How far can you paddle in a single day?

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.

I went for a 4 hour paddle with a friend a couple years ago. When we landed, I found my knee had seized and I literally couldn’t move it. My friend had to help slide me out of the kayak. Fortunately it never happened again.

Current and Wind
When paddling against current and wind it can be less energy total to paddle harder.

170 kms Non-stop
Here’s a great read for all you long distance armchair paddlers… like me :smiley:


– Last Updated: May-29-11 4:30 PM EST –

WaterMark, I would love those links!

Don't worry, this would just be a one day thing.

Many Years Ago
Hal and I in solo rec canoes made it a habit of hitting off 15 to 25 mile days on a long trip. First few days was like trying to get out of a coffin in the morning but ya get used to it after a while. I think our top day was around 30 miles and we were hauling around 110 pds of gear each. Still get a s&^t eating grin on my face thinking about those days.


24 miles in 4 1/2 hours
Is what I did last fall at Raystown. Only made a couple pit stops, and once to fuel me up with food.

I paddled my Artisan Millenium, which has a very comfortable seat. I could have paddled further that day.



I’d think that’d be completed rather quickly…



Never mind.

Just get out there with a comfy seat and


-Frank in Miami

Never tried…
to see how far I could go in a day. Many years ago a buddy and I, with no training but in pretty good shape, entered a downriver canoe race on a small class one river–long dead pools and short riffles. We were in a 17 foot Grumman that had seen better days; the bottom was wavy and had a lot of “reverse rocker”. Horrible boat to try to paddle fast. We did 21.5 miles in 3.5 hours. I believe, given how I felt at the end of it, I could have paddled at half that speed for ten hours in that boat, so I figure 30 miles a day in a well-designed boat on that kind of water would be absolutely no problem if you’re in decent shape.

the current world record on flat water is i think 261 miles in 24-hours.

ive done around 200 in a tandam canoe on the yukon in 24 hours and solo ive done in the 80s often with current etc. flat water was more in the 50 range being a reservour or lake type current. bob bradford and clark eid did well over 135 for 18 consecutive days paddling the 2340 miles of the entire mississippi river

If you are a beginner and you are
going 10 miles at 3.5, that is great, but you are probably bracing too hard on the foot pegs if your knees are hurting.

Every so often stretch your legs out in between the foot braces, and don’t push too hard on them.

All the long mileage comes with time in the boat.

It’s kind of like training for you first running marathon - (LSD) Long slow distance!

Jack L