What is a Tandem Kayak?

Kayaking is a great way to explore and experience nature, whether you’re out for an afternoon or an entire day. There are a large variety of kayaks available on the market in addition to the traditional single kayaks, such as the tandem type, which is designed for two people.

Those wanting to explore the water together may wonder: “What is a tandem kayak, and how is it different from a single kayak?” In this article, we will take a closer look at what a tandem, or double, kayak is, how to use it correctly, and some tips for tandem kayaking.

What Is a Tandem Kayak?

As opposed to a single kayak that only has one opening, tandem sit-inside kayaks have two openings with seats inside, one behind the other. A raised area at the front of the kayak called a deck often holds an additional paddle or storage space.

The primary purpose of a tandem kayak is to make it easy for two people of any size to kayak together. Most tandem kayaks are made for two people to paddle together, although there are some that can even fit three.

How Are Tandem Kayaks Different From Other Kayaks?

While your average solo kayak or canoe is designed to be used by one person, tandem kayaks are specifically designed for two people. A tandem kayak is typically longer than other types of kayaks and has more room, making it easier to have fun on the water with two people.

You can use tandem boats with a friend, family member, young child, significant other, or anyone else! There are multiple seats, so one person can take the lead paddling while the other relaxes in the front or back seat — which works great if you plan to use the kayak with a small child.

Just keep in mind that you’ll have a little less freedom with a tandem kayak as you do when using two separate kayaks. Some couples even use them as a bonding exercise! 

What Is a Tandem Kayak Used for?

Double kayaks are used for a variety of different purposes, including fishing, nature exploration, and hunting.

The tandem design makes them ideal for fishing as both people can use their own rod and paddle at the same time. Anyone who wants to explore the water together would benefit from using a tandem kayak.

Hunting is another popular activity that some kayakers enjoy doing in their tandem boat. Some prefer using one tandem kayak over two solo kayaks because it makes it easy for one person to kneel, lay down, or sit and hunt while the other person can paddle.

Tips for Using a Tandem Kayak

Before you get started fishing or exploring, there are some helpful tips that will make tandem kayaking a more enjoyable and safe experience.

One important thing to consider is that your paddles should match in size and weight. Another tip is to choose a calm, flat water area where you aren’t fighting wind and waves. 

And, most importantly, make sure to practice paddling with your tandem kayak on flat water before taking it out in the open water.

Tandem kayaks can be a great way for two people to enjoy nature together while fishing or hunting. However, it is recommended that two people paddle a tandem kayak together who are of similar size and weight. 

If you are introducing newcomers or new arrivals to paddling, we believe it’s a better idea to put the experienced, stronger paddler in the back of the kayak. They will have a better position to paddle with forward strokes and steer with the rudder when needed. 

Even with two experienced kayakers, it generally works best for the weaker paddler to be the front paddler, with the kayaker who is physically stronger being in the back. When both paddle in this combination, it can move the boat surprisingly quickly across the water. 

Where to Buy a Tandem Kayak

If you’re interested in a single tandem kayak, there are a variety of different places that you can look to purchase one. The best place to look is online, since it will be easier to compare models and prices.

There are many reputable websites where you can buy good quality tandem kayaks, such as Amazon, Dick’s, or Sportsman’s Warehouse. Before purchasing a kayak, it’s important to consider your needs and personal preferences; this will ensure that you get the right boat for your next adventure.

Tandem Kayak Care

Just as with any other kayaks or canoes, a tandem kayak should be taken care of properly. Make sure to also take care of your paddle by drying it off when you’re done kayaking and washing it with water from both sides.

Do not leave the kayak in the sun or it will warp and be hard to handle. Finally, rinse off your kayak after using it to avoid dirt and damage.


Does a tandem kayak come with seats?

Most tandem kayaks have two separate seats inside the hull. However, some may only have one. A sit-on-top tandem kayak will be similar to a paddle board, but with two seats attached to the top.

To choose between a sit-inside and sit-on-top tandem kayak, you’ll want to consider the same things you would think about when buying a solo sit-inside or sit-on-top kayak.

You will want to make sure that the kayak you choose has two seats that are far enough apart so that both people can keep their paddling pace in sync.

Both the front paddler and the rear paddler should have enough room so that in both the reverse sweep and the forward sweep they are not in danger of knocking their partner out of the boat when paddling!

What is a tandem kayak used for?

The main purpose of a tandem kayak is to make it easy for two paddlers to enjoy the water together. Learning how to paddle a tandem kayak can make the kayaking experience more fun for new paddlers who might need some instruction on paddling and steering their boat. 

To paddle a tandem kayak and keep the boat running straight, each of the people paddling will need to communicate and work together to paddle on each opposite side. Keeping the boat balanced despite two people’s movements is another area that can be a bit of a learning curve. 

Can one person use a tandem kayak?

Yes, this type of kayak can be used by just a single paddler if needed. Tandem kayaks typically have plenty of space for one person to sit or kneel in the front or back of the kayak.

Some kayakers actually prefer tandem kayaks to single kayaks because they enjoy having more space. Being able to utilize more packing space can be especially handy for fishermen and campers. 

For this reason, sometimes one paddler will choose to use a tandem kayak instead of a solo kayak, even if they are paddling out by themselves. 

What’s the best tandem kayak for fishing?

A tandem fishing kayak should be designed to make it easy for one person to kneel, lay down or sit while the other paddles. Most types of fishing reels can attach to the kayak. 

When choosing a tandem fishing kayak, make sure that it is long enough and that there is adequate storage space for all of your gear.

Give a Tandem Kayak a Try Today!

If you are one of the many people who are looking for a new way to explore the water with their significant others, a tandem kayak is a perfect choice. Enjoying nature and having fun with your friends and family is easier than ever with this innovative kayak design.

With these tips, you will be ready to take your first trip with a tandem kayak soon!