Tandem Kayak solo

Can You Use A Tandem Kayak Solo? (Is It Safe and Balanced?)

Sometimes, the tandem paddler or beginners are scared or feel intimated paddling alone in a solo Kayak. For the newbies, Tandem Kayaks assist amazingly as these are significantly designed for one passenger and another person to paddle and steer in chorus.

Undoubtedly, the Kayaking journey in a Tandem Kayak is safer, wider, and more stable due to plenty of storage capacity.

Let’s dive our thinking into another pattern. Can you use a Tandem Kayak solo? Is it safe and balanced?

Hook your concentration below, as I will illustrate all your queries and relevant information shortly. Apart from all these, if you have a Tandem Kayak, the guide will give you some effective suggestions so that any individual family member can paddle or handle it effortlessly.

Why Should You Use A Tandem Kayak Solo?

Considering your skill level, it depends on what type you prefer for kayaking. There might be several reasons to paddle a tandem kayak as a solo paddler that I am pointing out for your assistance :

Lack of Weight Limitation

Undeniably, if you intend to go on a long trip to experience the sea eagle with your inflatable Kayak, you need to carry extra utensils for your adventure. However, single Kayaks must have weight restrictions by their manufacturer.

Think twice; an overweight and loaded solo kayak might be risky for sinking if it exceeds its weight red lining.

Packing More Gear

People also require additional spaces on the paddle board to pack kayak accessories, such as bungee cords, fishing gear, rod holder, motor mount, molded footrests, or other requirements of your fishing kayaks.

You are also required adequate spaces to add gear, sleep, take meals, and do other tasks for Kayak camping as a rear paddler, which you will get on the tandem boat or the 2 person kayak.

 That’s why you can set your mobile kayak seat in the center or corner point of the two person Kayak to get extra space.

Longer Voyage Journey

A single kayak paddler sometimes intentionally picks a double Kayak for prolonged water adventures to get more storage.

Taking a Short Nap

The specially designed inflatable kayaks are also inclined to go gentler so that individual paddlers can take a short break if they get tired while pedaling.

Wider Legroom

Another top reason is that taller and healthier paddlers benefit from picking a longer Kayak and converting it for solo usage to get the most legroom.

No Partner Available

Based on my prior experiences of my tandem Kayaking journey with Johnson outdoors, ocean Kayak Malibu, or Brooklyn kayak company, I can recommend if you are a stronger paddler, confident and skilled, you can go for Solo kayaking.

I have often seen a shortage of companions, and boat people would love to choose to pick an inflatable tandem kayak for kayak fishing.

Otherwise, if you are a bit weak and want to hang out with your strong partner to share paddling, maneuvering, steering, and unlimited fun, you can choose the best Tandem kayak.

Additional Advantage

You can enhance some gear to the forward-facing Kayak by operating Tandem Kayak alone from the back rear seat. It will give additional advantages to allocate the weight evenly for stability and balancing.

Sit-on-the-Style Method

You can also favor the “Sit-on-the-style” method to pick transferrable or adjustable seats and one with molded-in seats by yourself.


The tandem kayak paddle is wider along with their particular counterparts than the solo paddling on the single Kayaks that tend to feel more stable on the water.

When Your Beloved Pet Accompanying You

Well, I can’t deny the fact, and it resonates with me a lot as I really love to kayak with my dog, Ricky. Hence, your pet needs more accommodation to enjoy quality time, and water works with you.

Read more: When Is the Best Time to Kayak in the Ocean?

On A Serious Note

Paddling the Tandem alone is a bit complicated as you have to sacrifice maneuverability, steadiness, and on-the-top paddling speed.

Precisely, you must sort out the major issues with a large paddle, rudder, and movable seats and pay extra effort to move the bigger boat with its bow sticking up in the air.

No matter which side, either front or back, you will favor most; the matter you should consider is that you pick whether you feel more comfortable sitting.

Tandem Kayak

What Obstacles Might You Face to Paddle A Tandem Kayak by Yourself?

There is no doubt a Tandem Kayak is specially designed for more than one person’s kayaking. Therefore, it’s much heavier and can endure a minimum of two persons.

It’s pretty simpler anyone might feel a lack of comfort, and it can be a burden to balance the boat appropriately. It also becomes extremely difficult to steer and paddle the Kayak individually but not quite impossible.

Hence, the First obstacle is the inconvenience while navigating the Tandem Kayak in the desired direction alone. For your assistance, I have noted all relevant issues for the solo rider given below :

Lack of Control

Subtle control might be a main difficulty, and reduction in control becomes dangerous when you alter direction to avoid an obstacle or stop the vehicle altogether.

Maintaining Balance and Speed

These kayaks are considered for more than one paddler sitting in their deliberate locations in the cockpit. It is somewhat problematic to reach a higher paddle angle because you may accomplish out to the gunwales to adapt your paddle strokes.

Suppose you don’t know the setup procedures adequately and are not skilled enough. In that case, it will be very complex to individually maintain the balance and speed of a heavyweight and rigid kayak.

Changing Direction

You have to pay an additional effort to change the direction when only a single person uses the Kayak.

Freedom Of Movement

As the Tandem is somewhat oversized for lonely kayaking, it will be tougher to make quick turns, maneuvers, and minor adjustments as the situations dictate.

Inappropriate moveables will be a serious issue if you are interested in motion, paddling, or fishing in narrower streams or creeks rather than slowly moving rivers or quiet lakes.

Tiresome Loading and Unloading Process

The loading and unloading process and taking it to your desired location becomes extremely tedious because of its substantial weight.

Heavier to Transport

If your companion is not with you, it isn’t easy to carry your Kayak from your vehicle down the shore or transport it to and from the water’s edge.

To transport a substantial kayak, you can use a kayak trailer, trolley, cart, or wheel instead of lifting them off or onto your roof rack.

How Can You Set Up A Tandem Kayak for A Single Paddler?

Setting up a two or three persons Tandem Kayak is not complicated if you follow some basic rules. This blog will work with you coherently so that your all sorts of kayaking journey will be precious and full of amusement.

Before learning about solo kayaking, you will quickly become aware of

the angle of your paddle shaft affects the force. And finally, you also acquire proper engagement with every stroke.

Therefore, I have assembled numerous authentic methods to set up a Tandem Kayak that makes a single paddler more comfortable.

First Method

You can place some weight near the stem; if you have a sit on top, ensure the weight is tied down. Suppose you have a sit in the Kayak; you can get a 40-lb bag of approximate stuff. After that, tie a rope to it, place it in the front cabin, and use your paddle to push it toward the stem.  To solve not having enough weight in the front issue, you might pull the bag out by the rope.

Second Method

Before purchasing, make sure it’s not a hard-shell tandem kayak, and the seat is movable, as I mentioned earlier. Now, adjust the stool in the mid position. I have repeatedly indicated it because perfect weight distribution and balancing are mandatory, making your tandem kayak similar to a long, skinny motorboat.

Third Method

If necessary, whether you face weight distribution issues requiring rectification or balance the trim again. To solve this, you can add some weight, such as buoyancy-neutral bottles of water or other substance that concentrate weight to the front of the Kayak.

Forth Method

Rearranging the kayak seat to the new location can be wider than the old one; hence, your pedaling strokes might become shallower and less operative.

The shorter paddle might cause you to lose your balance fairly; the extensive paddle permits you to fine-tune shallower strokes without attainment for the water.

To retain your powerful pedaling strokes vertically, you better use a longer paddle short of losing your balance by sloping too far over the edge of the Kayak in such a situation.

Fifth Method

You can install a Kayak rudder or Skeg, a type of blade that can improve the maneuverability and control of your tandem kayak when paddling someone alone.

It is situated at the stern of your Tandem that will assist you in keeping your Kayak on course against strong water currents and turn corners.

Most Tandem kayaks are wider than conventional solo kayaks; therefore, sometimes heavier crosswinds are hard for tandem kayaks to steer. And the trim of the Tandem is probably unstable for the sake of poor weight distribution.

The rudder will help a single paddler to turn his Tandem Kayak with a less physical effort to the unpredictable and difficult weather. Likewise, the Skeg is vital in tracking straight and slipping out your Tandem when crosswinds blow.

Fundamental Method

You can take away one seat and reposition the second seat near the center of the cockpit. You must remember that setting your seat in the center of the current Kayak’s cockpit is like the chief anchor points on the gunwales.

Ensure that if you paddle a tandem Kayak alone, you must sit at the extensive part of the Tandem instead of the slightly narrower places.

The junior paddle is commonly used for casual water sightseeing when exceeding the power of each stroke is not as mandatory. Conversely, the higher paddle angle will permit you to produce additional power.

FAQ : (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question One: Is solo kayaking safe and balanced?

Answer: Ideally, solo kayaking is always risky if you are willing to go deep ocean where the weather is completely unpredictable, and crosswind or heavy water currents might occur instantly.

However, you might think you have the paddler’s safety course that tempted you to handle any worst situation. Still, it’s better to have your experienced friend onshore who knows the desired location.

Question Two: What shouldn’t you do while Solo kayaking?

Answer: Hook your mind and be aware of not doing it while solo kayaking, no matter whether you are the tough paddler or not :

  • Don’t go for big water alone on your first kayak trip without wearing a personal protection device.
  • Be conscious and take enough protection for the worst weather, and don’t assume that nothing bad will happen.
  • Don’t go anywhere without a tour plan, paddling location map, adequate food, drinking water, or first medication box.

Precaution: You must consult a professional before paddling a Tandem kayak Solo and stepping forward. Don’t know how to paddle a Tandem Kayak solo? You can read the full article again or can ask us. Solo paddling a Tandem Kayak is not so tough task. Just need to be careful!


In conclusion, either solo or Tandem, you can’t deny the pros and cons of both boats and all methods. Everyone has their preferences based on the criteria, which you should pick depending on your skill, experience, budget, availability, situation, location, weather condition, etc.

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