What is a Tandem Kayak? And Why You Should Consider Buying One

A tandem kayak is basically a larger kayak that ranges from 17 to 24 feet long. It can comfortably accommodate two paddling adults with no problem. Often called the divorce kayak because of the disagreements that arise when the paddlers are not in sync, making kayaking experience quite a challenging one, add fishing to the equation and ……it’s all fun and games really! with the right mindset and teamwork, paddling will be a breeze. In this article, we will be telling you why should consider tandem kayaking, and the basic mechanisms of it.

If you are planning on getting a tandem kayak for your next trip, you may have some questions in mind. We’ve put together the most frequently asked questions.

Are Tandem Kayaks Safe?

It’s one thing to answer what is a tandem kayak question, it’s another to determine if they are safe. The beauty of tandem kayaks lie in their rather large structure. The bigger the boat, the more stable it is. With smaller and narrow sit-in designs, the risk of capsizing is much greater. A tandem kayak is quite safe for open water, and even rapids, it’s a matter of choosing the right one built with the right material for the type of water you are planing to go on. In addition, it helps to practice with your kayak double before heading out in the water. Being in sync while paddling is very important to maintain good speed and balance.

Where Do You Sit in a Tandem Kayak?

As mentioned a tandem kayak is built for two people to sit in comfortably. But you can’t just sit anywhere you’d like, there are things you need to keep in consideration, like weight and experience. Ideally, you would want to balance out the weight on your kayak, but if this is not possible, the heavier person should take the back seat. This way, the nose of your kayak doesn’t dig through the water while you’re paddling.

If one of you is a more experienced paddler, then it’s best to be positioned in the back as well. Stronger kayakers who have more experience paddling are able to control the boat better seated at the back versus the front paddler. In the event the front paddler does get tired, or is not able to paddle, one person can definitely handle the kayak on their own. Having mentioned this, the person in the back is also the one responsible for steering and keeping the boat stable at all times. Paddling is definitely something you should practice before buying a boat of your own. There are several rental options you can look into too.

tandem kayak fishing

How Do You Paddle With Two People?

The most effective way to paddle a 2-person kayak is in unison. We also mentioned you can paddle the kayak by yourself, by keeping the passenger in the front of the boat. Our advice is before heading out to water, practice the motions of paddling with a partner. If you and your partner move like a well-oiled machine, you avoid paddles clashing and capsizing. Remember, synchronization is the key to paddling efficiently.

For a more detailed paddling guide, check out this video: click here.


Can a Child Ride in a Tandem Kayak?

Being that a tandem kayak is much wider than a solo one, children are definitely safer in them. In fact, a tandem kayak is a great way to teach the sport to children, the boat itself is much more stable and being that 2 people can fit in it, you will be able to teach your child how to paddle and use the kayaks tandem system better than getting two solo kayaks. Just be sure the kids are as well equipped as the adults in terms of personal flotation devices or PFDs. Safety should always be the number 1 priority.

Paddling with a child may be a bit tricky, but remember to always keep them up front. This allows you have more control.

father son tandem kayak fishing

What is the Best Thing About Tandem Kayaks?

The best thing about getting a tandem kayak is being able to share the experience and make memories with your family, friends, and even your pets. You basically purchase 2 kayaks for the price of 1, it’s quite economical in that sense. You can efficiently use a double kayak by yourself, and easily shift to using it with with another person with minimal effort. In fact, you can also find convertible kayaks that can easily switch from a solo to a two or even three seater in a matter of minutes!. If you’re considering buying one, you might want to read the article on 5 of the best tandem fishing kayaks here.

Why Should You Consider Buying a Tandem Kayak?

If you plan to get a kayak, these double kayaks are a great investment in the long run. They’re bigger, better, and definitely more efficient. Sure, paddling with another person will take some practice, but keep in mind – with a 2-person kayak, you are able to enjoy the sport with everyone in your family, and yes, that includes your pets too!

Things to Consider

Before buying one, be sure to get enough information. Do your research well and then make your final decision. Here’s some tips you may want to consider:

  1. Weigh the pros and cons of solo and double kayaks. Do you prefer to be out on your own instead? Does paddling with a friend seem like a good idea to you?
  2. Make a list of the types of materials you are considering. Take into consideration the type of water you plan to bring your kayak onto.
  3. Compare and contrast. Always try to find the best deal, there are dozens of kayaks to choose from. If you see the opportunity to purchase a high-end boat at mid-range price, take it! That’s a great deal right there. But keep in mind, some deals are too good to be true, always be vigilant.
  4. Work within your budget. This also means you have to consider the kit it comes with? Are you just getting the boat? What about the accessories like a paddle, rod holders, and seats? The budget you settle with should include these.
  5. Choosing the best boat should be based on what you feel is the right fit for you. Don’t be in a hurry to buy, take a moment to read reviews and see what more experienced kayakers have to say. This is a great way to decide which among the best kayaks are truly a winner.


Kayaks are excellent means of transportation especially if you’re planning to fish. More so, kayaking itself is quite a relaxing sport that everyone should at least try once in their life. Paddling is such a great upper body workout, you’re bound to love it at the end of the day.

With all the things we have discussed in this article, we hope you take that leap and have a great time with your family and loved ones.

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