You and your partner have finally decided to take the plunge and buy yourself a kayak or two to traverse the beautiful oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams this country has to offer, congratulations!
Now you need to answer one burning question: do you buy two single kayaks or a tandem kayak?
Not to worry, we are here to walk you through the considerations you need to make when choosing between a tandem kayak or two single kayaks.
Tandem Vs.Two Single Kayaks (Which is Better?)
While a tandem kayak is not necessarily better than two single kayaks and vice versa, both have their advantages over the other. It will be less expensive to purchase a singular tandem kayak, and they are also much more stable than their singular counterparts. However, two singular kayaks allow each user to go out on their own, and for one kayak to rescue the other in a capsize situation.
If you need help determining which option is best for you and your family, a tandem kayak or two single kayaks, keep on reading. We will walk you through the considerations you need to make and the advantages and disadvantages of both options.
Tandem Kayaking and Divorce
The first thing you need to consider when you are making the choice between a tandem kayak and two single kayaks is how simpatico you and your partner are. If you didn’t already know, tandem kayaks are often referred to as “divorce boats”.
While a tandem kayak can look like a great deal at first glance as they often cost about the same as a singular one-person kayak, be aware that this investment in you and your partner’s outdoor adventures could potentially lead to disaster.
Tandem kayaks are great for couples with similar build and strength who both have a laid-back attitude and work well together. One will not out-paddle the other, and they will be able to navigate difficult situations with ease. If this is the case for you and your partner, a tandem kayak can lead to plenty of fun adventures where you will feel closer and more bonded with one another.
However, if your relationship has any issues bubbling under the surface, they will absolutely show themselves when you begin paddling in tandem. You don’t want to be the couple that is constantly shouting and arguing with one another and constantly making left or right circles. That is an easy way to take a romantic and relaxing vacation in the outdoors and turn it into a necessary call to a relationship counselor.
Even if you and your partner are certain that a tandem kayak is for you, be aware that they are very wide and very heavy compared to a single kayak. It may be easier to maneuver and transport two singular, lighter-weight kayaks than it is with one tandem kayak.
If you do decide to buy a tandem kayak for yourself and your partner, it is best to choose one with moveable seats to make it a singular kayak. That way, if a disaster happens and your partner is incapacitated, or if they decide to leave the relationship, you can paddle the tandem kayak by yourself while you think about your life choices.
What’s Your Purpose?
Now that we have gotten the potential drama involved with a tandem kayak out of the way, the next step is to determine the purpose of your kayaking adventures if you are still considering purchasing a tandem kayak.
If buying a kayak or two is an effort to spend quality time together and strengthen the relationship and the communication skills between yourself and your partner, a tandem kayak could still be a great choice.
Even if there are relationship issues, tandem kayaking could be a good outlet for working out communication blocks that affect other parts of your relationship in adverse ways.
However, if you and your partner are more of the adventurous types and often enjoy many different outdoor activities with one another, you may enjoy developing your own kayaking styles individually and tackling more difficult waters, which you won’t be able to do in a tandem kayak the way you can with two singular kayaks.
If you and your partner will appreciate the freedom to explore on your own time during lengthy outdoor adventures, it may be better to go ahead and invest in two singular kayaks. That way, if one of you wants to stay behind and get breakfast and the campsite ready in the morning, the other is free to kayak around the area without needing an additional paddler.
Skill Level is Important
So, you’ve defined the purpose of your kayaking trips. Whether it is to bring you closer together or to have a grand adventure, it is important to consider the skill level of both yourself and your partner while deciding if you should buy a singular tandem kayak or two one-person kayaks.
If you are both beginners, or if one of you is a complete newbie, it could be better to get a tandem kayak. This will allow one of you to take a short break if you get tired of paddling, and you can both learn and perfect your paddling skills together as a team. Tandem kayaks are also very stable, so you won’t have to worry about tipping over as much when you are learning the basics.
If you both have experience in this regard, you will likely enjoy two single kayaks much more. You will be able to have a lot more speed and maneuverability and do more interesting things in your single kayaks than you could do in tandem.
The Pros and Cons of Tandem and Single Kayaks
You’ve visualized some of the scenarios you could find yourself in, and you’ve considered the purpose of your kayaking and the skill level both you and your partner bring to the table.
If you are still undecided on if buying a tandem or two single kayaks is the best choice for yourself and your partner, here is a final list of pros and cons of both options to help you make the right choice for your unique dynamic.
- Great way to spend quality time with your partner
- Can strengthen the bond between yourself and your partner
- Can help you and your partner build better communication skills with one another
- Are able to be engaged in conversation during your excursions
- Paddling in sync can make long journeys go faster
- One person is able to take breaks if needed
- Save money on buying one tandem kayak versus two singular kayaks
- Lack of freedom, if one person wants to go out by themselves, they will have a difficult time doing so in even a convertible tandem kayak as it is so much heavier
- Both people will need to be game to go out at the same time
- The blame game can be very common, where one person feels like the other is always doing the wrong thing and causing the issues
- Less cargo space, even though a tandem kayak is bigger, when you add two people there will be less space for gear than if you had two singular kayaks
- Very bad idea for fishing, you will probably end up hooking one another
Two Single-Person Kayaks
- Freedom to go wherever you want whenever you want
- Complete control over the kayak and yourself
- Argument-free kayaking experience
- Have the option to go out by yourself if your partner is unavailable
- Lighter so each kayak is easier to load and unload than a tandem
- Better for fishing
- More room for gear and equipment
- If one boat capsizes, the other kayak can serve as the rescue boat
- If you have young children, there probably won’t be space for them in a singular kayak
- You may lose an opportunity to bond and communicate with your partner
- Will be more expensive to buy two kayaks as opposed to a singular tandem kayak
A Potential Solution: The Best of Both Worlds
If you are still struggling over the choice between a tandem kayak and two singular kayaks, there is one potential solution that could help alleviate the doubt you are experiencing. That solution is the convertible kayak.
While not all tandem kayaks are convertible, there are many options on the market these days that have moveable seats, allowing the kayak to be easily converted from a tandem to a singular kayak.
Some of these kayaks actually have a seat molded into the center of the kayak that can be used in such a scenario, or can even be a great spot for your child to sit while you and your partner paddle in-tandem.
If you are wanting to paddle both in tandem but also solo, this could be the perfect option for you without breaking the bank and needing to store a lot of kayaks at your home. These kayaks will have all the same advantages as a regular tandem kayak.
Some of those center molded seats can be a bit uncomfortable, so if you plan on using the kayak for solo paddling regularly and not just in a pinch, it will be better to spend a little more and get a tandem kayak with moveable seats that turn it into a solo kayak. For all of the advantages, these kayaks still have the same disadvantages as a standard tandem kayak, as well.
- 【NO MORE BLISTER AND LESS FATIGUE】These paddle grip provides a nice cushioned grip without losing a solid grip and control to improve efficient paddling, make paddling more easier and comfortable, and keep hands from blister, calluses and fatigue.
- 【REPLACE HAND GLOVE】Hand gloves make hot and discomfortable, what's more, you have to wear off the glove when swiming or doing other thing. But with our paddle grip you don't have to wear the hand golve that our grip prevent blister and fatigue.
- 【FIT FOR ALL KAYAKE】Whether your are experience kayaker or new kayaker, adults or kids, having arthritis, Raynaud's in the hands or trigger finger and carpal tunnel problems, these grip will make your paddling more comfortable and enjoyable. You may won't paddle again after useing our grip.
- 【PERFECT FOR LONG KAYAK TRIP】Our Paddle grip keeps you from gripping the paddle too tightly for a long paddle (4+ hours) so you don't end up with achy joints or blister at the end of the trip, makes paddling more enjoyable and comfortable, which will extends your kayak trips. What's more, the metal shaft of the paddle gets cold in winter but but these grip will help to keep your hand warmer.
- 【EASY TO INSTALL】To make installing easier, we suggest you lightly wet them, once you get the right position, use the waterproof tape to hold them in the place snugly. Note: other company's grips without professional tapes to hold the grips, the grip will slide easily and make you annoying.
- Waterproof - Use professional seamless technology. Our dry bag has the overall waterproof capability, making sure to keep your items and valuables dry when you do some water sports like boating and kayaking but not underwater sports
- Durable - Made by 0.02 in (0.6 mm) thick wear-resistant material, suitable for outdoor activities, waterproof bag nicely adapts to all kinds of weather and environment
- Multifunctional - Adjustable Shoulder Straps & Handle for shoulder carrying and backpack, very convenient for different occasions like boating, rafting, kayaking, swimming, mountaineering, etc. The lightweight dry bag won’t aggravate the burden of your arms or shoulder
- Visible - Transparent dry bag, easy to find your items without trouble, you don’t have to rummage through the bag to find your things, and it’s able to read the message on your phone or pad
- 5 Sizes (5L/ 10L/ 20L/ 30L/ 40L) to choose, a right choice for the gift to women and men, each bag comes with a free waterproof cell phone case, bring comprehensive waterproof protection to your water sports
- HOW ARE WE DIFFERENT? - Our anchors are made of rust resistant galvanized iron and include an extra long 40ft marine grade rope, a nylon storage bag, a buoy ball and a stainless steel carabiner clip. Each anchor weighs 3.5lbs (1.6kg) and can easily be stored in kayaks, canoes, jet skis, SUP paddle boards and small boats
- WHY BEST MARINE AND OUTDOORS? - Our company goal and mission is to help people find inner peace and purpose through kayaking and boating. Our anchor allows you to stop, connect with nature and soak in its surrounding beauty
- WHO IS OUR ANCHOR FOR? - Spending time on the water is the perfect opportunity to get away and relax. Our anchor is the ideal accessory for outdoor enthusiasts who are into fishing, meditation, watching sunsets or photography
- HOW DOES IT WORK? - Slide the anchor collar upwards, fold open the 4 flukes, slide the collar back down, and lock into position. Use as much anchor rope as possible to create better horizontal drag on the bottom surface. The perfect anchor for trolley kits!
- WHO ARE WE? - Located in Massachusetts, BEST Marine & Outdoors is a leading provider of kayak accessories in the USA, Europe and Australia. We stand behind our products and offer complete customer service and satisfaction