How far can you paddle in a single day?

What is the farthest it would be possible to paddle in a single day, with adequate training ahead of time? Would 30 nm be reasonable?

It Depends…
On conditions, flat water or moving water, type of kayak paddled, your endurance and pain threshold.

There’s a race in the interior of BC which is 100kms, and takes around 10 hours in a racing boat.

The furthest kayaked in 24 hours is around 350kms, but that was on a river.

Some kayakers have paddle continuously for over 24 hours to complete sections with no landings.

30 nautical miles is about 55 kms. For a strong paddler, that’s quite doable.

Joe O’Blenis did more than that daily when he set a new world record for circumnavigating Vancouver Island last summer.

10 kms/hr is a strong but doable pace. So a strong paddler could do 30NM in about 6 hours in favorable conditions, without stopping for a break.

If you’re interested, there’s some articles I could find the links to on preparing for long distance paddles (with tips like duct taping your nipples to prevent chaffing).

In the realm of normal paddling, if you’re planning on a trip, I don’t recommend planning to paddle to your limit. Assume you won’t have consistently favorable conditions, leave yourself extra time and energy to deal with emergencies. Consider if your hands get covered in blisters, or you pull a muscle, will you be able to get back?

Nipple Tape…
Next time I go for a personal distance record I’m going to put some clear polish on my fingernails. We did a 36 miler at the NC outer banks and at the end of the day I had bruising under my pinky fingernails. I think they got soaked and softened and I was pulling too hard on the paddle.

How long did 36 miles take you to paddle?

My wife and I did 27 last week in the
"BGD" expedition tandem yak. We hope to work up to 50 in 12 or 13 hours

We do several races in our tandem canoe each year one of which is a fifty miler and another a forty.

Down the Keys nature watching, 20 in a day is plenty

jack L

we hope to do the general clinton 70miler in under 10hrs tommorrow! thats a tandem canoe, for the Yukon we plan on doing 160-180miles per day but there will be at least 5 of us in the canoe(hopefully 6!)

On rivers with a general current on 2 mph or so, you can expect to do about 5.5 mph at a constant paddle pace with breaks. In a tandem I have done 100 miles in 18 hours. On lakes I have done 40 miles and that took about 9 hours. Without training much 20 miles is not really bad but it will hurt the next day.

I don’t have any science behind this but, paddling on moving water is at least 50% easier. There is something about static water that is a drain on me.

Ryan L.

which races
Are they close by to nc?

Ryan L.

30 miles in a day with a couple of breaks shouldn’t be that hard unless you have adverse conditions bigest problem is sitting in the boat for that length of time , focus on comfort and thigh support

Time in the boat
The physics of how boats move through water dictates that going fast takes considerably more effort than going slow. As such, and I think this was Verlen Kruger’s idea first, comfort is more important than an exceptionally sleek hull for making long distance days.

Put another way, it takes far less energy to go 4mph for 10 hours than to go 5mph for 8 hours. I think 10mph for 4 hours would be unlikely in most paddle-craft, while 2mph for 20 hours would be no trouble for almost anything with a comfortable seat.

It Wasn’t a Race

– Last Updated: May-29-11 12:47 PM EST –

so speed wasn't a big issue. I think it took about 11.5 hours including all our breaks.

It might have been 12.5 hours. I can't remember shquat.

The fifty miler is on the Suwannee…
River, starting in Fargo Georgia and going to White Springs, Florida. They are adding a hundred miler to it this year

The 40 miler is the Lumber River race in NC which unfortunately has been changed to 20 miles due to the last 20 miles being in wilderness, (think unsafe!), but we are pushing for it to get changed back to 40.

There is a 100 miler at the coast in Core Sound, NC in the fall, (the Watertribe Challenge)

Jack L

I agree on the seat
It makes all the difference in the world

20 miles in my QCC-700 and my butt wants out, but 25 miles in our big Necky tandem, and I can keep right on going.

Jack L

Then how many days in a row …
Doing 30 miles for one day at top speed is one thing, doing it for 10 days in a row is entirely another.

I highly doubt most of us can paddle flat water without current at 10 km/h average (6 mph) for any given lenght over an hour or so. I think that is only doable in a specialize racing kayak or a fast surf ski kind of craft. Even these craft can’t maintain these speeds for more than a few hours with top atletes paddling them unloaded.

100 miles - check this out

– Last Updated: May-29-11 10:51 AM EST –

I've done a 50 mile river trip and 30 miles on open ocean coastline. Check out a few videos by Justine Curgenven and read a few books by Chris Duff for examples of long sustained paddles over many weeks. If you train and are in reasonable health you can do 30 miles.

Distance ?
Many moons ago, I did 37 miles in one day, in a solo canoe. Did it just to see how far I could go in a day. Have no doubt I could have done 40 miles if I hadn’t gotten lazy.

Don’t remember it as being much fun. My hands,wrists, back, shoulders, arms & legs hurt for 3 or 4 days. I have no plans whatsoever to ever attempt to break my own record.


Farallone Island 46 Miler
Back in 1987 four of us paddled two Necky Tofino doubles from Pt. Reyes to the Farallone Islands off San Francisco, then in the Golden Gate, a distance of about 46 miles, taking just under 10 hours to complete. The Tofino was not a fast double but quite seaworthy, and we were trained and motivated. Conditions were almost flat (unusual for that area) and no boathandling was required. I remember being so tired afterwards that I almost fell asleep while driving home.

I’m just starting out and go about 10 miles at 3.5 mph with one or two 5 minute breaks. I usually feel like I could go further but at that point one of my knees is starting to ache. :frowning:

Many many variables - 40 - 50 miles
I’ve paddled 40 to 50 miles in a day a few times.

Pretty regularly do 15 to 20 mile days in the summer.

Easy enough to ramp up training to accommodate 30 to 35 miles.

There is a big difference between 2-3 mph and 5-6 mph paces though.

either way…
I’m impressed. Much further than I’ve ever gone in a day.