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average speed of kayak

whats the average speed of a touring kayak?i used my gps and i only go 2.9 mph. so i got to thinking whats the average speed of a touring kayak


  • The average speed of a touring
    kayak depends on the paddler.
    from my observations:
    If he is racing it is anywhere between 5 and 7 MPH.
    If he is just out nature watching/exploring it is between 3 and 4 MPH
    If he is wants to get from point A to point B without getting aerobic it is about 4 MPH

    Jack L

  • Depends
    on the hull design, cadence of the paddler, water conditions.

    I'm guessing with my QCC 400x I average about 3mph but have been in the 4mph range when I kick it up a notch but that is not why I kayak.
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    am i am coredt
    in then fact the sooedm on the kayqk isthats a fast kayakcins unstable:
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    Faster than fast...for that good feeling on your rate of speed your travelling at 4.667 km per hour.
    ... there doesn't that sound faster already..?
    works for me :->
  • Not at all.
    there again it depends on the paddler

    When I first started kayaking, I was in a little wide recreation kayak, and anything longer and narrower felt tippier to me.
    As time went by, and I gained confidence and skill, and then bought a longer and narrower kayak. I had absolutely no problem at all with that kayak, and eventually I wanted something faster so I bought one that was 21" wide.
    In the years I have had it, I have been in some very rough seas, and have never felt unstable in it.

    I am pretty sure if when I started kayaking I ran right out and bought a long skinny kayak I probably would have been capasizing on a daily basis.

    I have often thought, and several times have posted it here; " kayaks and canoes don't tip over. People tip them over"

    Jack L
  • Options
    In my experience.
    After a few seasons of racing, I have to say it is about 80% paddler, 20% the boat you are paddling.

    Of course there are some limitations. But great paddlers can make almost anything fly. And less skilled paddlers will struggle to make anything keep up even a modest pace. My Heritage 9.5 travels 3.2 like it is on cruise control. You don't even have to think about it. Bringing it up to 4 will get you concentrating and breathing. Past four is for Hercules.

    Four is a good average for the average touring boat in the 14 foot range. Putsing along about 3 in that boat of your's is about what you could expect. You will gain a little bit as your technique improves. You shouldn't feel poorly about cruising around at 3 in that thing.
  • what's the hurry?
    don't worry about your speed unless you're going on a multi-day trip, or paddling with a group and you really can't keep up. focus on developing your paddling form, and your speed will naturally come up a bit. on a 10-mile paddle the difference between averaging 3 mph and 3.5 mph is less than half an hour.

    enjoy the scenery, keep an eye out for wildlife, explore the coves and marshes and tributaries, get out and take a little side hike.
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    lots of a1 advice
    thank you
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    this is way better then biking
    i spent 1 year saveing for a bike then it broke on me in like 3 months just as i was geting good dang rear casete just striped out it was a schwin bike i used to think they was good i like the kayaks way better less moveing parts unless i break lol
  • How much or how fast?
    I am half deaf so I get a rush out of going fast. Expensive hearing aids not good ofr wet. I took me to 2hours and 25 minutes to do 14 miles in the lighthouse to lighthouse race. My eft was in touring class. PEOPLE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN SPEED
  • 7 km/hr
    ..or a bit less than 5mph is what I do in my Necky Looksha 17 on a fairly steady, going somewhere, paddle. If I paddle hard, probably about 9 or 10 Km/hr but not for very long. combination of getting old and not really wanting to go anywhere in a hurry anyway.
    As mentioned above, if I paddled the same stroke in different boat, results would vary accordingly.
  • Zero
    -- Last Updated: Sep-15-10 2:08 PM EST --

    Unless it's in a pretty good wind. Add in the speed that a person can paddle and it tends to get faster... :-)

  • I just did 5 miles on the Pawtucket
    in SW Rhode Island, with almost no current helping me, in a 15' whitewater boat, in exactly 2 hours. I was pressing a little at times.

    Us whitewater types can easily get unrealistic when paddling with no current. On any moving ww river, 5 miles is nothing, but on that flatwater run (one class 2 through a broken dam), I got kinda whipped.
  • Paddle Speed
    Your age, physical condition, type of kayak, weather conditions, (and I'm sure there are other factors) can influence your speed.
    For me, under normal conditions, between 2.5 and 5 MPH.
    With a shark or alligator behind be, about 116.5 MPH !
  • speed
    -- Last Updated: Sep-16-10 3:33 PM EST --

    so many thing come into this.

    i did get around 6.3mph in a ultimate 14 and a pamlico 135t solo...sher there not suposeto be fast yak..but those were on gps and i was not alone..so true numbers.

    but this was for sec ,,kllike a blast and that was it..but a 4 is pretty easy to keep in those two and even on my tarpon 140 and my trident 15.

    again tons off stuff is playing in this.

    padddler weight
    paddler experience
    the wind
    the paddle you use
    the water you are in..current and all.
    the physiques off the paddler..heart and all.

    but let say its not a huge deference...but one or 2 mph is still alot if you paddle for hours.at the end off the day that still gone to be a few mph less done.in a trip.

    but for small few h trip..hey its all good...its not racing its enjoy time on water.


    the most important thing ..is what you like as speed....if its 2mph gor for it if its more hey its the same.



  • Options
    im still slow
    at 2.9 mph and when im lazy even slower soon as i fix seat i think ill do beter plus i just use arms some reason i cant get used to usesing body to
  • start by pretending you're a cat
    -- Last Updated: Sep-17-10 3:50 PM EST --

    You know how cats do that massage thing with their front paws... Every stroke, just give a little massage push on the foot pedal of the stroke side. After some while, your torso will want to get in on the rhythm. Then you'll find yourself pushing a bit harder with your feet, and doing more work with you torso. If you have a GPS running, you'll see an uptick in speed.

    Whenever you notice you're not doing it, start with the cat massage. At some point it should become automatic.

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    5,6,7mph in rec boats! Some of you guys must be world class paddlers to get that kind of speed from a rec. boat. Ragz, do not believe half of what is written in this post. To paddle faster you need to increase your cadence plain and simple. However not at the expense of technique. To paddle faster you don`t paddle harder your cadence gets faster. Surprised some of these pro`s didn`t tell you that.
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    yep gps here
    glad i bought this thing when it was on sale comes in handy for hikeing and kayaking im glad i got a yak with them feet rest
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    my goal is 3.5
    i figure ill keep that goal but some day im for sure going to get a faster yak and one with dry storage
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    "Unless it's in a pretty good wind. Add in the speed that a person can paddle and it tends to get faster... :-)
    Absolutely spot on Celia, well said :-)
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    It really depends on the color
    The red ones are fast.

    jim :-)
  • Speed
    I just did a 7.8 mile loop around a lake in my Placid Boat Works Spitfire 12 and averaged 3.6mph according to my Garmin GPS.
  • About 3 knots
    -- Last Updated: Sep-27-10 5:48 PM EST --

    3.6 mph equals about 3 knots which is the most often cited figure I've encountered as average (or normal) cruising speed for a sea kayak. However, for a solo canoe it sounds fast... but then again I can't paddle a canoe straight at any speed ;-)

    Celia's response of 'Zero' is my fav on this thread, as a kayak has no inherent speed....

  • Options
    Close to zero
    When you average out 70+ miles per hours on the roads, 3 mph on the water for trips, and then all the time they are stored in the garage, it's slightly above zero, but practically zero. The more you drive it around and paddle, the higher the average.

    Based on the last month, my kayak went about 200 miles on the roads, 8.5 miles on the river, so 208.5 miles in 720 hours is about .29 miles per hour.

  • Options
    -- Last Updated: Sep-27-10 7:02 PM EST --

    I read somewhere that painting flames on the hull will help increase the speed. I think I will give that a try.

  • Finally got some rain last night
    my Explorer filled up in less than 12 hours - drought is not over but it is a start
  • Options
    avaerage speed
    i am sure the question was a serious one.

    If you crossed a lake that is 2 NM accross in 2 hours back and forth then you did 4nm in those 2 hours. Or 2 knots. and i am thinking for navigational purposes that maybe a good number.
  • average speed of kayak
    So is mine :) www.orukayak.com
  • 5mph
    -- Last Updated: Oct-03-16 10:41 PM EST --

    7mph.. yeah, either your GPS is broken or you just won the Olympics! :)
    In my opinion 3mph cruising is about the average without wind, current for normal human beings in a non-racing kayak. 4mph is pulling hard, 5mph is vigorous and quite an achievement for longer than an hour.

    I have a 14" recreational Perception America, it's not a racing one for sure, but I am more athletic than the average. I can cruise with 3-4mph for several hours, 5mph is about the max.

    Like some others wrote, don't worry about speed, just enjoy paddling!

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