Pros and Cons of Tandem Kayaks

While the single-seater kayaks are the most popular choice to navigate open seas, rivers, or lakes, the tandems (or doubles) are starting to notice an increase in popularity.

Tandem Kayaks

Plus, the tandem kayaks can offer plenty of benefits that aren’t realized by the single kayak set-up.

A preferred kayak set-up means the kayaker will have a more rewarding time with its unique perspective of the water and opportunity to maneuver near caves, whitewater, marine wildlife, and other points of interest.

Pros and cons of tandem kayaks

Here are seven of the most common pros and cons related to using and navigating a tandem kayak:


Physical ability

A tandem kayak is perfect for the paddler with limited or no on-water experience. A kayaker is certain to get a lot of comfort from sharing a paddling machine and gives the confidence to use the open stretches of water.

A tandem kayak essentially provides space for an experienced tour guide to sit in the rear. Plus, for those kayakers with minimal experience on flat, calm waters, it will be possible to navigate the more difficult rated waters or even explore whitewater. A kayaker with physical handicaps will also benefit from using the two-seater kayak with an experienced captain in charge.

Traveling speed

Even though the tandem kayak is loaded with the body weight of two passengers, the tandem has the longer waterline which means a more efficient hull and ability to achieve a higher top speed.

Plus, there is double the paddling power which further helps to improve the speed over the single-seater kayak. The experienced, strong paddler sits at the rear of the kayak with the weaker occupying the seat at the front.

It is the responsibility of the captain (experienced paddler) to match the paddle pace to ensure both paddles are working in complete harmony.

More social

A duel seated kayak puts paddlers in close quarters with each other which is great for friends or family members. Whether it is paddling the quiet, calm rivers or open lakes or rivers, the tandem kayaks are great at creating the most fun and a versatile kayaking adventure.

Plus, this type of kayak is perfect for those that prefer not to be kayaking alone. While the tandem kayak is more difficult to paddle on solo trips, more expensive, and larger than a single-person kayak, they are still a lot of fun to use.

Storage space

The extra length of the tandem kayak means extra storage space for gear and paddlers. A solo trip in a tandem is certain to mean a lot of free space for extras like hunting, fishing, or camping gear.


Less control

The tandem kayaks rely on both paddlers to work together to efficiently maneuver the river or open waters. It is essential that both paddlers are in sync at all times to paddle in a fast and efficient manner.

Limited freedom

Although it can be great fun to paddle in a two seater, the single-seat paddling machine is certain to provide more freedom and flexibility. In fact, a solo paddling adventure can be quite exhilarating.

Heavy load

The greater size of the tandem kayak means a much greater load and more difficulty in hauling from place to place. This heavy load is certain to be an issue if having to carry it single handle to the less accessible launch site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *