Tandem Kayaks

Tandem Kayak Buyers Guide & Tandem Kayak Reviews

Browse and compare hundreds of tandem kayaks from top manufacturers like Hobie, Delta, Pelican and more!

Tandem kayaks, or 2 person kayaks, are typically going to be wider, which makes them more stable and allows them to be paddled by experienced and beginner kayakers alike. With a multitude of tandem kayak options such as sit on top, sit inside, inflatable, folding, and even pedal-drive tandems, you'll want to carefully consider WHO will be paddling your tandem, WHERE you'll be paddling it, and WHAT your performance needs are. So grab your tandem buddy and go!

What Is a Tandem Kayak?

Not to be confused with a canoe, a tandem kayak, or double kayak, possesses the same characteristics of a single kayak, but in a longer, slightly wider boat that gives you the same kayaking experience but with two paddlers. Depending on model, your tandem kayak will still have bulkheads and hatches for storage or flotation in case you flip and need to re-enter a tandem kayak.

Solo Kayak vs. Tandem Kayak

If you're on your way to buying a boat, you might be decided on a kayak. Or maybe you've even considered buying a canoe since it's a shared hobby. But then it occurs to you- is it possible to get the best of both worlds? You start doing the mental math: "If I need a kayak that can potentially do both, I'd rather paddle a tandem alone than try to cram two paddling comrades into a solo kayak." Okay, so now we've established that a tandem kayak is arguably more versatile and after some research, you learn that some tandem kayaks are even designed to accommodate a center-seat position so that they can be paddled alone. Okay, back to the mental math, you start thinking about kayaking with your spouse, family member, friend, or four-legged comrade: "When we paddle together, it's nice to actually stay together. Our skills aren't always going to be equal, so it'd be nice to not paddle together, not "alone, together" in individual boats." After reminiscing over the drudgery of waiting for your favorite kayaking mate to catch up, you decide it's time to get down to brass tacks- dollars. "So if I want the versatility, I can either buy two for the price of two or I can buy two for the price of..." And then it hits you. The stoplight you were stopped at turned green a long time ago and it's time to get back to buying a boat- err, tandem, you guess!

How to Paddle a Tandem Kayak

If you talk to anyone who has paddled a tandem kayak, they will tell you the golden rule: the key to paddling a tandem kayak is to paddle in unison. Compared to a canoe, you have to remember that a tandem kayak will have double-bladed paddles! So not only will synchronized paddling prevent you from chopping each other, you will also be remarkably impressed to feel how swiftly you can get moving when in unison.

Compared to a solo kayak, the wider platform of a tandem makes them much more stable and beginner-friendly. So if you have a less experienced kayaker, you can plop them up front to either paddle casually or just take in the scenery. The more experienced of the two can sit at the stern and maneuver the boat and adjust strokes as needed.