Don

Don
Kayaking on the Hudson

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Choosing a Kayak: Single vs. Tandem Kayaks

Typical Tandem Kayak
Tandem kayaks look like such a great deal.  They cost about the same as a single kayak and some models have movable seats so they can be paddled solo.  Indeed, tandem kayaks can be fun, but there is a reason that they are referred to as “divorce” boats.  If you are well matched with your paddling partner in physical size and strength, you both have a very calm, laid-back attitude and you are emotionally stable, then you may have a great time.  If your relationship has any issues, they will come out when you paddle a tandem   kayak.  I know a couple who paddle tandem and work very well together.  I paddled with another couple that argued and shouted and paddled around in circles always turning left.  They sold the tandem the next day and bought two single kayaks.  My wife and I paddled a tandem kayak the first time we went out and it was fun but we didn’t buy one.  We bought two single kayaks. that was 16 years ago and we are still married, so I’d say we made the right choice.  The other problems with tandem kayaks: They are usually very heavy. Some weigh 90 pounds or more.  To fit two seats, they are really wide so it’s more like paddling a bath tub then a kayak.  Some can be paddled solo, but they don’t work very well.  The best use for tandems is for family and friends when you are going out for a short time.  I usually have one in my fleet and it’s great for taking a niece or nephew out for a few hours, but for serious kayaking, I wouldn’t even think about paddling one.  Bottom line- try one out to be sure.
See you on the water,
Don Urmston
Email me directly with questions: mrurmston@gmail.com

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