How to Kayak Faster

How to Kayak Faster
Kayaks have many uses. River kayaks are small and lightweight to make them maneuverable in tight spaces with lots of resistance. Sea kayaks, on the other hand, are long and built to flow through smooth water, their hulls breaching longer spans of waves to create more speed. But what if your sea kayak simply isn't fast enough? There are things you can do to make your kayak go faster.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Gel coat 400 grit sand paper
  • Gel coat
  • 400 grit sand paper
Step 1
Get a longer kayak. When looking at how crafts navigate through the water, one thing is shown to consistently affect speed: how far the hull of a craft reaches and the residual resistance that water has as it is displaced. In a longer craft, the water is displaced for a longer period of time, reducing the amount of pull that water has when it forms back together at the bow.
Step 2
Get a thinner kayak. The wider the hull and nose of your boat, the more resistance it's going to get from the water it's trying to push through.
Step 3
Produce more power. You're going to have to produce more power with a longer kayak anyway, at least initially. The boat is bigger, so more power is required to get it moving. Lifting weights, paddling more often and using larger blades on your paddle will help you to produce more power in your stroke.
Step 4
Apply Gel coat your kayak where there are dings and dents. Dings and dents create friction and allow for mineral build up on the hull of a kayak. Using gel coat to smooth out the parts of the hull that are underwater will help the kayak flow better.
Step 5
Sand the bottom of the kayak with a light 400-grit sandpaper. It's weird to think that dings and dents slow you down while taking away some of the smoothness on the hull of the boat will actually speed you up. This is due to the fact that when you rough up the hull of your kayak, you are creating a bonding point for water that will then allow you to move through water with less friction.

Tips & Warnings

You can get gel coat at any reputable kayak dealer.
Never use things like silicon to speed up your kayak. This will make hull repair almost impossible and any repair that you do make will be short-lived.

Article Written By Patrick Cameron

Patrick Cameron is a freelance writer with 10 years of diverse experience in consumer goods branding, promotions and retail communications. He works out of his home in Denver, Colo. He received his Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from the University of Minnesota.

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