Wife's Speed

My wife and I are new into kayaking although I crewed for 6 years. She has the absolute worse form I have seen. Yet, I have to almost sprint to keep up with her. She is in a Tsunami 140 and I am using an NC 17. She weighs 100 pounds and I weigh almost 200. Is it just the weight? Or do I just have to admit she is kicking my a**?

Seems pretty likely to me. Could always load her boat down with some rocks and see how she does then to find out.


Maybe copy her form…

– Last Updated: Jun-15-06 10:41 PM EST –

Or that's what you get for marrying a younger woman.. :-)

If she has the “worse form”…
that you have seen, than your form must be horrendous.

What does she say about your form?

Has she been kayaking a lot longer than you? (crew is completely different)

Have some one who has some experience watch and critique what you are doing wrong.

But for what it is worth, consider yourself lucky that the both of you paddle together.

There are not too many of us, and it makes for a great marriage when your wife is also your paddling partner.



you have just discovered Jim’ First Law of Hydrodynamics:

“Compact women in shorter boats are speeders”

I velieve that it is a function of wetted surface. Less weight means less draught means less wetted surface means less friction.

And my personal belief is that a 100# paddler + a 50# boat displaces 150# of water. A 200#er in a 50# boat displaces 250# of H2O. Every boat length paddled means that the heavier paddler is “moving” 66% more water out of the way to allow the boat to pass.

In other words, you are working harder than she.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


Face it…
girls are just better than boys! That should get things started. Just kidding. I must agree with JackL about spouses that paddle together. I’ve been paddling for years and it probably was one of the major things that worked out great for my husband and me. We now own 12.5 boats and there are 3 of us in the family. You just can’t beat family time on the water in my opinion. Of course some alone time doesn’t hurt either. I’d say let her go for it. As long as you are both safe and wear your PFD! :wink: Dori

leave it alone
you will be much happier in the end.

Don’t let her take a class
Whatever you do, don’t let her take an intro to kayaking class. Her form will improve and she’ll kick your butt even more.

Or, you could just start taking long paddling trips and see if her bad form catches up with her and tires her out. >B^)

  • Jasen.

My form
There is no question that her “form” is better than mine. She only weighs 2 pounds more than when I married her and she still turns heads. Even my daughters boyfriends flirt with her…I luv it.!!!

In my case…well, we will just leave it at that.

I have an idea.
Let’s you and her race around Jamestown Island (VA)! Winner take all, Texas Death Match! ;>)

Fess up now…
Are you within two pounds of when she married you? :slight_smile:

that the both of you paddle together
Be very grateful that your wife enjoys paddling.

My wife and I are the only paddling couple on most of our outings with other kayakers. We are often envied and feel very fortunate that we both enjoy this activity.

You may wish to find classes that you can take together. Everyone can use forward stroke work, not to mention bracing etc… Or if it works, you may wish to taek a forward stroke class alone so that you don’t feel left behind when paddling.

Fast Wife
Try paddling behind her and matching her cadence. If that doesn’t make you any faster, focus on fully planting your blade at the beginning of the stroke (the catch)and taking the blade out by the time it reaches the hips. Still gettting dusted? What about a paddle blade with more surface area? (This may help if you feel like you aren’t working very hard, even when you are paddling fast).

If this doesn’t help, consider taking a class. You don’t need to be able to paddle faster than her – but just as fast would be nice.

Good form verses paddling hard…

– Last Updated: Jun-16-06 6:37 PM EST –

My wife definitely has better "form" than me. She just paddles easy and moves along. I paddle hard and take two Advil for my effort at the end of the day.
None the less I think it comes down to this. She more or less gets the mechanics, and since she is so thin, can't paddle hard if she wanted to. Me, I want to pull too hard, and haven't found the sweet spot of just gently paddling and gliding along.
So you are not alone my friend.

apparently its good form for her
If she is moving her boat well, isn’t getting tired or worn out, and she is having FUN, her form is fine! for her!

Leave it alone and admire the view from your vantage point. If she is nice she’ll ease up every now and then to let you catch up.

Everyone else is right. not enough paddling couples around. JackL and Nancy are one of the two couples we have met. We met them at the 2006 B&B. the other is branden and heather. We saw them up in the yukon last year. And will see them again in about 10days.

I’m a glutten for punishment. We are heading back to the yukon river quest to try to erase last years DNF from memory.

I know what you mean.
I had a fast wife. Now I’m looking for something more stable (just for poking and messing around.)

apparently half-fast.

I had to shake my head at your initial comment on her form being bad -then, later, admitting to even worse form yourself.

Kudos that your both out there together -count your lucky stars, friend -I completely concur with Jack on that.

And if you EVER saw him & Nanci, you’d know what the rest of us (including me -and sometimes even Sally) know: 2 is quite frequently a lot more fun than merely 1 to


-Frank in Miami

My wife is an Artsy-Fartsy type of
person. She can never be an even OK paddler. I paddle a canoe because I know she’ll never keep up with me in a kayak or feel confident to paddle anything pushing the envelope – which for her isn’t too much. So I paddle a canoe and go on trips that we can make together. It has nothing to do with courage or hardships, just skill. You have to deal with her skill level or leave her at home. Don’t try to make her into something she is not. If you think through the problem you’ll find a good compromise. Ben Franklin wrote, “Before marriage keep your eyes wide open, after, half shut”.

That Tsunami 140
has great glide also. I demoed one about a month ago and had to laugh as I paddled. In my experience, Wilderness Systems knows how to make an efficient kayak.

end of problem.


(or a whole set of new ones)