2 Person Kayak [aka] Tandem Kayak
A 2 Person Kayak is also known as a Tandem Kayak – it accommodates two paddlers. History shows that kayaks were originally designed for one person, today we have the choice of the 2 Person Kayak. “Tandem” simply means: paddling in-line.
Tandems are manufactured in a variety of materials, most are rotomolded plastic, fiberglass, wood, inflatable, or folding. They either have one large cockpit or two separate, covered deck cockpits. This is simply an individual preference. A large open cockpit with seats that can be repositioned for a solo paddler or carry additional gear is a nice feature. Individual cockpits allow the use of sprayskirts but even without them, the enclosed deck keeps the paddlers drier.
This type of kayak has a wider beam and so, they require slightly longer paddles to compensate for the width. They move faster in the water simply because they have a longer waterline and have the power of two paddlers working together. Working together is key here – to avoid clashing paddles.
Usually, the stronger paddler sits in the stern – the weaker paddler at the bow to set the paddling pace. If necessary, the weaker paddler should modify their paddle length to keep pace with the stronger paddler. The paddling teamwork makes for quick travel.
Because of the length and the weight ratio of two paddlers – Tandems can sometimes be awkward to turn – this also involves teamwork. To turn a tandem, the paddlers have to paddle on opposite sides. The paddler in the bow will make a forward stroke – at the same time, the stern paddler makes a backward stroke on the opposite side – pivoting the movement together. You might consider a rudder – it’s a big plus for maneuvering or to make course corrections.
Here’s a quick clip to help you paddle a tandem kayak. Note that communication is important. Also important – the back paddler cannot yell at the front paddler! Take a look …
A Tandem Kayak is a good choice if you’re sharing it with other family members.
- they can be paddled in tandem
- they can be paddled solo – simply reposition the seat
- they can move a lot of gear, say, to a camping site
- their versatility delivers a lot of bang for your buck.
and paddling power of two.
Many Tandems can be paddled solo with a seat adjustment.
They can move a lot of gear and deliver a lot of bang for the buck.