What's considered good distance/speed?

Just started kayaking about a month ago and went out for an afternoon paddle at my local lake. Did 7 miles at about 3.5 mph average on the GPS. Light wind and chop, 13.5 foot boat, rec/touring paddle. Not trying to win any races here, but what’s considered a fair clip and distance? I have nothing to compare too (except bass boats).

“At about” is not what your GPS …
read out was !

If the read out was 3.5 and you have only been paddling for a short time, and if it was seven miles, and if you were in a kayak of that length, and if the rabbit didn’t stop to take a … oops that is the wrong " and if" :

I think that is pretty decent.

Now that you are hooked you realize that the next time you will have to do 3.6.



Yup…just like bikes,

– Last Updated: May-31-07 8:07 PM EST –

I'm afraid....I've been a serious cyclist for a couple of decades and thought the yak would be a "relaxing" sport. Nope, found I was 'pacing' myself like doing a road ride....and probably doing it all wrong. For a while I was trying to hold 4+ mph until the back/neck muscles started to burn, and backed off. Somewhere on this forum I'd read someone was able to do 4.5mph "all day long". Yikes! I think I'm going to concentrate on nice easy fishing. ;-)

Conversations usually start after
30.5 miles at 6.1 mph.

What kind of boat…
is able to do that kind of speed for that long?(obviously the engine and his/her technique has a lot to do with it)

Not yer average sporty rec/touring kayak…right?

Come paddle with me and my

– Last Updated: May-31-07 8:36 PM EST –

Current Design Kestrel 120HV rec kayak and we'll use my Garmin 76CS for our witness.
The secret is paddling 80-100+ mpw (miles per week)
No secret or special technique just paddle, paddle and paddle.
But seriously 3.5 mph is a good pace. My 15 and 18 mile group trips average about 3 mph for 5-6 hours and most aren't serious paddlers.

But could you have done 8?
Could you have gone further at the same pace, or were you bonked at the end?

I figure my “all day” pace is 3ish knots.

speed is fine

– Last Updated: Jun-01-07 12:03 AM EST –

I don't race. On my paddles, my average is generally in that range (unless it is a paddle where we have long stops - such as when nature watching or playing in the surf).

I could have kept on going

– Last Updated: May-31-07 10:22 PM EST –

there a part missing that you might not know. I was on an 850 mile 49 day trip and I do paddle still all of the time. I just don't seem to get tired. In August I lead a 24 hour recreational paddle. At the end of 24 hours we paddled 92.5 miles but then had to paddle 10 more miles to the take out. Finally we paddle 102.5 miles in 26.5 hours. Most will be on the trip again this year.
Paddle for you and don't worry what anyone else does. Paddling is supposed to be fun and it will open doors to a new world for you. Enjoy each and every minute.
Have fun...one stroke at a time

6 plus mph is very impressive
for a wide beamed, 12 foot kayak even over short distances. More proof that short boats deserve more respect! John

It seems to me your pace is
respectable for the distance you paddled.

“Pace and distance are immaterial when compared with the pleasure you derive from your pace and distance”.

Confucius 480 B.C.

Depends on the river.
If flatwater - damn remarakable. He should race Barton.

Ran out
of time. I could have gone farther. Just kind of settled into a comfortable pace and plodded along. Biggest mistake is staring at the GPS to try and hold a speed. Bad on a bike and evidently a yak.

If wasn’t a river…
it was a flat lake

Yes, but you have a 2 MPH current
pushing you.

that doesn’t count



And the farmer took another load away



30 Miles @ 6+MGH
Puts you in world class posture, I’ll be watching to see you outpace all the rest of the national record holders.



– Last Updated: Jun-01-07 7:12 AM EST –

"Maybe pace, like a quick slithering snake, is a factor when trying to outrun wild beasts and when trying to nab a woman. I underestimated pace."
Confucius 479 B.C.

A Lot To Consider
And I am not sure how important speed is. But from my perspective you are doing well. Certainly you could stay right in there with the groups I’ve paddled with.

More important is to get out and have some fun!


If its speed I wanted from this sport - I would buy a power boat.

Don’t take this wrong - I like to catch up to other groups for fun and like to paddle fast once in a while but mostly try not to lose the reason I am out there. Its too easy to turn a nice paddle into the Bataan Death March by staring at a GPS…so I just try to enjoy the water - the many textures of it, the wildlife and perspectives so many don’t get to enjoy.

For me - Pace is just another brand of salsa.