Do Tandem Kayaks Go Faster?

Can Tandem Kayaks Go Faster?

Tandem kayaks are suitable for friends, couples, and partners who want to achieve one common aim during kayaking.

In as much as tandem kayaks can gather a lot of speed, they can also go slower. Can tandem kayaks go faster?

Can Tandem Kayaks Go Faster?
Do Tandem Kayaks Go Faster?

Single kayaks are mostly recommended for beginners because it takes a few minutes  for them to learn the basics of paddling down the river.

What are tandem kayaks? Tandem kayaks are simply kayaks which can fit about two people and it has a deck that is extended to a length of about 18-24 feet.

It is important for paddlers in a tandem kayak to paddle together simultaneously at all times.

The movement of the tandem kayak is truly amazing once the paddlers finally get the basics of the activity and paddle in a synchronized manner.

With this, they can travel faster through the beginning part may be challenging. This is because, in a tandem kayak, there are a lot of confusion at first and opinions on which direction to go, when and where to turn and so on.

It involves the movement of two people and as such, ideas and agility are mixed in an enclosed space, in this case, the kayak.

Do tandem kayaks go faster?

Regardless, everything becomes much easier and better once the paddlers involved are able to understand themselves, master the process, and also learn each other’s movements.

Most people have admitted to liking the tandem kayak more than any other kind of kayak.

They love enjoying the scenery and the thrill of kayaking with another person as they can communicate, traverse and enjoy this with their friends or family.

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The benefits of the tandem kayak are quite impressive as it promotes a healthy relationship between the people involved while creating memories at the same time.

This allows for memorable trips at any time.

Pros of Tandem Kayak

Below are some of the reasons why single people prefer the tandem kayak to any other type of kayak:

  1. It creates time to socialize:

Among the paddlers involved, kayaking on a tandem kayak provides a time to bond and communicate. It also teaches the paddlers how to work together and paddle effectively while interacting at the same time.

Cons of a Tandem Kayak

Before purchasing a tandem kayak, it is important to note its pros and also its cons as this will help you decide properly on whether you should buy a tandem kayak or not. Here are some disadvantages of getting a tandem kayak:

  1. Tandem kayaks are heavy:

Unlike single kayaks, tandem kayaks are quite heavy and also have longer lengths although they do not weigh as much as two separate kayaks. They are also easier to store.

In terms of transporting these tandem kayaks, you may need a hand to lift them due to their weight.

High-quality double kayaks usually weigh about 35 to 50 kilos. However, double kayaks that are made with low-quality materials weigh less.

 Is a 2 person kayak faster than a 1 person?

Beginners usually use single kayaks as it is very easy for them to master and learn the basics of paddling down the river.

For tandem kayaks, they can go slower and it also allows one of the paddlers to take a break if they get tired of paddling.


Pros of Single Kayaks


  1. Less Weight

Unlike the double kayaks, single kayaks weigh less and as such, they are easier to control in the water.

Moreso, when it comes to transporting and storing single kayaks, this can be done effortlessly and conveniently without asking for help from anyone as the kayak is very light.

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  1. Plethora of Activities

If you are the kind of person who likes engaging in many activities while on water such as fishing, then the single kayak is a better option.

It is much easier to fish solo using a single kayak than the tandem kayak.

However, the tandem kayak is able to store much more gear than the single kayak. You can opt for a double kayak if you have a partner that you would like to go with.

  1. Freedom to Paddle and Learn Faster

With single kayaks, the paddler is under no pressure to master or learn the skills of paddling in a hurry.

The paddler has the freedom and Liberty to paddle in any direction and also go into the water whenever he/she wants.

 How much faster is a longer kayak?

The answer to this question is dependent on a lot of factors. The first thing to consider is what makes a kayak fast or slow.

The speed of a kayak is mostly determined by the amount of power the paddler can apply to the paddle.

Even applying the same amount of this power, different boats usually have different speeds. The difference in these boats is the drag.

What is drag? The drag is simply defined as the amount of resistance that a boat creates in order to oppose the power, which the paddler applies to make it go.

The drag varies with speed and it usually increases when the paddler goes faster and faster.

Hence, it can be concluded that it is how fast the drag increases as speed increases that determine whether a boat will be fast or slow.

There are two forces that create a drag namely:

Can Tandem Kayaks Go Faster?
Do Tandem Kayaks Go Faster?
  • Frictional Drag:

The frictional drag is the force of water that tries to slide past the boat

  • Form Drag:

This is the force which is required to accelerate the water away from the hull and back as the boat splits through the water. It can also be called residual drag

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Whenever a boat touches moving water, friction with the water is formed. The more this interaction with the boat and the moving water occurs, the more the friction. T

his can be referred to as Wetted Surface Area or Wetted Area. More drag occurred when there is a larger wetted area

Form drag occurs when the paddler moves the boat through still water. Here, the hull must displace the water out of the way in order to create room for the boat to move.

After the boat has passed, the water must further move back in to fill the hole where the boat was before.

This process requires the acceleration of the water out to the side and then back to where it was before.

Wider boats have more drag than narrow boats because with wide boats, the paddler will be required to move the water a long way out to the side.

The effect of length on kayak

Take for instance a heavy object that needs to be lifted to a high surface. There are a few ways to get that object to where it needs to be.

One could grab it and attempt to carry it up to the high surface. Another method would be to roll it up a ramp to that height.

Many people would choose the second method as it is the most effective and rolling it up the ramp is easier. A boat, which has a longer length, is similar to a long ramp.

Longer boats are able to accelerate the water more slowly and this makes sure that the water does not have to get out of the way quickly as well as the returning of the water after the boat has passed.