Queston for you sea kayak racers

regarding cadence;

Today while race training on the local lake, my wife asked me what my cadence was, and I don’t have a clue.

Do any of you swifties have an idea what your cadence would be in a eight or ten mile race on flat water?

We know what we do(or should be doing) for cadence when we race our tandem canoe, but I had never thought about it in my kayak.

Jack L

count your strokes
Just count one side for 15 seconds and x8.

cadence during a race

a 10 mi flat water race in a surf ski is around 80 strokes a min.

cruiser pace would around 65. sprint over 100.

Vaaka makes a cadence sensor that transmits the data to various GPS watches.


I use and recommend the Vaaka cadence sensor mentioned by nickjc. I have had mine for over a year and it’s been trouble-free.

Vaaka has some good training documents on their website, including the following on cadence:

From the link above, “As a guide, when racing distances over 8km (4.6 miles) you should be aiming for a cadence of 40 dspm (80 spm), and if you can’t sustain this your paddle is probably too long for your strength and fitness level. Over 1km (.6 mile) you are aiming for a sustainable cadence of 50+ dspm (100+ spm) and over 200m a cadence of 65+ dspm (130+ spm)”.

My cadence is around 76 spm for a 10 miler and I’m working to get this up a bit more to at least 80. My newest wing (Jantex Gamma Rio) really starts to shine with a higher cadence, so I’m training to take advantage of this.

On your Garmin (or other GPS ANT unit) your display will show “double strokes per minute”. For example instead of 80 spm, the readout gives you 40 dspm.

I work on increasing my cadence as well as holding cadence fixed, and trying to improve speed (develop better technique, more power, etc).

A much cheaper, although less versatile option is to simply get a metronome app and set it for, say, 80 beats/second.



Thanks Greg
I was hoping you would reply

Jack l