Kayak Adventure Racing Tips

Adventure racing, has been around a few decades now but probably hasn’t come to everyone’s notice until the last few years. It typically involves teams of people competing in two or more disciplines over a set period which may range from a few hours to a couple of days.

It is sometimes referred to as expedition racing, which sounds far more involved and lengthy,and is! It typically covers a race period of 3 to 11 days or even longer! Wish I had the stamina to last that long these days, LOL.

So what has this to do with kayaking? Well if you didn’t already know, you’ll have guessed by now that one of the disciplines sometimes includes kayaking, or paddling to be more precise. The other disciplines can include:

  • Cycling
  • Paragliding
  • Hang-gliding
  • Climbing
  • Cross country running
  • Mountaineering

…and a range of other similar activities. So long as there is no power involved, it can include¬† whole range of things including roller-skating or even camels!!

English: Team Wild Rose setting out on the pad...

Adventure racing in kayaks brings to mind that a new way of thinking is required for this sport since, one, you’re racing and two, you are in a team, all of who have to stay together for the entire race. That requires a different strategy of thinking.

So if you are new to the world of adventure or even expedition racing, there’s a few basic tips that will help in the kayaking section. Sure, it’s very fundamental stuff here but worth highlighting as there may be some points you’ve overlooked or even forgotten about.

Here’s what SAFRA AVventura have to say about the kayaking basics:

Find Your Rhythm
If you are kayaking with a partner, it is crucial that you synchronise your rhythm and paddle in cadence for maximum efficiency. Having your paddles bang into each other on race day is not going to help your momentum.That is why it is so important to train together before the race. Communication is key. If your partner is paddling too fast, slow or irregularly for you to keep in tandem, be sure to tell him or her. It always helps to count out aloud if you have problems synchronising your strokes.Use Your Core
Using the correct stroke will help you move faster and paddle for a longer time. Some paddlers tend to use the pure strength of their arms to pull the blade through the water. This method may generate speed for a while but will only tire out their arms in no time.

A powerful stroke begins with a strong torso rotation and uses your shoulder and back to power the stroke. When you paddle correctly, your core and your legs will be pushing your kayak forward.

Cheryl Low


You’ll find more on the basics as well as other pages covering trail biking and sport climbing on this site.

If you want to go beyond those basics, there are a number of sites offering advice and help if you run a search. Here’s one such site which has a few tips on adventure racing that includes kayaking:

Where does the beginner adventure racing start out, what work out plan for adventure racing should I use? What adventure racing gear is needed, what will race day be like? These are some of the questions answered by Beginner adventure racing advice.A work out plan for adventure racing will need to be scheduled for six to eight weeks prior to the event putting in training on the three basic disciplines, running, mountain biking and kayaking. A lot of beginner adventure racing omit training in Kayaking and canoeing, and these people can often be seen going in circles during the race, so it is worth while spending some time at a local canoe or kayak club to learn the basics of how to travel in a straight line. Often in short races inflatable boats are used and these can be very challenging if a wind springs up.

International Adventurers


There’s lots more help on that page and it’s a shame the rest of the site doesn’t seem to be available. Still, there’s lots there to absorb and a good starting point from which you can take it further to learn all about adventure racing and the role that kayaking plays in that.

Let us know if you decide to take it up, we’d love to hear about your first experience and I’m sure others would who may like the sound of this sort of sport.

Author: admin

I am a professional writer and researcher with more than 10 years experience online. I love finding new models, gadgets and resources for tandem kayaking and using that new-found knowledge to help people get the best out of this paddlesport.

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