Mar 29, 2022

What is Tandem Kayaking?

best tandem kayak in willow beach waters - Evolution Expeditions

An easy-to-learn outdoor hobby and sport, kayaking helps us experience nature like no other. It can take us on an adventure of a lifetime while paddling through the waters and enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding land.

Aside from being an avenue for exercise and sightseeing, one of the best parts about kayaking is that it can be done on your own, or with a friend or group. If you’re a highly social person who wants to paddle and enjoy nature with your favorite person, then tandem kayaking might be for you.

What is a Tandem Kayak? 

The tandem kayak is one among the many types of kayaks, but it’s unique in that it’s designed for two paddlers, as the “tandem” in its name suggests. A tandem kayak is around 18 to 24 feet long and broader than a solo kayak. Also called double kayaks, some designs allow one passenger and another person to paddle and steer. On the other hand, some are used by single paddlers for increased stability and storage space.

Tandem kayaks, however, are mainly designed for two people to paddle simultaneously. It takes a little getting used to, but once you and your companion have mastered stroke synchronization, you can travel far and safely enjoy a tranquil getaway.

The Benefits of Tandem Kayaking

Tandem kayaking has unique charms that set it apart from other forms of kayaking. Here are five reasons why you should try tandem kayaking:

1. It’s Great for Beginners

As a kayaking newbie, you might feel intimidated by paddling by yourself in a single kayak. Still nervous about going solo? One of the many advantages of tandem kayaking is that you can learn with someone and get the help you need if your arms tire too quickly.

Take a kayaking tour with a trusted guide who can give you expert advice on the correct paddling form. Beginner kayakers should sit at the front, with the more experienced and confident paddler at the back. The rear paddler's job is to course-correct in case the kayak moves in the wrong direction. You can switch places for more thorough practice once you learn new paddling strokes and techniques.

2. It’s Wider, Safer, and More Stable 

Tandem kayaking doesn't always equate to a faster journey, but it's more stable than a narrower solo kayak. Although there are bigger solo kayaks, double kayaks are still wider, so the chances of capsizing are significantly reduced. These kayaks are designed with a wider base, making them less prone to tipping over and providing a more stable paddling experience. This added stability can be particularly beneficial for beginners, as it can help build confidence and reduce the risk of accidents.

When it comes to kayaking, bigger doesn't always mean slower. Tandem kayaks are longer and more aerodynamic. This means they can traverse the water with less resistance and they're easier to paddle.

Additionally, due to its bigger storage space, it's also heavier so it’s more stable while in the water. Unexpected situations may still arise, though. But with a group of friends, everything will be more manageable.

3. There is Plenty of Storage Space

Are you thinking of going on an extended fishing, camping, or kayaking trip? Then, make double kayaking a part of your thrilling outdoor activities. Since you’re planning a multi-day or hours-long adventure, the extra room will be so useful for you. You can even save it as a safe space for an adventurous pet!

Some single kayaks offer a bigger storage capacity but not enough to accommodate camping chairs, sleeping bags, tents, a large backpack, and other outdoor gear. So, even if you just booked a few hours of the tour alone, eager to meet new friends from the group, a double kayak is still the best choice to keep all of your things secure. 

Tandem kayaks offer the flexibility to carry larger items such as coolers or tents, which can be strapped onto the deck of the kayak. This feature allows paddlers to carry more gear and supplies, making it an excellent option for longer trips.

The storage space is typically located at the bow and stern of the kayak, and some models have additional storage compartments within the cockpit area. The bow and stern storage compartments are usually sealed with hatches, which provide a watertight seal to prevent water from entering the kayak. This feature ensures that the gear and equipment stored within the kayak remain dry, even in rough water conditions. The hatches are easy to open and close, allowing for quick access to the stored items.

When packing a tandem kayak, it is essential to distribute the weight evenly between the front and back of the kayak to maintain stability and prevent the kayak from becoming lopsided. Paddlers should also consider the weight capacity of the kayak and pack accordingly, taking into account the weight of both paddlers and any gear or equipment.

4. It’s a Perfect Activity for the Entire Family, Even the Kids

Tandem kayaking is a safe and exciting activity everyone in the family can participate in, even the children. Start them young! Get your kids, nieces, and nephews life jackets, and let them sit at the cockpit of a double kayak.

Kids as young as four to eight years old can tag along as long as they can sit properly at the front of the boat. If they’re still a bit small yet eager to join, position them between your legs. However, make sure that there's one experienced paddler around before taking any child with you. Ideally, there must be one seasoned kayaked for each youngster.

Tandem kayaking is perfect for families with young children who may not be confident in their kayaking skills. With two people in one kayak, it is easier to balance and control the vessel. This makes tandem kayaking a safe and fun activity for all ages. By working together, families can navigate through calm or rough waters, and enjoy the beautiful scenery around them.

Tandem kayaking helps build strong communication skills since it requires teamwork and communication between the paddlers. This activity allows families to work together and communicate effectively to navigate through the water. This can improve family dynamics and relationships, as everyone has to contribute to the success of the trip. Children can learn valuable lessons about teamwork, trust, and communication that they can apply in their everyday lives.

Tandem kayaking allows families to create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. Paddling together through beautiful landscapes, spotting wildlife, and exploring new places are experiences that families can share and cherish forever. Tandem kayaking trips can become a family tradition, creating memories that will be passed down for generations.

5. It Lets You Meet New Friends 

Tandem kayaking is not only a great family activity, but it's also an opportunity to make new friends. When kayaking in popular spots, you'll often see other tandem kayakers sharing the water with you. This provides a great opportunity to strike up a conversation and connect with others who share your love of the outdoors. You can exchange paddling tips, share your experiences and even make plans for future kayaking trips together. So, not only will tandem kayaking bring your family closer, but it can also expand your social circle and introduce you to new friends who share your passions.

There’s a big difference between solo kayaking with a large group and tandem kayaking. The latter requires coordination and synchronization, making it a challenging social activity for both experienced and newbie paddlers. Without teamwork, a double kayak can be hard to maneuver.

Even as a solo traveler, you can double kayak and practice with people from your tour group. Tandem kayaking is a fantastic way to meet new people and nurture budding friendships. Furthermore, you can build more patience and toughen your arm muscles as you improve communication and strengthen the bond between you and your new friend. 

6. Health Benefits of Tandem Kayaking

One of the primary health benefits of tandem kayaking is the physical exercise it provides. Kayaking requires the use of various muscles in the body, including those in the arms, shoulders, back, and core. Paddling a tandem kayak requires coordination between the two paddlers, which increases the intensity of the workout. As a result, tandem kayaking can be an effective way to improve cardiovascular health, build muscle strength, and enhance overall fitness.

Tandem kayaking is not only a great physical activity but also offers numerous mental health benefits. Paddling solo can be an enjoyable experience, but paddling a tandem kayak with a partner can provide a unique and rewarding experience that can significantly improve one's mental well-being.

Firstly, paddling a tandem kayak requires communication and cooperation, which can help build trust and foster a sense of connection with one's partner. This can lead to an increased sense of intimacy and promote better communication skills, which can be particularly useful in personal relationships.

In addition, tandem kayaking can provide a sense of relaxation and escape from the stresses of everyday life. Being out on the water can be calming and meditative, allowing one to disconnect from technology and other distractions and be fully present in the moment. This can be beneficial for reducing stress and anxiety and promoting better mental clarity.

Moreover, tandem kayaking can be a confidence booster, particularly for those who may be new to the activity or unsure of their skills. The support and encouragement of a partner can help one feel more comfortable and confident on the water, leading to increased self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment.

Try a Tandem Kayaking Tour Today

Tandem kayaking is a stress-reducing social activity that you can try anytime you want, thanks to affordable tour packages that will show and educate you about spectacular sceneries. Tandem kayaking has been gaining popularity over the years as a recreational activity and is an amazing way to meet new friends, spend time with family, get active, and de-stress from the world. 

Book a guided tandem kayak tour today and rent a double kayak.

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