How To Paddle a Two Person Kayak (Tandem) : Never Been This Easy

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Paddling a Tandem Kayak needs synchronization and proper understanding of individual role of paddlers in kayaking. It is an awesome way for two persons to hangout on the water.

Tandems are wider and more spacious than single kayaks. These are more stable and secured for newbies to get introduced to kayaking. It can be a great way to train people who don’t know how to paddle a Tandem Kayak to paddle or traveling too. Anyone can sit in the bow and they do not even need to paddle. You can just take anyone in the bow of a Tandem kayak and take them for paying a visit to the bay or sunshine on a beautiful lake.

Knowing how much a kayak  weighs could help you when moving it from one place to another.

What’s more interesting is when paddled by two persons, Tandems can travel way more quickly. All you have to do is to know some paddling patterns:

How To Paddle a Two Person Kayak (
  • Unison Method: Unison is the most efficient method taught by Kayak trainers nowadays. Two kayakers paddle in a same rhythm. It keeps the speed at the highest possible and from crashing.
  • Strong Back Method: Strong back method is used mainly for training newbies. If the person in the back is stronger than the one in the front, Unison method is applied. The person in the bow can even stop paddling and take rest.
  • Rhythm: Rhythm is actually maintained by the person in the front. As the kayaker at rear end can see the paddle of him, He can just follow to go faster. It is also to be taken care of that anyone must not try doing something extraordinary to maintain the rhythm. Just let it come to you naturally and as the time passes by, You will start feeling the beat yourself.
  • Rhythm Maintenance: The kayaker in the stern should constantly guide the one in the front on what to do next or if the speed shall be faster or slower. The rhythm can be synchronized by chanting any childhood rhymes. The person in the stern should keep on making more powerful forward strokes to propel the kayak faster.
  • Navigation: Navigation is a crucial part of Tandem two person Kayaking. Some tandems are equipped with a rudder for keeping the kayak straight on its expected pathway. If there is no rudder available in the kayak, The front kayaker should focus on a certain point or figure to keep it right.
  • Course Correction: There are two active theories on course correction of a tandem kayak. One says that the front kayaker should correct courses for both. Another is that the one in the stern should perform course correction. According to the first one, The front paddler should make a forward sweep, while the rear end kayaker takes a back sweep at the opposite hand. The latter theory suggests that when greater correction is required, you will need the rudder to perform a back stroke in the opposite direction and you can sort of go ahead and rejoin in synch with the paddler in the bow end.

Kayaking a Tandem kayak is as exciting as it looks. So if you don’t know how to paddle a two person (Tandem) kayak. It is mandatory to find someone who can accompany in this precious experience. You may even wish to fish from a kayak. May it be your friend, neighbor, partner or your dog. Happy Kayaking. 🙂

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