Tandem Kayak Comparison
Tandem Kayak Buying Guide
What is a Tandem Kayak?
If you’re considering purchasing a tandem kayak, then you need to consider your options carefully if it’s the first time that you’re buying one.
Things to Consider
Lets take a look at the 10 most important things you need to consider when you’re buying one, and what features you definitely want to look out for.
- Weight Considerations: What most people don’t realize when they first buy a tandem is that it can be a bit heavy, anywhere from 75 to 100 pounds. Even with two adults lifting it, this can be a lot. Know whether or not you’re going to have to put the kayak on top of a vehicle, because this increases the challenge even more. That’s why inflatable kayaks are a wonderful idea. There are also changes in weight if you go with a fiberglass or kevlar kayak. You can also find plastic tandems that are up to 18 feet long, and these are a bit more lightweight as well.
- Length: Many people falsely assume that to reduce the weight they should get a shorter kayak, but this is not always the best idea. Shorter tandems can be less stable than the longer ones, and stability is very important when there are two adults on the vessel. Also, shorter tandems place the two riders closer together which increases the risk of hitting one another with the paddles. Also, if you want to use your kayak while camping, a shorter tandem will give you less storage space.
- Trailer Usage: To buy a really great tandem kayak, you may just need to get something that is long and heavy, in which case you might want to consider getting a trailer to haul it instead of putting it on your car. Should you have a taller vehicle, it may not even be feasible that you’re going to get the kayak on top of your car anyhow. Tandems are really a lot of fun, so you can bypass the hassle of hauling it from place to place by investing in a good trailer that is going to make transporting it much easier.
- Price: Keep in mind that tandems are going to cost you a bit extra than buying two solo kayaks, but it well may be worth it if the kayak suits your needs. You want to be sure that you spend a little extra by purchasing a rudder on your tandem. This will provide a huge benefit by making it easier for you and your partner to maintain a consistent paddling rhythm so that you avoid clashing your paddles when your strokes get out of sync. A tandem is a huge investment, and you really want to spend some extra money on getting all the quality that you can.
- Consider Who You’re Riding With: It may sound funny, but you want to make sure that you really get along with the person that you’re going to be riding tandem with. Kayak instructors refer to tandem boats as ‘divorce boats’ because if there is incompatibility between the two riders it can get ugly. That’s why it’s recommended that you only ride tandem when you have two experienced paddlers who already know how to kayak. Learning how to kayak on a tandem can be quite challenging, and it’s not suggested for newlyweds.
- Improving Your Skills: It’s suggested that you not learn to kayak on a tandem, but once you know the basics, you’ll see that tandem is a great challenge that is going to improve your skills. Learning to work in conjunction with another person is a huge character building experience, and a great challenge for the solo kayaker. Say you already know how to roll in a solo kayak, then it’s pretty awesome to relearn this skill using a tandem. When you find a kayak partner that has the same skill set as you, and the same enthusiasm, you’ll find that learning each others rhythms and mastering the tandem boat is a wonderful adventure that is very rewarding.
- Versatile Tandems: It’s highly suggested that you get a tandem that allows either one or two riders, so that way if one rider doesn’t feel like going out on the water, the other rider can still paddle the vessel on their own. Do take into account that this is still going to be more challenging because you’re going to be steering a larger vessel, but at least you have the option to go out, should that be the only kayak that you own. Versatility is key when it comes to getting the most out of your tandem kayak.
- Family Tandems: Riding a kayak with the family is a fun, team-building experience, but you want to make sure that you have the perfect tandem to accommodate the family. Some tandems offer a spot in the middle where a small child can sit, and this is great when you have a child that is not large enough to ride their own kayak. In this situation, you may want to get them a child-sized paddle so that they feel like they’re a part of the fun. Safety is key, so make sure you get all the proper safety equipment for your child before taking them out on the water.
- Safety Considerations: Some other safety considerations to keep in mind are that, even though the tandem is quite stable, it is also a bit harder to get water out of it should it capsize. This is much more of a problem for shorter tandems because the part of the kayak that is walled off for flotation is much less than that which you find in a longer kayak. Even though this problem doesn’t pose a big threat, you should still keep it in your mind and perhaps favor a longer tandem to offset this.
- Invest in the Best: You want to really invest in your tandem, because you’re most likely going to own it for life. Reselling a tandem can be quite difficult, so really know for sure that you want to make this recreational investment. There’s a much larger market for reselling solo kayaks, so when you purchase your tandem, consider it to be an investment that is going to always be in your family.
Consider these ten ideas as the launching point for you to choose the right tandem for you and your family. This is a very important investment piece that is sure to add to the recreational pleasure of your family for years to come. It may take a little practice, but once you get the hang of it you’re going to see that riding in a tandem is so much fun, and everyone in the family can get involved.
The key point that you should take away from this guide is that you want to look for something that is light as possible without sacrificing length, You need to always pay attention to safety considerations, and make sure that you’re an experienced rider before you embark on a tandem adventure. Riding tandem is a great way to get to know your partner’s riding style, and learn how to be in sync with it for the most pleasurable tandem experience. Also, consider how you plan to transport your tandem, as placing it on the roof of your car is possible, but it might make more sense to invest in a trailer for your own comfort.
Owning a tandem kayak is a fun and exciting way to roam the rivers with your kayaking partner or family. There are many things that you should consider before purchasing a tandem kayak, and that’s why the buyer’s guide is here to help you to learn more about these wonderful vessels, and what features you need to look out for when you’re ready to make a purchase. With so much out there to choose from, you can feel confident when you purchase one of the top rated kayaks, but should one of these not be right for you, then be sure to read more reviews so that you can find something that customers can agree on. No matter which kayak you choose, you’re going to love how enjoyable it is to share the kayaking experience with another person. Tandem kayaks are quite large, so look out for something that is a bit easier to carry around, or invest in a trailer to help you carry the kayak from place to place.