You went with your kayaking checklist, chose on the most suitable route, and was about to educate others around your plans and estimated time the return from her kayak trip.

You are watching: How long does it take to kayak a mile

And climate it hits you:

You have no clue how long it’ll take to get back!

Sure, you recognize how many miles are ahead that you, yet how long does it require to kayak a mile anyway?

It’s a simple question, yet the answer is anything but; there are too many variables in ~ play.

Stick roughly for a complete take top top how quick you have the right to kayak – and also how lengthy that kayak expedition will take!


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6 an important Factors that Can impact Your Kayaking Speed

How quick Does a Kayak Go?



A paddle is a paddle, right?

Well, no quite:

As overlooked as it frequently is by beginners, the paddle does make a genuine distinction in terms of kayaking speed and overall kayaking experience.

A kayak paddle have to be an ideal for her height, broadness of her shoulders, and also the kayak’s width. What’s more, you need to think about your purposes – in this case, increasing your every mile paddling speed.

Here, you have two kayak paddle options:

High-angle paddles, designed come capture and hold water, allow for much more aggressive strokes and also faster propulsion. These shorter and wider paddles are best suited for narrower kayaks built for speed.Low-angle paddles, with long and also narrow blades, room designed to cut through the water easier, ensuring less fatigue. They’re ideal suited for broader, to chat kayaks and more relaxed paddling.

3. Wind Conditions

When it concerns how long does it require to travel a mile in a kayak, wind have the right to either it is in a paddler’s ideal friend or your worst enemy. It every comes down to the strength and also direction that the waiting currents.

Kayaks might not have sails, however that doesn’t median that lock won’t capture the wind.


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For instance, if she paddling downstream and also fighting gusts that wind head-on, it no matter exactly how much initiative you put right into paddling; you’ll hardly gain momentum.

But if winds decide to work-related in your favor, blowing in the direction she headed, it could take much less time come kayak a mile 보다 your usual tempo.

Wind-induced speed rises do sound tempting, huh?

Still, don’t take adverse weather conditions lightly. If the starts feeling much more like an oncoming storm 보다 a satisfied breeze, it’s finest to speak to it quits or postpose her kayak trip.

4. Water Conditions


Do you paddle on calm lakes, unstable rivers, or the end on the sea? Water conditions, obstacles and currents, in addition to the weather, can influence your paddling speed by 1 to 2 miles per hour – either positively or negatively.

Have you ever tried speak a bicycle uphill with no brakes? Well, it is pretty much exactly how paddling versus a strong current feels like:

The moment you take a rest is the moment you start going backward.

Paddling downstream will assist you acquire momentum, you’ll be able to paddle faster, and increase your rate per mile, specifically if you include fast-flowing currents right into the mix.

The same goes for calm, flat waters. Granted, it could not an increase your speed, yet it will certainly make paddling a lot easier – as you will certainly not require to battle the water.

Another element that might slow your mean kayak rate is you might encounter, and need come circumnavigate, a few obstacles, together as; end hanging trees, floating debris, other kayakers.

Overall, water conditions are heavily influenced by the weather and also tide – specifically ocean currents. So, if you room trying to be quicker on the water and collection a an individual ‘paddle a mile’ record, maintaining an eye ~ above those two components will cut off some significant time.

5. The load You’re Carrying


Another aspect that dram into just how long it takes come kayak one mile is the total weight you carrying, consisting of the kayak’s weight, equipment, and also any extr passengers.

The extra load acts together an anchor and slows girlfriend down, regardless of her efforts.

I love kayaking v my son, however realistically speaking, I can never clock in the very same miles every hour together I would certainly if ns were paddling alone. I’m fine through my favorite little passenger impacting mine speed, though.

However, if you’re hope to travel faster, keep things as light as possible. The lighter the load in your kayak the faster you will certainly travel, the easier the paddling; it’s as simple as that.

Also bear in mind, the an option of kayak building and construction material will have actually a bearing ~ above the weight.

6. Paddler’s Physical capability & Experience


If you walked into the gym for the an initial time, you wouldn’t go straight for the load lifting station and expect to match an knowledgeable powerlifter, now, would certainly you?

Well, the very same goes because that kayaking:

Your experience and also physical ability – coupled with proper form and an approach – impact how fast you can swing that paddle and propel her kayak across the water.

First time or beginning of the person paddlers who space yet to develop their kayaking muscles, boost endurance, and also improve your stroke’s efficiency can’t contend with experienced kayakers.


But together your muscle coordination develops, particularly if aided by kayak concentrated gym exercises, friend perfect your paddling method and muscle storage builds, you’re bound to an increase your paddling speed – and also the time that takes to take trip a mile will certainly decrease in relation.

Addressing The question That Counts: How quick Can girlfriend Paddle a Kayak?

The factors questioned above, although classified as pure theory, can certainly give girlfriend some insight into exactly how long kayaking a mile can take.

But this is the thing:

Theoretical knowledge won’t swing her paddle because that you.

The real question here is how quick you deserve to paddle a kayak – and how well you can apply the ingredient you learned today right into real-life kayaking scenarios.

A much more experienced, physically to the right kayaker that’s currently mastered the paddling method may feel comfortable kayaking approximately 3 miles per hour. Beginners and also recreational paddlers will most likely clock in typical kayak speed of around 2 miles every hour.

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That’s a far more realistic script for most of us, in line with the average 20 to 30 minutes necessary to be able to paddle a kayak a mile.

However, seasoned experts with top-of-the-line kayaks able to paddle round 5 miles every hour – or higher. On that note, right here are a couple of mind-blowing kayak people records related to kayaking speed and distance, including how much can you kayak in a day: