Tandem Vs Single Kayak – Know The Difference

Kayaking is an adventurous experience that makes you have fun to the fullest. However, the market is full of various kayaks, and making a decision can be pretty challenging. One of the most complex decisions to make is to choose between a tandem or single kayak.

Each one of these kayaks has its features and benefits. Also, every kayaker has their preferences when choosing the right kayak for their adventure. In this article, we will cover both kayaks to help you select the right kayak and one that will satisfy your needs. Let’s get into it about tandem vs single kayak.

Main Differences Between Tandem And Single Kayak

Tandem Vs Single Kayak

Before we dive into each of the kayaks above, let’s first understand the main differences between the two. When you look at the two kayaks, you will notice that the main differences are pretty obvious. A Tandem kayak features two seats, while a single kayak comes with one seat.  This means that a tandem kayak can carry two people while a single kayak is only made for solo kayaking.

A tandem kayak is also pretty heavy than the single one. However, you will use the same paddling techniques on both kayaks to keep them moving. Also, both of the boats will give you an excellent experience kayaking.

Tandem Kayak

Tandem Kayak

Well, let’s get to understand more about tandem kayaks. Tandem kayak is also known as a double kayak. A Tandem kayak has enough space to hold two or three people. They are typically heavier and larger vessels and feature sit-on-top options in different paddles and sizes. These kayaks are best for kayaking with friends family as a recreation or angler fishing activity.

If you are looking forward to kayaking with a friend or family, this is the best choice to consider. It is also the best choice as it saves cost since you can buy one kayak for two people. Tandem kayaks have a few comparisons that make them best in the market.


Share paddling activities: The best advantage of using a tandem kayak is that you will get to share the paddling activity with the other person. It helps prevent tipping over water because the other person can take over when tired.

Best for beginners: If you are a beginner in the kayaking industry, then tandem is the right kayak for you. It is because you can easily share the kayak with a helpful partner who can teach you how to kayak and how to maneuver around with your vessel.

It’s cheap: Tandem kayak will help you save some cash. It is easier to deal with one boat as opposed to buying two. Additionally, some tandem boats come with an adjustable or removable seat that gives you options of having or not having a second seat in your kayak.


It is a bit heavier: One of the most significant disadvantages when dealing with a tandem boat. It tends to be a bit more severe and thus can be problematic to maneuver around.

You need to be careful of your partner: when using this, you need to ensure that your partner is rowing to avoid going in circles and thus boost swift movement.

Single Kayak

Single Kayak

As the name suggests, a single kayak features one seat. It comes with various options such as sit-on-top, paddle, pedal, different Hull designs, and multiple sizes depending on your preferences. The freedom of waters belongs to you as you decide where and what to do with your kayak.

This type of kayak is super comfortable and offers a lot of room. Its design makes it easy for you to maneuver around the waters. The single kayak is also short, thus easy to paddle and maintain balance. It is suitable for kayakers who want to enjoy a one-person trip.


It is small in size: Most single Kayaks tend to be small in size, making them easy to maneuver around. Kayak enhances the transportation of the kayak either by car or hand, which improves portability from one place to another.

The kayak is lightweight: Well, you might think because it is light, it might lose stability. This kayak features a short and compact frame that does not weigh much. The lightweight feature makes it easier to load and unload without hassle.

It is fast: The solo part of the kayak makes it quick and easy to maneuver in the water. Also, since you are riding alone, you don’t have to worry about synchronizing your paddling movements with a partner, thus saving time. You should consider a single kayak if you want to experience a fast-moving kayak.


You are on your own: With a solo kayak, it means that you will have to do everything on your own. Some People might feel intimidated by this paddling as they love company. So if you enjoy kayaking with family or friends, this kayak will limit you.

Frequently Asked questions

1. Can one person operate a tandem kayak?

It can be challenging for one person to propel a tandem without difficulties. Sometimes you wish that you had two solos if you find yourself in this situation. Most of the tandems with sit-on-top designs are more flexible, thus making it easy for one to operate.

2. Is single kayaking challenging?

One of the simplest things to do is learn the basics of kayaking. Nothing is complicated when it comes to single kayaking. You will find it a fun sport, and by perfecting your skills, everything will fall into place.


Whether an expert or a beginner, you will always find a kayak that suits your needs. The above kayaks are standard in the market, and you need to choose carefully as per your preferences.

Most tandem kayaks are suitable for beginners as you can have a partner to help you out. at the same time, single kayaks are ideal for experts as they have mastered the art of kayaking. Kayaking is an adventurous game, and you need the best to explore the game entirely. I hope that this article helps you and answers all your questions. Happy kayaking!

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