How Long Does It Take To Kayak 6 Miles? Factors That Effects Speed – 2022

This is a question that many kayakers may ask themselves at some point in their kayaking experience.

The answer, of course, depends on many factors including but not limited to, the type and size of the kayak, wind and current conditions, paddler experience, and the weight you’re carrying.

How long does it take to kayak 6 miles? For the average kayaker, it takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to travel 6 miles.

However, the answer varies greatly depending on a few factors mentioned below.

Factors That Effect How Long It Take To Kayak 6 Miles

The following are the main factors that potentially affect the flow and speed of the kayak.

1. Weather Conditions

The weather can have a big impact on how long it takes to kayak 6 miles. Kayaking in normal windy conditions will take the average kayaker much longer than if they are paddling during calm weather. For example, if there is no wind or very little wind, it should only take about 45 minutes instead of the usual 90.

2. The Size And Type Of Kayak

A small and compact kayak will be able to cut through the water much easier than a much larger and heavier one. If your kayak is very large, it might take you up to 2 hours to travel those same 6 miles.

3. The Weight You’re Carrying

The weight of the gear you are carrying will greatly affect the speed at which you kayak. To stay safe, it is always best to bring a few safety tools such as flares and an emergency kit. But these things can weigh down your kayak, causing it to move slower through the water.

4. Where You Are Paddling

Where you are paddling will also affect the time it takes to kayak those 6 miles. For example, if you’re on a calm and slow-moving river– it will take much longer than if you were running down rapids.

5. The Experience Of The Kayaker

Finally, the experience of the kayaker is another big factor in how long it takes to kayak 6 miles. A more experienced kayaker will be able to travel the same distance in a much shorter amount of time than if you were just starting out.

The average, experienced kayaker should be able to complete the journey within 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Speed is also very important in kayaking especially if you are interested in covering miles in the shortest amount of time.

How To Increase Your Speed While Kayaking

Kayaking can be a great form of exercise, but it is important to know that the most efficient way to go is with a kayak paddle. But if you are really trying to increase your speed when kayaking then there are a few things you should avoid doing while kayaking.

1. Avoid Using A Paddle That Is Too Long

A paddle that is too large for you will only hinder your overall speed and power while paddling.

2. Avoid Dragging Your Paddle

It is crucial to keep your kayak paddle parallel with the water at all times. If it comes in contact with the surface of the water, you can expect to lose a lot of speed due to the added resistance.

3. Avoid Paddling Against The Current

On days where there are stronger currents, it will be best to avoid paddling directly against them. Instead of wasting your time trying to fight it out, you should allow the current to carry you downstream while you rest and save up your energy for when there are calmer waters ahead.

4. Avoid Using A Paddle That Is Too Small For You

Using a paddle that is too small for you, will not be as efficient as one that fits you well. So it is best to keep the length and width of your kayak paddle within reason.

5. Practice Hovering Your Kayak In Place

To build up your overall strength, you can practice hovering your kayak in place. “Hovering” will allow you to get a feel for the paddle and build up your muscles by using smaller movements at first.

“Hovering” means stopping your kayak and then trying and keep it still in that same spot.

If you are able to do this then you should be able to apply the same technique when trying to move forward.

6. Avoid Paddling Against The Wind

On windy days it is best to avoid paddling against the wind. Instead, use the wind to your advantage and position yourself in a way that allows you to catch it. This will allow you to save time and energy as you take the longer but much easier route.

Now to wrap things up, it usually takes an experienced kayaker about an hour to move 6 miles through the water.

To go faster, simply check your surroundings and use these tips mentioned above so you can become even better when paddling down your favorite river or lake.


According to the American Canoe Association, the answer to “how long does it take to kayak 6 miles?” is about an hour and fifteen minutes for an average paddler. This time varies depending on factors such as wind and water current conditions, boat type and size, paddler experience, the weight carried, etc.


1). How long does a 10-mile float trip take?

A 10-mile float trip can take about 3 to 5 hours for a beginner and 1 ½ to 2 hours if they are experienced in kayaking.

2). How long does a 2-mile paddle take?

It takes approximately 45 minutes for the average kayaker who is going at a normal pace without stopping. If you stop often it will take much longer.

3). How long does it take to kayak 10 miles downstream?

The time it takes to kayak 10 miles downstream will depend on many factors. This includes the size and type of your boat, as well as the conditions on the water. If you’re using a large inflatable kayak with room for extra gear, then expect this journey to take about three hours.

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