Tandem Kayaks, Family Fun
Paddling Techniques and Lessons
Tandem kayaks allow you to share the paddling fun or the muscle ache of a day on the water with a friend or family member, and they’re a wonderful way to get the whole family out exercising and enjoying the great outdoors. Young children can sit safely between two adults and older children can get their first paddling lessons under the watchful eye of a parent.
Paddling tandem kayaks allows you to communicate easily with your paddling partner making it much more of a team than a solo event. Sharing the paddling experience is one of the biggest reasons that buyers go for tandem kayaks. They’re also a great place to learn paddling techniques though, as less experienced kayakers can be taken into waters that they couldn’t cope with on their own while the more experienced paddler is there to guide them in the more challenging conditions.
Choosing a tandem kayak
Tandem kayaks are made by all the big kayak manufacturers and as with solo kayaks are designed for particular types of water conditions. You can choose from sit on and sit in kayaks, folding kayaks and inflatable kayaks and from various designs - from those specially made for white water runs to those for recreational paddling, touring, and surf kayaking. Some of the most popular models are used for fishing and touring.
Seating your tandem kayak
When taking out a tandem kayak it’s important to get your seating order right. Tandem kayaks need to be evenly loaded but it’s important for the paddler with the most experience to go at the rear. This is because the person at the back steers the kayak. If necessary it’s best to have more weight in the rear than the bow of the kayak.
Expect to pay about $600 for an entry level tandem and up to $4500 for a folding tandem kayak. Used tandem kayaks are generally quite a bit cheaper and can be found for sale at kayak clubs and schools and at some speciality retailers.