In Tandem: What Is A Tandem Kayak?

When kayaking originally became a fashionable water activity, kayaks were designed for only one person. This obviously led to a complaint in various areas. First, it didn’t allow for many conversations.

If someone wanted to talk about their surroundings or nearby points of interest, they either had to shout to the nearest kayak or just not talk at all. Second, when conditions become less favorable for a kayaking excursion, not everyone was available to share the physical challenge with.

Over time, the idea behind the development of a kayak for just two people became a reality. We know that today as tandem kayaking.

The tandem kayak is one of the many types of kayaks, but it is unique in that it is designed for two paddlers, as the tandem in its name suggests. A tandem kayak is about 18 to 24 feet long and wider than a solo kayak. It is also known as a double kayak. If you ask our tandem kayaks more stable? Then the answer is yes. 

How does Tandem Kayak Work?

Sometimes we want to share and enjoy exciting experiences with our friends. The tandem kayak is the most outstanding kayak for that. All you need is two people to paddle and you’re ready to hit the water.

Unlike standard kayaks where only one person can paddle, this kayak has an extensive cockpit that can fit two paddlers.

What Is A Tandem Kayak?

The most important thing in tandem kayaking is coordination and teamwork. It works well when both partners get along well and balance between two paddles. Being able to easily talk and communicate with your partner is key to a successful and fun kayaking trip. 

You have to be patient with each other and talk about how to handle the boat. The bow paddler is literally the eyes of the kayak and directs the stern paddler. In fact, the person in front is blocking the view of the person behind, so instructions must be given by the person sitting in front.

These kayaks are also furnished with a rudder that helps maneuver the kayak easily. The sit-on-top design is especially suitable for family kayaking, they have powerful floating docks and you can bring your kids and even your pet.

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Which Age Group Does Tandem Kayaking?

In general, paddling is a great activity for children and seniors of all ages. There are no official age limits. But some limitations are there for certain kayaking types.

Under 3 yearsDouble Kayak (With Parents)
Above 8 yearsPaddle (Unsupervised)
Above 13 years Paddle Double Sea Kayaks

Pros and cons of using a tandem kayak 

What Is A Tandem Kayak?

Some of the advantages are as follows,

  • Even though tandem kayaks have two seats, you will almost always be accompanied by a companion. This could be your spouse, a close friend, or merely a more skilled kayaker. I can assure you that whoever you choose will significantly enhance your relationship with that person.
  • Of course, if you’ve never done boating, rafting, kayaking, or anything similar, your first time in the water is going to be tough. You will be afraid you might panic and usually, people don’t really know what to do. This should not be an issue. The buddy or guide in the other seat is more experienced and will help you through the process by communicating about when to hit, in which direction, and what to do next.
  • Tandem kayaks offer far better value for money, especially over long distances. Although they offer twice the kayak and a thousand other significant benefits, most of the time they only cost you about 1.5 times more than a standard kayak.
  • When you sit in your standard boat, which is only designed for one person, sometimes even a normal person gets claustrophobic because it’s just so narrow and you normally sit in the cockpit. Whether you’re alone or with a partner, you’ll both have a lot more legroom and space in general. The cockpits are usually wider and also a bit deeper.

Some of the cons are as follows,

  • You’ve probably heard of the “divorce kayak.” The tandem is referred to by this term because it can only be used correctly if two people communicate and paddle in sync. It can be challenging if you can’t learn to collaborate together or if you have contrasting personas.

  • If paddling together is too difficult, many arguments can ensue, which can lead to divorce between couples. So maybe give it a try first or choose your paddling partner carefully.

  • You and your kayaking companion must continually discover how to collaborate. While it may take some time at first, you will soon get a hold of it. However, even though they are not the sole ones in charge this can be a drawback for beginners.

Single Kayaks vs. Double Kayaks

Single KayakDouble Kayak
1 seater2 seater
Does not require coordinationRequire coordination
Is not expensiveIs quite expensive
Not as heavyQuite heavier than a single kayak

Frequently asked questions

Q1- Are tandem kayaks easy to flip?

No, they do not flip easily

Q2- Is it hard to paddle a tandem kayak?

It depends on coordination.

Q3- Are tandem kayaks worth it?

Yes, they are quite good for recreational activities.

Q4- How long is a tandem kayak?

They can be anywhere from 10-15 feet.

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