What Makes a Kayak Go Fast?

What Makes a Kayak Go Fast?

Kayaking enthusiasts would do everything possible to improve their speed and skills.  Speed and smoothness is what makes up kayaking skill.

This means everyone wants to know what makes a kayak go fast.  Are you thinking of ways of improving your speed?

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The hull customizes boats and installing trolling motors to achieve your speed.  The techniques include your stamina and the type of kayak.

What Makes a Kayak Go Fast?

Before you apply any kind of techniques for improving the speed of your kayak, you should understand the factors that can affect the speed.

For example, the efficiency and resistance in the water determine how fast you can go. Resistance happens because of fiction.

Generally, fiction increases the resistance of your kayaking speed.  Fiction happens due to the kayak hull’s roughness.

When this happens, the roughness traps the layer of water and make the layer collide with the other water surface.

Wave resistance can affect the speed of your kayaking.  When you kayak through water, the propelling of bow produces waves.

The produced waves are evidence of the energy lost when pushing the bow water out of the way for the Kayak to pass through.

This means the greater the wave resistance, the slower you would likely speed.

How to Increase Kayak Speed

Since, you have understood the factors that can reduce your speed, here are some of the ways you can increase your kayaking speed:

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Increase the Trolling Motor

When you increase the trolling motor, it will help you kayak with ease and improve your speed.

A trolling motor helps you make your kayaking exciting and faster when you move from a manual to electric kayaking.

When you install a trolling system,  you power your kayak with a propeller and a shaft.  This helps you have a console that allows you to control and monitor the speed of your kayak.

We have motors equipped with a remote. This helps you move through any water seamlessly.

However, not every kayak can have an installed motor. To add one requires skills and engineering skills.

Moreover, the paddler weight capacity of the kayak should be able to let you install your trolling motor.

Wisely Choose Your Paddles

Before you can make any major changes to your kayak, you should ensure that the paddles you picked are ideal for you.

First, you have to understand how paddles work. You should learn about their different designs.

The paddle should be made from carbon-fiber or fiberglass material if you want speed. Second, the paddle should not drag your kayak behind when you move.

This means you need paddles with wide blades and high angles. A big rib is important when it comes to distributing water on the bigger sides of the blades.

If the paddle does not have a rib at its center flutter, it would drag you when you move.


Get the Right Hull

The bottom part of any kayak is the hull that is always in contact with the water.  This means that the hull is important in kayaking speed.

A kayak hull is important when it comes to increasing your speed and maintaining stability.

However, if you want a speedy kayak, go for the v-shaped or rounded kayak hull. The rounded hull helps you improve the speed with less water resistance.

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When you kayak with a rounded hull, it becomes easier for maneuvering and keep the kayak stable.

In addition, the V-shaped hull is great for moving through the water seamlessly.  The hull ensures that you speed faster than the rounded hull.

What Makes a Kayak Go Fast?
What Makes a Kayak Go Fast?

However, this type of hull offers you less stability than the rounded hull.


Smoothen the Kayak’s Bottom

Many paddlers are not aware that dents and dings at their kayak’s bottom can slow them down.

This means that if you want to speed fast, you should consider the kayak’s bottom too. There is no need for assumptions when it comes to improving your speed.

You can sand your hull with gritty sandpaper to reduce resistance and lower friction as well.

When you take care of the dents in the hull, it increases the smoothness and speed.  When you leave dents on your kayak, it builds minerals on your kayak.

The buildup of minerals will affect the speed of your kayak and damage the boat.

Invest in a Long Kayak

People who want to increase their speed should buy long and thin kayaks. Long kayaks are great for speed.

This type of kayak offers a lower pull that is sent to the kayak’s bottom for effective movement in the water.

Meanwhile, the thinner kayaks are faster than the heavier kayaks. However, the body size and items carried must be considered when it comes to speed.

The thin kayak lets less surface contact with water. This means that resistance and friction are reduced altogether.

Get Creative with Gel Coats

Maybe, you find it difficult to sand your hull with sandpaper.  However, this could be solved when you apply a gel coat on your hull.

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The reason is the dents may be too massive for you to smoothen with sandpaper. However, with gel coats, you can handle this situation.

Although gel coat may not remove friction, but your kayak will be clean and sparky. We recommend the support of a professional when you want to use a gel coat.

Kayaks made from fiberglass material can work best on gel coat, but it should be done properly.

Use Sweep Strokes Properly

What do we mean by sweep strokes? They refer to the large forward strokes that help steer a kayak.

When you paddle, it moves from the feet to the furthest part that you can reach from the back.

Fatigue is another problem that can affect speed. This means that you require adequate training on how to paddle with ease.

You should consider the upper body strength. This is because you will constantly twist your torso when paddling from one side to the other.

Kayaking is an enjoyable water sport. However, slow speed may hinder you from exploring more or enjoying the sport.

How fast can a touring kayak go?

You should know that a touring kayak’s speed could be affected by tides or the wind, including islands and seafloor topography.

If you are a recreational kayaker, you can maintain on average a speed to 2 to 3 knots (3.5 to 5.5 km/h).

Is kayaking faster than walking?

The typical speed of a kayak on calm water is at least the same as a person walking along a smooth path, about 3 mph.