How Fast Does the Average Person Paddle a Kayak? Ultimate Guide – 2022

Although kayaking can be a leisurely activity, it can also be a great work-out. How fast does the average person paddle a kayak depends on their fitness level, weight, and the type of kayak they are using.

In general, kayakers paddle a kayak at 2.3 km/hr to 4.5 km/hr (speed varies based on various factors). The significant thing is that you can achieve faster speed when you are paddling a kayak at a shorter distance.

On the other hand, we already mentioned above that it all depends on different factors. Therefore, we have compiled a guide about what is the average kayak speed, as well as the factors that affect it.

Note: If you are looking for the fastest kayak so I recommend you buy Intex Excursion Pro Kayak Series Inflatable Kayak.

What is a Good Kayaking Speed?

A good kayaking speed is typically around 2 mph (3.2 km/h). This is a moderate speed that allows you to paddle comfortably for an extended period of time and still achieve a good workout. Some experienced kayakers can paddle up to 4 mph (6.4 km/h), but this is more strenuous and you will fatigue more quickly.

How Fast Does the Average Person Paddle a Kayak?

Like any other physical activity, the speed at which someone can paddle a kayak depends on their individual fitness level and weight. In addition, the type of kayak being used can also affect how fast someone can travel.

For a leisurely kayaking experience, most people will travel at around 2-4 mph. However, if the kayaker were to travel at their full potential speed, they can reach a maximum speed of between 5-8 mph.

Moreover, the physical effort required to paddle a kayak can vary depending on the type of water being paddled. For example, paddling in a river will be more strenuous than paddling in a lake or the ocean.

Factors that Affect Kayak Speed

There are several factors that can affect how fast does the average kayak paddle?

1. Location

The location in which a kayaker is paddling can affect the speed at which they travel. In addition, if a kayaker is paddling on a river or lake, their progress will likely be slower than someone who was to paddle the same route on the open ocean. This is because the weather conditions and current speed of the open sea are typically stronger and more difficult to paddle against than those of a river or lake.

2. Fitness Level and Weight

The fitness level and weight of a kayaker are two major factors that determine how fast does the average person paddle a kayak. Generally, the more physically fit and less heavy a person is, the faster they will be able to paddle.

3. Type of Kayak

An average kayaking speed will vary slightly depending on the type of kayak that they are using. Generally speaking, a kayak with a greater hull width and shorter length will require less effort to paddle but also be slower than one with a narrow hull shape and longer length.

4. Kayak Weight

Generally speaking, a lighter kayak is easier to paddle than a heavier one. However, this will vary depending on the type of kayak being used as mentioned above.

5. Wind and Wave Conditions

Paddling against heavy wind and waves can significantly increase a kayaker’s effort and time spent paddling. This is because the kayaker must work harder to overcome the resistance of the wind and waves.

Different Ways to Kayaking Faster

There are different ways that you can kayak faster. So, here you get the different tips to paddle a kayak faster.

Paddle Faster

This may seem like an obvious answer, but if you want to kayak faster, then you need to paddle faster. Start by picking up the pace and see if you can maintain that speed for a longer period of time.

Use Both Paddles Simultaneously

One way to kayak faster was to use one paddle at a time, but when you are trying to go fast, using both paddles simultaneously can be more efficient. Using two sculling motions is typically enough to help you get through the water quickly. However, this approach will not let you turn sharply or fine-tune your speed.

Turn down the Drag

If you want to make kayaking faster and easier, then try turning down all of the drag in your boat. You can do this by making sure that everything is nice and tight and nothing is catching on to anything else.

Try Tacking

This is a nautical term for turning your kayak so that you are moving at an angle to the wind or current, as opposed to using a wide sweeping turn. When you tack, you will be able to move at a faster speed because there won’t be as much drag on your kayak. If you try tacking and it doesn’t seem like it’s working for you, then try paddling in reverse.

If either of these options works better than going straight through the water, then stick with what works best for your style of kayaking. You should also keep in mind that if the wind changes directions while you’re trying to turn into it, then keep going straight until it dies down and try again.

Use a Wing Paddle

A wing paddle is shaped more like a fan and helps create more lift and less drag as you paddle. This can help you move faster through the body of water, but it will also require a little bit of practice to get used to the new motion.

Find the Right Kayak

Your kayak can make a difference in how quickly you paddle. If you are looking to go faster, then be sure that your kayak is optimized for speed. It should also have enough space for storage if necessary and it should fit well with your body type.


There are many different ways that you can paddle a kayak faster. It all depends on your personal preference and what works best for your body type and kayak. Experiment with the different techniques and find what works best for you.

In the end, we hope that now you are well aware of how fast does the average person paddle a kayak?


How can I kayak faster?

There are different ways that you can kayak faster. You can paddle faster, lean forward, sit in the middle of your kayak, use both paddles simultaneously, turn down the drag, try tacking, and use a wing paddle to paddle a kayak faster.

What is the average speed of a kayak?

The average speed of a kayak can be around 6 to 6.5 miles per hour, but it depends on how much weight is in the kayak and if you are using one paddle or two.

What factors increase or decrease the average kayak speed?

There are different factors that can increase or decrease the average kayak speed, including your fitness level, weight, and the type of kayak you are using.

How long does it take to paddle a kayak in 1 mile?

It usually takes the average person about 45 minutes to paddle a kayak 1 mile.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top