretches seem to apply. I have this problem only when i go 20 miles or more, what helped me was a partially inflated inflatable cushion under my butt which is nice because it is easy to adjust the height while sitting in the boat by opening the valve. Velcro it to the seat. And no longer made?

So next up is a Skwoosh, the seal line is better for me but not made anymore, (i have both)

Finally it might be your actual seat, in a kayak you can often adjust the angle, surf ski not so easy. Lastly, you might have a medical condition such as an ischial bursitis, but if you only have the pain in a boat seems unlikely. Do you have this just sitting in a hard chair at home for a few hours? Finally, this is a long shot, it might have something to do with your kayak stroke. My two cents.

Peter Prinos

11/02/20 #27956

I have a little bit of arthritis that tends to flare up when I overdo it or when the weather cools (like now). Stretching and mobilization exercises do the trick for me. If you have a good physical therapist go that route, if you don't Kelly Starrett put out a book called Waterman 2.0 that you can find on Amazon. He is a well known physio and former competitive whitewater kayaker. My PT guy took a look at the book and really liked it, it gives some great info on other body parts as well - great preparation for when the next ache occurs. He also has a company called The Ready State, good youtube videos.


Dennis Mowry

11/02/20 #27957

If you're right handed, I'm guessing it's your right side?
Does the centerline of the boat list to the left side but not as far to the right when you switch the stroke?
Vs/vs if you're left handed.

If so I'm thinking you're not getting full leg extension rotating the hips and weight transfer?

Hip forward, Weight shift, Leg extension, Hip forward,

11/02/20 #27958

Yup, have experienced paddling related hip pain occasionally. Lots of muscles in that area can cause pain and limping when they're unhappy. Would definitely start with the Sports Medicine PT soft tissue massage route before diving down the joint capsule/joint hole.

Prime Sports in town helped me with piriformis and quadratus issues. They understand paddling. Having an effective self stretching and tennis ball treatment protocol helps keep me on the water.

Paul Reavley

11/02/20 #27959

I'm definitely in the analysis and therapy/rehab/exercise/flexibility before surgery camp. Seems like there are a lot of aspects to check into and you are getting some good suggestions from the board. Some folks with leg length differences either try setting their pedals differently to compensate or they try using a shoe insert just like they use in their walking shoes - inside their water shoe. Boat geometries in surfski seats can also make a surprising difference in causing or eliminating a number of physical complaints including lower back issues and all kinds of rubbing problems. I don't see why the same might not be true for a hip problem. And as has been suggested you could experiment with padding although it does not necessarily take much underside padding to affect stability.

If you do try Tyler's OC suggestion, be aware that you may have an interesting time figuring out how to configure your seat and paddling style to deal with leg numbness and hip pain from leaning too much to your left. When I first started paddling my OC my legs (both of them but worse on the left) started to go numb after 30 minutes and in some longer than 1 hr races I could only steer with one foot by the end of the race (switching between one pedal to the other or covering both pedals with my right foot). Changing and molding my seat cushion and reducing my left lean (at least on calmer days) has greatly extended my range on the water before discomfort sets in.

Nick Kelly
11/02/20 #27960

So much helpful wisdom, you guys are amazing. Part of the reason I’ve been excited about this sport is seeing how fast the barnacles are and I assumed it was good on aging bodies. Hoping to get this figured out.

David - I’m in a Swordfish - good idea about bringing my boat to PT

Duncan - that’s some extreme advice but on brand for you

Michael - I don’t like the sound of that, maybe paddling a surfski is rough on your hips? I think my Swordfish has plenty of room in the cockpit, I’ll have to pay attention next time I’m in it.

Tyler - Interesting idea, if I can’t solve it, then that is actually a good solution

Bill - I’ve tried moving the pedals back and forth to see if that helps and nothing so far. I’ll have to take a look at that seat.

Peter - Yeah I think PT is what’s next for me.

Dennis - You are correct, I’m right handed and it is my right hip. Not sure about which way the boat lists more. I think I need to take one of your clinics. I’ll hit you up for some personalized advice next time I see you.

Michael - Kerri and Erica are neighbors, I’ll have to hit up Prime Sports for PT.

Paul - so you disagree with Duncan’s advice? ;)

Nicholas Cryder
11/03/20 #27962

Haven't read the replies (TLDR, sorry if this is redundant) - suggest you motor down to Prime and get a proper diagnosis, and look at physio treatment options; stretching, strengthening, symmetry work.

I've noticed that you've gotten a lot stronger, faster this year and that is normally when injury occurs; lots of new power needs to be applied carefully to parts that aren't getting any newer.

A few common gotchas can be asymmetry in your stroke, impingement at the sides or bottom of the cockpit (boney butt or the hip flexor rubbing). It can be other quirky issues like not driving from the heel / femur to the hip the right way, or the hip and shoulders not moving together (aka “whipping” the stroke), not having your knees in the right position to safely create power from the core (squaring the catch). I have also seen hip issues from bad timing on the catch, a wide catch on one side, one leg a millimeter longer or a surprisingly common one; the footboard isn't actually symmetrical on some skis (!!!).

Also, feel free to hit me up for a form session and we can verify that your form is safe and make suggestions and tweaks from there.

Nicholas Cryder

Jeff Hegedus

11/15/20 #28061

Nick I have a Skwoosh pad that you can try out if you want. The ever so small increase in height, along with increased facilitation of rotation, and increased hip room, creates a completely different ride. I paddle a Gen 1 V10, and use the pad on flatish water, where it feels way more like my K1 and I have a much more technical forward stroke, which is ergonomically better for my body. When conditions increase though, the decrease in stability in my skinny boat makes its use infeasible, and I totally notice how the hips then get gripped by the cockpit. But even in the Swordfish, getting the sitbones higher than your heels a bit more may make a difference, and the Swordfish may have the stability to incorporate a pad even in conditions.

Nick Kelly
11/16/20 #28064

Thanks Jeff! I think I’ll hit you up on that next week. I’m looking forward to figuring this out.

Dennis Mowry

11/16/20 #28066

Take Nicolas up on his offer to check your form if you haven't already. Look to treat the problem 1st rather then the symptoms. Unless you need to heal before continuing.
Technique will take more practice but offers the most long term benefit.

11/17/20 #28080

I'm with Dennis. Winter paddling has always served me to focus on one aspect of your form instead of training. It allows you to go slow enough to correct issues (unless you're paddling with Dean).


Jeff Hegedus
11/18/20 #28088

Hi Nick, if you want to borrow the pad just let me know. I live down by Marine Park, and I can just set it out on the porch, (360)739-0161. Thanks.

sore_hip.txt · Last modified: 2021/03/28 03:52 by preavley