Canoe kayak hybrid 2-person

Canoe kayak hybrid 2-person

Buyer’s Guide Q&A:

1. What features should I look for in a tandem kayak?

Before committing to purchasing a tandem kayak, you need to decide what are your deal breakers and what features the water gear must have. You should also establish a budget and stick with it no matter how appealing other models of tandem kayak look. When choosing it, consider the type of tandem kayak, its material, engine type, design peculiarities, and weight capacity.

If you are serious about purchasing a tandem kayak, you already have an idea of how and when you will be using it. Depending on your usage intention, you can choose among touring kayaks, folding kayaks, recreational kayaks, fishing kayaks, inflatable kayaks, and modular kayaks. Their names speak for themselves, which helps you in determining what type fits your needs the best.

Since a tandem kayak is an investment, you should pick a model that will last you at least several consecutive years. Regardless of whether the manufacturer offers a good warranty or not, the material the kayak is made from has to be of high quality, sturdy, and durable. Tandem kayaks are usually crafted from either plastic or PVC and include paddle bars, handles, and other elements that can be made from aluminum and steel.

Although the majority of tandem kayaks are powered by paddling, there are some that are solely automatic and motor-driven. The most advanced tandem kayak models can be upgraded to an electric trolling motor that enables them to have a lifetime supply of power. If high-tech kayaking doesn’t sound appealing to you, it is perfectly fine to stick with the equipment that uses good old paddling.

Read more: Old town discovery 119 solo sportsman canoe

Design-wise, there are tandem kayaks of different lengths and widths that meet different standards. For instance, if you’re planning on kayaking with a second person and are in need of storage space for snacks or fishing essentials, it makes sense to get a longer kayak. This way both of you will be comfortable paddling for hours at a time without having to take breaks. Besides, you’re bound to have more stability when in the water, which can’t be said about shorter kayaks.

The bigger the weight capacity of your tandem kayak is, the higher are the chances of you enjoying your kayaking trip. It has to support both you and your kayaking partner’s weights and have just enough space for fishing or other gear. Otherwise, the boat can tend to tip over, and instead of being in the moment, you’ll constantly be worrying about making the wrong move.

2. Can a tandem kayak be used by one person?

Tandem kayaks are made for two people rather than for one, which is why it can be tricky to maneuver by yourself (especially if you are a beginner). Windy weather combined with amateur paddling skills and the long-ish shape of the kayak won’t help either.

That being said, some kayakers claim that it can be done if you sit at the back and add some weight in the front to distribute the weight along the whole body of the boat. This will make it easier to handle the paddling and make smoother turns with not too much effort.

3. Where should the heavier person sit in a kayak?

Tandem kayaks are best operated by heavier and the more experienced person seated in the back. He takes the role of a helmsman who adapts to the speed of the front-seated person while paddling a bit harder. The practice shows that heavier weight on the stern is better than extra weight at the front of the boat. It is only when the weather gets windy, or the counter currents appear, the heavier front side of the boat is more advantageous.

Read more: Best trolling motor for a canoe

The correct seating position is crucial for two reasons. The first one is that the kayak tends to tilt forward in case the weight is not evenly distributed. Not only does it slow down the boat, but it also causes the tip of the kayak to dip into the waves. The second one states that during long-distance kayaking trips, excess weight in the front can make the boar drift sideways. This poses a huge problem for kayaking in tours that require everyone to paddle at the same pace.

4. How do you paddle a kayak?

You would expect a two-person kayak to be harder to paddle than a one-person kayak, and you would be right. The bigger size of the boat along with the syncing you have to do with your kayaking partner affects the increased difficulty of paddling. That being said, if you establish some ground kayaking rules, it shouldn’t be hard to paddle it.

The person sitting in the front should be the one to set the pace – this will decrease the chances of you bonk paddling (although not completely eliminate them). The person in the rear should be put in charge of bouncing back when the kayak seems to go off course. When you achieve a synchronized rhythm, both of your paddling efforts will result in a smooth sail.

5. How to transport a kayak?

Contrary to popular belief, there is no difference in transporting a solo kayak and a tandem kayak. The latter is slightly bigger in size, but the transportation mechanism remains the same.

Read more: If you’re driving down the road in a canoe

You can use either a roof rack for placing a kayak on top of the car, or a kayak trailer that can be carried by hand or attached to the back of the vehicle. When at the destination, bring your kayak into the water through portaging – let each of you grab to the opposite sides of the kayak, flip it over, and carry it to the water.

6. How to store a tandem kayak?

Keep in mind that tandem kayak is generally longer than a solo kayak, which means that you will need more space for storing it. For this reason, it makes sense to purchase a kayak trailer that will help keep your kayak away from the ground. In case you are not willing to spend extra for a kayak carrier, consider storing it vertically on a cushion-like surface (a pile of towels will do the trick) to keep it looking new for longer.

Before storing your tandem kayak, make sure it’s thoroughly rinsed and put in a dark place away from direct sunlight even if it has to stand outside. The less sunlight it gets, the longer it will last you without the need for repairs.

So now, you know (virtually) everything you need to know about buying a kayak. You’ve been presented with an array of the best tandem kayaks in 2022

The only question is; which one will you choose?

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