Kayak for Triathlon

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Kayak for Triathlon

Postby mahfouz » March 5th, 2018, 11:55 am

Does anybody on this board do any kaya-tris? Have been looking for information in re: what kind of kayak to use and all the information is either frightfully vague or geared towards super professional legit athletes.

Any basic info on what kind of kayak you use would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Kayak for Triathlon

Postby RMXByker » March 5th, 2018, 3:40 pm

One that floats???? In all seriousness, I don't think it matters unless your trying to be ultra-competitive.
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Re: Kayak for Triathlon

Postby michiganclydesdale » March 5th, 2018, 4:09 pm

RMXByker wrote:One that floats???? In all seriousness, I don't think it matters unless your trying to be ultra-competitive.


Actually, it matters a lot. Every boat, kayaks included, have a max hull speed - no matter how well/hard you paddle, the boat will only go so fast. Generally speaking the longer and narrower the boat, the faster the max hull speed. If I were doing kaya-tri's, I'd want at least a 17' kayak, preferably composite material like carbon or kevlar, with a beam (width) less than 23". If you have any experience as a paddler and can get your hands on a surf ski, something 20'-21' with a 17"-19" beam, you'll have the most speed. You sacrifice stability with narrow beam though, so you want to be comfortable with the boat before heading out into any kind of rough water. Don't even mess around with kayaks less than 15', you'll sacrifice a lot of speed.
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Re: Kayak for Triathlon

Postby mahfouz » March 5th, 2018, 4:13 pm

michiganclydesdale wrote:
RMXByker wrote:One that floats???? In all seriousness, I don't think it matters unless your trying to be ultra-competitive.


Actually, it matters a lot. Every boat, kayaks included, have a max hull speed - no matter how well/hard you paddle, the boat will only go so fast. Generally speaking the longer and narrower the boat, the faster the max hull speed. If I were doing kaya-tri's, I'd want at least a 17' kayak, preferably composite material like carbon or kevlar, with a beam (width) less than 23". If you have any experience as a paddler and can get your hands on a surf ski, something 20'-21' with a 17"-19" beam, you'll have the most speed. You sacrifice stability with narrow beam though, so you want to be comfortable with the boat before heading out into any kind of rough water. Don't even mess around with kayaks less than 15', you'll sacrifice a lot of speed.


Thanks so much for that information!
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Re: Kayak for Triathlon

Postby b_b » March 5th, 2018, 4:42 pm

Good info. Extreme example first time we rented they gave my smallest boy an 8 footer and he had a terrible time every stroke did more to send it sideways than forward. I swapped him for mine maybe~12 footer still "slow" but night and day better even for a small kid. We now have a couple 13' recreational boats and they are not very fast.
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Re: Kayak for Triathlon

Postby Roy » March 28th, 2018, 3:20 pm

I would start with a 14 or 15 foot thermo formed kayak!
Believe it or not, you will need to learn how to paddle in a straight line. Get lesons before you start. It will take many hours of practice to develope a good foward stroke. The object of a good foward stroke is to use the large muscels of your upper body rather then you arms. You arms will tire a lot faster then the large upper body muscles.
My 17 foot 20 inch wide Kayak can get up to 5 mph, but cruses at 4mph.
A 15 foot 23 inch wide should cruse at 3 mph and achieve 4 mph.
Kayaks are like bikes in that you pay a lot more to get just a little more speed.
A Kayaking class is the best way to learn a lot in a short time. Go to riverside kayak.com for class schedules.
River Side Kayak is located down river near Grosse Ile. River Side Kayak is a great store run by second generation owners. Don't take my advice ask the people at Riverside.


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Re: Kayak for Triathlon

Postby Indigenous » April 15th, 2018, 9:51 am

I second what MichiganClydesdale said.

If you have no paddle experience, get some, especially if you want to be competitive. I also second the Riverside Kayak Connection recommendation, they are good folks and know what they are doing.

What race are you doing? That will matter quite a bit on what boat you can start thinking about...the right tool for the right job kind of thing.
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Re: Kayak for Triathlon

Postby mtnbikinbryno » April 30th, 2018, 7:09 pm

Did you ever find one?

Good deal alert, a 17' Perception (not mine).
https://nmi.craigslist.org/boa/d/kayak/6576160080.html
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Re: Kayak for Triathlon

Postby JeffOYB » October 1st, 2018, 10:41 am

Ppl sometimes unload fast kayaks cheap. Like even $200-300. They are fun on flatwater -- which is basically all our MI rivers.

Also worth checking if you actually need a kayak. They are designed for whitewater or great lakes. Not for our inland MI rivers.

On our inland rivers a sporty C1 canoe is more useful. I like being able to easily haul a pack and get at snacks and also to move around. Kayaks limit your ergonomics a LOT. Also VERY time-consuming and annoying to get in and out of around the MANY LOGJAMS we have on little MI rivers.

Some kinds of race gear goes pretty cheap when secondhand because the pop market isn't into it. Like race snowmobiles or even race cars.
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