How Far Can You Kayak in a Day

Kayaking

Written by David Myers

October 3, 2019
kayaking with doggo

Photo of the week!

Like many kayakers, I’ve wondered how far I can travel in my kayak. But there’s a really boring answer to this question: it depends.

The furthest anyone has ever paddled in a kayak within 24 hours is a little over 150 miles, which is seriously impressive and not something I would want to attempt!

There are so many variables to take into consideration when figuring out how far can you kayak in a day. In this guide, we will take a look at these variables and break them down. 

Physical abilities:

How far or how long you kayak would depend significantly on your physical skills to paddle. On average, kayaking for an experienced paddler is around 3 miles (4km) per hour and it tends to vary how long it takes to kayak a mile. Moreover, it depends on other factors as well and may very well take a beginner one hour to paddle 2 miles (3km) in the water. However, these figures are not definite and depend a lot on your endurance level and technique of paddling as well.

Weather conditions:

On windy days a paddler would have to put in more effort and therefore, may take them longer to cover a certain distance. During rainy days the same may happen. Getting wet can slow you down, especially if you’re not prepared for the weather. Make sure to wear appropriate clothing to stay dry while kayaking.

Water conditions:

The stability of water definitely plays a role in allowing you to kayak far and long. If the water is unsteady or you are kayaking in a mighty river, more of your muscles will have to be used to paddle against the waves. But if you are a stronger experienced paddler and have the right endurance level, you may still be able to kayak for a more extended period. On the other hand, if you are kayaking in the direction of the waves, your pace will be increased by the waves.

Type of Kayak:

The build of your kayak is also essential in determining how far and long you can kayak in a day. For example, in a standard plastic kayak of 5 meters long, a 60 cm wide beam without much weight can be paddled by a moderately experienced kayaker with moderate strength, for a 5 kilometers per hour speed. This speed could be related to comfortable brisk walking. Experienced kayakers say that the longer the kayak, the faster it can be paddled. However, lighter kayaks are not as effective in challenging weather conditions.

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