If you’re ready to go out on an adventure with a friend, family member, or your significant other, you may be considering getting some kayaks. Or perhaps you already have some, and others have suggested that you try a tandem kayak.
But what is a tandem kayak? Why are they jokingly called the “divorce kayak” when couples are looking to buy one together? We’ve got all of the information that you need about tandem kayaks including what the pros and cons are to using this type of kayak instead of two separate kayaks.
Let’s get learning!
What Is a Tandem Kayak?
A tandem kayak is a type of kayak that ranges from 18 to 24 feet in length depending on the size that you choose. Judging from its name, this kayak doesn’t hold just one person—it can hold two!
This means that when using a tandem kayak, you have two people paddling. You also have two people’s movements and ideas to keep in mind while you travel around, so it can be quite difficult to get used to at first.
Many people like to own tandem kayaks so that they can go out and enjoy the water with one other person. They love to use these with their friends, family, or significant others.
The Pros of Using a Tandem Kayak
There are many reasons that you might want to use a tandem kayak, and we have listed them down below. These aren’t the only reasons, of course, but they’re some of the good ones!
- Bonding Exercise
Since you ride around and paddle with another person when using a tandem kayak, going out in one of these kayaks is a great way to grow closer. In fact, you might find that you only really like going out if you can with another person. Learning to work together while hanging out is a great bonding experience.
- Great for Introducing Newcomers
While the difficulty of paddling with someone else will be mentioned below, tandem kayaks can be a great way to introduce someone new to the world of kayaking! Anyone who isn’t comfortable being in their own boat just yet will definitely enjoy being able to ride around with you rather than alone.
- More Packing Space
Many people find that using a tandem kayak when they go camping is an excellent choice because they have more space and a clearer packing arrangement than they would in a single kayak. This makes it convenient to use when you are paddling to your campsite.
- Easier to Store
If you often travel to do outdoor activities or only have a limited amount of storage space available to you, getting a single tandem kayak is better than two solo ones even if it is a bit larger. Regardless if it is a little bigger or not, you only have to store one of them rather than two, so you’re saving space in the end.
The Cons of Using a Tandem Kayak
While there are a lot of great things about using a tandem kayak, there are also a few negatives that you should know about before buying one for yourself. Here are some of them:
- Heavy Weight
Tandem kayaks are incredibly heavy, and you will likely need both adults to help carry it. Often, they weigh in between 75 and 100 pounds unless you buy a lower-quality model.
- The “Divorce Kayak”
There’s an old saying that the tandem kayak should be renamed the divorce kayak. This is because you have to really learn to work together to use it effectively, and couples that aren’t able to work this out together might end up fighting more than they’re paddling!
- Not Cheap
Some people think about getting a tandem kayak because they believe that it will be cheaper than buying two separate, solo kayaks. This, however, is not always true.
Good-quality tandem kayaks will usually have a rudder, and this makes them more expensive than buying two solo kayaks! So, buy for the experience—not the price.
- Less Freedom
Another downside to using a tandem kayak is that it is nearly impossible to move, meander, or use by yourself. This means that if no one else wants to go out on the water with you, you might be stuck not going out at all. In some ways, tandem kayaks can limit your freedom.
- Different Learning Curve
Because you are not the only one controlling the action of a tandem kayak, it can be hard to understand how each of your actions is affecting the boat if you are new to kayaking.
For that reason, it isn’t the best choice for a beginning kayak. If you are just starting and want to learn quickly, a solo kayak might be the better choice.
How to Paddle a Tandem Kayak
Now that we’ve talked about what is a tandem kayak and the pros and cons of using one, you probably have a better idea as to whether or not you would want to use this type of equipment. If you have decided to give it a try, it is time for you to learn how to paddle a tandem kayak!
These types of kayaks are a bit harder to learn how to use compared to single kayaks. This is because anything you do has a longer reaction time when compared to a solo kayak. Nevertheless, you can still learn a lot while using it.
This is a great video that teaches how to paddle a tandem kayak:
As you can see, there are just a few things that you need to pay attention to. It’ll take practice, but you’ll get it in time!
Tandem Kayaks Are Fun!
While there can be some problems with using a tandem kayak, there is no doubt that using a tandem kayak with a friend or family member is a great way to enjoy the outdoors together while also learning a new activity.
Even if you end up disagreeing, you’ll have a good time and learn how to enjoy an activity like this together. In time, you’ll find that you sync up and can glide smoothly around any water surface!