When I’m on the water, I’m always curious about how fast I’m going. If you don’t have a GPS that tells you, it’s hard to estimate your speed on the water. However, as you become familiar with certain kayaks, it does become easier to approximate a paddle’s duration on the water and off. This is helpful when it comes to planning trips, setting and timing fitness goals and, of course, racing your friends.
A kayak speed varies by your make and model. A general rule of thumb is that longer, skinnier kayaks go faster than those that are shorter and wider. Ok, this is a generality. It’s discussed here, how weight, paddler ability and other resistances can affect a kayak’s speed as well. However, without getting too complicated, its fair to assume that as a kayak gets longer and narrower it becomes quicker (though it sacrifices stability). Knowing that, we found a neat calculating tool from Midwest IK that estimates your kayak’s maximum speed based on length and width. Take a look and find an estimate of how quick your kayak can go! As always, share comments & questions below! – Joseph@ACK