- Read our review guidelines
When you’re planning your adventures on the water you’ll probably want to know how far you will be able to go and how long it will take you.
One of the most important questions you might be asking yourself is, how long does it take to kayak a mile?
Well, how long it will take you will depend on a number of factors but in this article we intend to address some of those factors to help give you a better idea of how long it might take you to paddle in your kayak and the distance you can travel.
- How much does a kayak weigh?
- What to do if approaching a low-head dam
- Guide to kayaking upstream
- How many calories does kayaking burn?
How Long Does It Take To Paddle A Mile?
One of the main factors affecting how long it will take you to paddle a mile will depend on how fast you are physically able to paddle. An average kayaking speed for an experienced paddler would be around 3 miles per hour, but this very much depends on other factors.
The lighter the load in your kayak the faster you will be able to travel. On the other hand, if there are two paddlers in the kayak, you may be able to travel faster, providing your overall weight load is not too heavy.
Beginners, and those who are just out for a leisurely paddle, will usually average a speed of around 2 miles per hour. But of course, the more experienced you are, the faster you’ll be able to go, particularly if you’re racing your companions.
Weather and water conditions play an important role in determining how fast you’ll be able to paddle. If the water is calm and there are no currents, you’ll be able to travel faster than if the water was choppy with strong currents and if the current is not in your favor.
Similarly, if you’re paddling in windy conditions this will significantly affect your speed, whether you’re traveling against it or with it. A lot will depend on whether you’re out in the sea, a river or a lake. If the current and wind direction are in your favor you could travel at around 5 miles per hour.
Another important factor to consider is the type of kayak you’re paddling in. The narrower and longer the kayak, the faster you’ll be able to travel, which is why racing kayaks tend to be more streamlined for speed.
It will also depend on how light your kayak is to start with combined with the type of cargo you’re carrying.
Kayaks tend to have a maximum speed that they can be paddled at, which is considered to be 1.34 multiplied by the square root of the length of your hull at the waterline.
So how long it will take you to paddle a mile in a kayak will differ for everyone. As a general guideline, it ought to take you around 30 minutes to paddle a mile, but as you’ll see, this will depend heavily on your personal abilities, the conditions, as well as your kayak.
Generally, if you’re paddling for a long period of time, you may find you won’t be able to maintain a quick speed for the entire journey. If you’re planning a trip, it’s best to use the 2 miles per hour average as a guide and always remember to factor in stops.
If you have any questions, please feel free to comment and we’ll do our best to answer them.