It is a beautiful morning; the dew is fresh and the sun rays are cutting radiantly through the clear skies. You have been waiting in great anticipation for this day for the whole week and to your luck the morning is just perfect for the kayaking adventure you have been planning with your friend.
You have already hired a beautiful inflatable kayak for the day. It is a tandem kayak designed to carry two people.
Unfortunately, your friend calls and says that he cannot make it. What a let-down!
Having planned and waited for this day with so much zeal, you might as well go kayaking alone. The only problem is that your hired kayak is a tandem kayak designed for two!
Tandem kayaking is thrilling. The joy of sharing wonderful moments with a partner is unmatched. Nevertheless, if one cannot get a partner for tandem kayaking, one can still chose to go solo. Below are a few tips that might come in handy before embarking on a solo trip in a tandem kayak.
Tandem kayaks are designed for two paddlers. They have two seats, one at the bow and the other one at the stern. With this arrangement, the paddlers embark on a coordinated paddling. Tandem kayaking can be a lot of fun and a pair of kayakers can achieve much more than a solo paddler could achieve.
The arrangement of the seats ensures that the weight is evenly distributed throughout the kayak. Therefore when these kayaks are paddled by one person, one side of the kayak tends to rise above the surface of the water. This makes it difficult to control the kayak especially when the solo paddler is seated at the bow.
One simple trick is, if you have to sit at the bow, sit at the bow while facing the stern. This way, the paddler’s weight is brought closer to the centre of the kayak thereby keeping it more balanced. Another trick that works well in such cases is weight compensation. This is achieved by adding some weight either at the stern (when seated at the bow) to compensate for the weight. Majority of paddlers will add rocks, sticks or gear to compensate for the big weight difference. The aim is to keep the kayak as balanced as possible for better tracking.
Some of the best tandem kayaks come with kneeling pads where paddlers can kneel especially when fishing. These pads can be put into good use by solo paddlers. Kneeling shifts the weight towards the centre thereby allowing for easy manoeuvring of the kayak.
Paddling a tandem kayak solo can be hectic especially where one wants to turn. Because of the missing weight, these kayaks tend to be very difficult to manoeuvre. This problem can be overcome by leaning to the side one wants to turn to when turning. This makes the kayak lean on one side hence it can easily make a sharp turn to the desired direction easily.
Some modern tandem kayaks such as sport pescador 13.0 T have enhanced features that allows for solo paddling. The seat at the stern is designed in such a way that the weight leans towards the centre.