How Long Does It Take to Kayak a Mile with Average Kayaking Speed

How Long Does It Take to Kayak a Mile

Kayak is a small, light, narrow boat, pointed at both ends, with a covering over the top which is moved with a double-bladed paddle. No matter how old you are, what sort of abilities you have you can always perform kayaking as it is a sport for all. How long does it take to kayak a mile should be solely depending on your wish?

Before going on a kayaking tour, you need to know the time duration; and according to that, you need to get ready. You also need access to water and weather condition in order to pack your kayak and bags and prepare your kayak accordingly.

Getting out of the kayak in the middle of the trip is near to impossible. Therefore, before heading for the trip take all measures according to your trip duration.

How Long Does It Take to Kayak a Mile?

How long does it take to kayak a mile is a question which is rather hard to answer. It depends on the weather, your kayaking skills, kayak types, and so many things. In average it can take 20-30 minutes for a kayak to travel a mile. Let’s find out how the average kayaking speeds can change for different situations.

Make a Plan is Good for getting the Better of Average Kayaking Speed

Use should always make a plan before going on a trip as it is very important. Through this, you can easily calculate the duration of your kayak trip. If you have a plan and you pack your thing according to that, there is a very low chance of facing unexpected challenges. It will let you understand the situation and make a plan on that and thus increase the average speed of the kayak.

So, what should be in your checklist of kayak trip planning?

You need to make a checklist of the weather, your trip waterway, your utilities, water condition, and your kayak’s condition. Before choosing a kayak you should be done making your plan as this plan will help you to choose the most suitable kayak for your journey.

Choose Weight of Kayak Material: Lightweight Kayak Can Travel More Miles

It is a wonder to many; how fast does a kayak go? It depends on many things, Choosing the lightweight kayak material is one of them. A more lightweight kayak is easier to carry, easier to load onto your car and easier to get up to speed.

Choose Weight of Kayak Material

A lighter boat also allows you to carry more gear because less of the weight capacity is taken up by the weight of the boat itself. However, if you use fish finders with lighter weight,

Polyethylene plastic

Polyethylene plastic is cheap and abrasion-resistant. The main problem with this material is, it is heavy in weight and the sun’s UV rays will degrade it after an extended time.

ABS plastic

Slightly more expensive than polyethylene, and it offers similar durability. The price of this one is higher than polyethylene which will give you a slightly lower weight than polyethylene and some UV resistance.


These boats are made of lightweight fiberglass and ultra-light carbon-fiber which offer a huge rise in performance and price as well. UV rays are not a big concern with these materials.

Determine Average Kayak Speed You are On

To determine your trip duration, you need to decide your destination 1st, but you cannot decide the duration only by knowing the length or trail condition, the duration also varies because of the speed.

Average Kayak Speed

If you can paddle faster you will be able to reach your destination early if you are not used to paddling or do not want to paddle fast you will reach late. In addition to this, speed depends on the shape of the kayak. Also, how much weight you will be carrying that will also determine your kayak speed.

Speed of Kayak a Mile Can Vary According to the Gears

Kayak speed may also depend on the gears attached to your kayak. If you have a rudder attached to your kayak then you will go faster than a kayak without a rudder.

A rudder keeps your kayak traveling straight when you are paddling in windy conditions, as all kayaks naturally want to turn into the wind. This is called weather-cocking; the rudder is used to counteract your kayak’s desire to weather-cock.

A Skeg is a simple dropdown in which may also determine your speed. It helps to prevent a side wind from blowing the boat off course.

Selecting the better items, engine, body and other items like kayak pulling paddle are also play an important role in average kayaking speed. So, check them out as well.

Different Types of Kayak Produces Different Speeds

There are different types of kayaks for different purposes. Each design serves a significant purpose. The narrower and longer the kayak, the faster you will be able to travel.

Leisure Kayaks: Easy to Use Light Weighted Kayak

Leisure kayaks are easy for beginners; these are light weighted and can be maneuvered easily. Though it is light, it is durable enough to survive in all weather conditions. Kayaks generally come with two cockpits as people love to spend leisure time with a friend or someone special.

These kayaks mostly take place in protected water bodies. Leisure kayaks can be also used over long periods of time with a reasonable amount of comfort.

These may not be the fastest kayaks available but can travel faster than many kayaks. It depends on the size, weigh, and expertise on how quickly it can travel a mile. If we take a guess, it will be between 25-40 minutes.

Ocean Kayak for Longer Trips

The ocean kayaks or the sea kayaks have more space or compartments for storing purpose. These are used for longer trips or journeys. These kayaks are designed in such a way that the supplies can last for at least a day or two.

They are relatively stronger inbuilt and can withstand tougher conditions and violent waters. So, the sea or ocean kayaks are used for large water bodies and unpredictable ones.

For this, sea kayaks have two sealed bulkheads, one in the bow in front of the feet and the other in the stern behind the seat. They can also fight through partially large waves because of their aerodynamic shape.

Ocean Kayak for Longer Trips

Ocean kayak comes with great torque speed. With a speed of 5 miles per hour, it is one of the faster ones. According to the reading, it will take 15-20 minutes to travel a mile.

Surf Play Kayak for Playboating and Stunt

Surf play kayaks are used for freestyle kayaking. If someone is performing stunts with Playboating, that is known as freestyle kayaking. Also, the kayakers who perform in Playboating or want to perform technical moves use this type of kayaks.

Leisure kayaks are slow in comparison to ocean kayaks; and compared to surf play kayaks, ocean kayaks are slow in speed.

White-water kayaking needs a constrained time frame. White-water kayaking requires intense physical work. Therefore, your kayaking trip will be shorter as you will need to have rest occasionally.

These kayaks are slower than most another kayak, as they aren’t built for travel and thus will take a longer time to reach the destination.

Weather and Water Condition Can Change Kayak Speed

Apart from your strength, how fast you will be able to paddle a mile with kayak will depend on the weather and water condition. If there are less or small waves in the water you will be able to paddle faster rather than water with currents which are not in your favor.

Weather and Water Condition in Kayaking

The weather condition also depends on the water body. If the wind is coming from the opposite direction, meaning if the wind is against you then your paddling speed will decrease and if the wind direction is in your favor then you will be able to paddle quickly and it will be easier. 

Kayak Speed in Over-Night Trips

It depends on you whether you want to an overnight kayak or just a day trip. If you want an overnight one, then you will have to bring utilities accordingly.

If you want a long trip like an overnight kayak trip or a multi day trip, then you should also choose a bigger kayak with some room for your fishing kayak gears like finder and sonar. Camping backpacking is lightly weighted so you can do an overnight kayak trip easily if you want to.

Last Few Words

While making a plan for a kayak trip you will automatically understand how long your kayak trip will be. Make sure to put all the things mentioned above in your checklist while making a plan. According to your kayak trip choose your boat size.

Remember, longer kayaks are more efficient and offer lots of storage space for overnight touring gear, while shorter hulls turn more quickly. Kayaks with deeper hulls offer more room for long-legged kayakers, plus a little more storage whereas shallower hulls are less affected by wind.

Kayaks with narrow hulls allow you to go faster, whereas kayaks with broader hulls offer more stability.

About the Author Alex Raynold

Looking at the bluest sky, I forget all my stresses. Going through the green I try to breathe, more than I do in my reality. So, that's why I love camping.

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