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How Fast Can You Go With a Paddleboard?

Paddleboarding is a great way to get out on the water and unwind if you want to feel the rush of the wind while paddle boarding; speeding up is the way to go.

However, you may think paddleboarding is not the best option if you want to push yourself and go fast. But that is not the case at all.

Most paddlers travel at about 3 knots or 3.45 miles per hour. However, you can go as fast as ten mph when you have the right board, along with the skills and experience.

Some factors drastically affect how fast a paddleboard can go. By following some simple tips and tricks, you can go faster on your paddle board.

We will focus on that in this article, so let’s go!

How Fast Can You Go With A Paddle Board?

Paddleboarding is one of the fastest-growing water sports, and for a good reason.

Not only is it entertaining, but it’s also a great way to stay active, explore nature, and get a full-body workout.

But how fast can you go with a paddleboard? The answer depends on a few things, including the type of paddle board you have, the skill level of the rider, and the body of water you’re paddling on.

Generally, a beginner paddler can expect to travel about five mph on calm water.

As you become more experienced, you can increase your speed to 7-8 mph or even more.

The type of paddle board you’re using can also make a difference in your speed. Hard-shell paddle boards are usually faster than inflatable ones, and race boards are usually the fastest.

Wind, waves, and other elements of nature can also affect your speed.

You’ll have to work harder to reach a high speed if you’re paddling in choppy water. On the other hand, if you’re riding a flat lake or river, you can benefit from wind and waves, which can help you reach higher speeds more easily.

There are paddleboard races where experienced paddlers compete to see who can reach the fastest speeds.

If you’re feeling competitive, you can enter one of these races or try to beat your personal best on your own.

Overall, how fast you can go with a paddle board depends on various factors. But no matter your skill level, you can expect to have a great time out on the water and get a great workout.

Factors That Impact The Speed Of A Paddleboard

A paddle board’s speed is impacted by various factors, including the board’s size and weight, the board, the design of the board, the rider’s experience, and the water conditions.

Here’s a brief discussion about some of the key factors that determine the speed of a paddle board:

Size And Weight Of The Board

The size and weight of a paddle board are two of the most critical factors that affect the board’s speed.

Larger and heavier boards tend to be slower, whereas smaller and lighter boards tend to be faster.

This is because larger and heavier boards have more drag, making them slower in the water.

On the other hand, lighter and smaller boards are more agile and easier to maneuver, allowing them to reach higher speeds.

Design Of The Board

The design of the paddle board can also have a significant impact on its speed. Board shape and material all affect how quickly a paddle board can move across the water.

For example, a board with a flatwater paddle board is typically slower than performance paddle boards.

Performance boards with narrow hulls and pointed noses can flow through the water more efficiently.

The materials used to construct a paddle board can also determine its speed.

Boards made from lighter materials, such as fiberglass or carbon fiber, tend to be faster than those made from heavier materials, such as wood or plastic.

Rider Experience

A paddle boarder’s experience and skill level can also affect the board’s speed.

Experienced paddlers can better position their bodies correctly and find the optimal angles for paddling, allowing them to move more quickly through the water.

Also, experienced paddlers tend to be more familiar with the water conditions, allowing them to adjust their technique accordingly and reach higher speeds.

Water Conditions

The conditions of the water can also have a significant impact on the speed of a paddle board.

Wind, waves, and currents can all create drag, making it more difficult for the board to move quickly.

Additionally, the temperature and salinity of the water can also affect the board’s speed since cold and salty water is denser than warm and fresh water.

How To Go Faster On A Paddle Board?

To reach high speeds, you need to understand the fundamentals of paddle boarding.

The key to going fast on a paddle board is a combination of factors like stroke length, stroke power, stroke rate, paddle movement, etc.

The choice of the paddle board and body placement is also crucial. Let’s take a look at some simple tips that can help you go fast on a paddle board:

Stroke Length

Stroke length is the distance your paddle blade travels in one stroke. The longer the stroke, the faster you will go.

To maximize stroke length, make sure you reach out as far as possible with each stroke and keep your arms straight as you do so.

You can also consider using a specialized paddle board for racing and speed.

Stroke Power

When powering your paddle board, the key is to use your core muscles. Make sure that you push off your board with each stroke and that your arms execute a smooth, even stroke.

When you hit the water with your paddle blade, try to feel if you have moved beyond the point where you dipped your paddle. 

Stroke Rate

The stroke rate is simply the rate at which you are paddling. To maximize your speed, make sure you paddle at a fast but not too fast cadence.

Stay consistent with your stroke rate and focus on maintaining your stroke power. Stroke rate is important, but other factors can nullify it if done incorrectly. 

Paddle Movement

Paddle movement is the way you move your paddle blade through the water. Make sure to use the whole surface of your paddle blade when paddling.

Keep your paddle blade perpendicular to the water. Flex your wrists when you paddle, and keep your arms close to your body.

Correct Body Utilization

When paddling, keep your body low and your weight centered. This will help you maintain the power of your stroke and reduce drag.

Don’t bend your back when paddling. The body parts you need to bend for a proper stroke are the hips and knees.

Also, ensure you are using your whole body when paddling, not just your arms.

Choice Of Paddleboard

Choosing the right paddle board is key to maximizing your speed on the water. Consider the type of paddle board you want: a race board, a touring board, or a freestyle board. 

Paddle boards with displacement hulls with long, narrow shapes tend to go faster. Materials also play a role, which I already mentioned above.

Final Thoughts on How Fast Can You Paddleboard

To sum it up, going fast on a paddleboard requires the proper technique, equipment, and a little practice.

All these combined determine how fast a paddle board can go.

With the right combination of these elements, you’ll be able to make your paddle board go faster than ever before.

Remember to stay safe and have fun as you explore the open waters.