How Long Does It Take to Kayak A Mile (Is It A Long Ride?)

How Long Does It Take To Kayak A Mile

I usually do kayak for leisure purposes only. I don't really have that high interest in bringing myself and my kayak to rapid waters. Maybe it's too much for me. I tried it four times, but I think that's it.


Some people said to me that touring in a kayak is quite dull. But how? Did they even try it? Maybe they are not up to a smooth-sailing boat that is cruising on calm waters. It might be the distance of the journey that seems to bother them. If the latter's the case, this guide might elucidate things a little.

How long does it take to kayak a mile? For many kayakers, being able to reach your first mile means that you have been doing great in your paddling. In fact, it is a simple achievement that is worth celebrating.

But is this feat challenging to reach? Are there any preparations that you have to be able to tackle a mile? Find out the answers to these questions below!

The Type of Kayak

Not all kayak can move at the same speed. Nobody can downplay this fact.

For instance, it is known that sit-inside kayaks provide more speed while it is on the water than sit-on-top kayaks. The reason for this is the very design of the boat. The latter lets you lower your body so that it becomes level with the water. This setup improves your stability and control of the boat. In turn, you will be able to paddle the boat faster.

On the flip side, sit-on-top kayaks are generally ideal for touring and recreational purposes. They don't generate great speeds, but it is compensated by their excellent balance and stability. They offer great wind-resistance as well because they let the users elevate their center of gravity.

The quality of the boat matters here as well. Newer ones with better parts and designs will always leave behind those basic units. Perhaps, the costlier the kayak is, the faster it becomes.

I am not discriminating entry-level kayaks, though. But this claim is quite understandable. After all, some kayaks are made to be light, fast, and durable. They can travel a mile for as fast as twenty minutes, especially if you are an excellent kayaker already.

Kayak Length

I always emphasize that length is one of the crucial variables in choosing a kayak. I am not saying that there is a correct length when it comes to kayaks and other recreational vessels. However, this factor somehow determines the intended application of the boat.

Without sugarcoating things, you should know that long and thin kayaks can go faster than their opposite counterparts. Yes. They are quite scary to board on, especially if you are still new with them. However, they must become your top choice if you need speed.

Take into account that a difference of two to three feet in the length of the kayak can already make you leave your competitors. Things get even faster if you have excellent paddling strength at your disposal.

Kayak Width

Same as the length, the width of the kayak also changes its dynamics. Of course, this is not only applicable to kayaks but other water vessels as well. Have you ever seen a cruise ship ramming the seas? If so, you have already noticed that it has a broad face, which drives water to be pushed through its side. Despite this overwhelming show of power, these ships don't move fast, right?

Most of the boats that are built for speed have a narrow design. Usually, their front features a V-shape construction while their back tends to be slim. This is the very structure that is capable of traversing waters without pushing too much water mass.

When your kayak has a wide structure, this means that they are going to carry a lot of water mass for them to move correctly. Therefore, it is already expected that they don't run that fast.

How Long Does It Take To Kayak a Mile?

Factors That Affect the Speed of A Kayak

We have discussed some of the critical variables that affect the speed of the kayak. Now is the perfect time to discuss the average speed of which you can journey a mile with your kayak.

You see, I cannot give you an exact answer to this particular query. People have different experiences from their kayaks. It is not a new story to me if a person has covered a mile for under thirty or forty minutes. At the same time, I don't give a condescending look to kayakers that cannot paddle at a fast pace.

The strength and speed of your paddles are among the most relevant factors in determining the time you can kayak a mile a kayak. For instance, seasoned kayakers can do three miles per hours. That's pretty fast already.

Just like I said earlier, the built of the kayak affects its speed. When it has a light load, it is expected to travel fast. Even if you and your friends can paddle at the same rate, you can still make them lag behind if you are riding a graphite or carbon kayak. That's the reality of things here.

For those who are just riding their kayak for leisure and sightseeing, the average time that it will take them to cover a mile is around an hour. That's a safe guess. And they don't feel pressure anyway. They are just there to enjoy the waters and the scenery!

Meanwhile, this guide from PaddleTv can teach you how to paddle a kayak. It might help you drive your kayak to faster speeds!


How long does it take to kayak a mile? It really depends. There are several factors that affect the speed of the kayak. At the end of the day, your skill as a kayaker will still define the maximum speeds that you can traverse while you are on your kayak.

For me, I don't mind the time at all. I can stay slow in my kayak for an entire day. In fact, I can remain static in a location, especially if I have bought my fishing rod and fish finder!

That's it for now. If you have questions or suggestions, just drop them in the comment section.

Check out some of my cool kayaking resources.

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