Anybody here do the ND Kayak Challenge

-- Last Updated: Oct-22-10 6:33 PM EST --

I am planning on paddling the North(oops) South Dakota Kayak Challenge in 2011. Anyone here do the one this year. If so, what advice can you give specific to that race. What did you learn in the first race that will better prepare you for 2011?

do you mean South Dakota??
There is a South Dakota Kayak Challenge on the Missouri River…Nothing I know of in North Dakota.

If you are talking about the South Dakota Kayak Challenge then yes, I have done it.

It wasn’t bad, but not easy either. I would say that most people can reasonable expect to finish in one day. Reserve a room at the end.

Like any other race, keep up on fluids and food, and be ready to sit in your boat and paddle for 12 hours.

It was windy as hell, and pretty hot too. Lots of fun.

Yes, South Dakota
Yes, I meant South. Even with wind does the current keep you moving some what? Thanks for the info.

Did it…well…most of it
Not too bad, it was my first race longer than 12 miles. The first 30 miles weren’t too bad, then it started to get pretty boring. We’d all split up and most of the time you ended up paddling by yourself not seeing anyone ahead or behind.

The wind was terrible as we were paddling straight into it most of the way and there was some pretty heavy boat traffic towards the finish once we got closer to Sioux City. The wind and boat traffic combined forced me to pull out at the last check point. I didn’t bring my spray skirt or a pump and my Thunderbolt kept taking waves over the cockpit. I’d already had to stop and empty 3 or 4 times and it was getting worse the farther I went.

The 1st 3/4 of the race the river meandered a bit and had lots of shallow sandy areas to pick through. The last 1/4 was channelized with quicker current and deeper water.

I’ll be there again, hope to see you there!


Pretty much what Alan said
the wind was strong enough early in the day to where if I stopped paddling I would be blown back upriver pretty quickly.

Not to say thats how it will be again this spring - the wind might be to one’s favor, you never know. Or there might be no wind.

I would definitely be prepared to deal with it.

So far I am planning on going back. With the shuttle they provide, etc, it is a very easy race in that respect.

SD Kayak Challange
Thanks again for all the info. A couple other questions. What is the one thing you will do differently for next year or make sure you are prepared for. Also, how did you handle night paddling? Did you rig lights on the boat or did you just use a head lamp?

I would love it.
Lots of great memories and days well spent in that section of the Missouri River. Maybe I can find a way to get back there for it.

Things I’ll do different
1. Get a better/more efficient stroke

2. Bring a spray skirt if I’m in a kayak again and the wind will be blowing

Can’t help when it comes to night paddling. I plan on finishing long before sunset. There were some pretty nifty light setups on some of the boats though.


they require lights
if you plan on being out at night. I would suggest bringing some anyway, but you will likely be done by dusk, or maybe early evening depending on how fast you are.

Things I wuld do different:

(1) bring a hydration system so I can drink without putting the paddle down (I have one I used in the MR 340 now)

(2) bring bagels or something to eat. I didn’t since lunch the previous day so I was already in trouble before I even started.

It’s a tough race, but not that tough. Go do it, you will love it. (or hate it) If you are a decent paddler with a decent boat, plan on 12-14 hours of paddling and train accordingly.