Paddling Your Fishing Kayak With Others On-board or in Tandem

Sometime it’s fun to bring passengers on board your fishing kayak when paddling. Combining fishing, camping or bird watching, with paddling in tandem can add to the fun, although obviously paddling your fishing kayak in tandem can complicate some activities.

The W kayak’s spacious hull tips virtually eliminate the problem of lack of storage space, and attaching additional gear on top of its hulls is a breeze, even when accommodating two passengers. When going on a tandem trip, canoe-style paddling is often advantageous over paddling in the kayaking style, since the stouter, single blade paddles are less likely to hit each other.

Three passengers in fishing kayak

When paddling in tandem, it is important to explicitly assign rules to those on-board in order to track smoothly. The paddler at the stern should be in charge of steering and tracking, since they have a clear line of sight of the two others, as well as using long J strokes (canoeing style) that facilitate both steering and tracking. In case an extra blade is needed on the other side of the kayak, the paddler in the front can more easily switch sides than the two others.
It is important that the front paddler set the pace when using kayak (dual blade) paddles, and the other paddlers to mimic his/her strokes in parallel to avoid hitting each other’s paddles.
It may be useful for you to consider paddling this special kayak as if itwere a canoe, that is with single blade paddles.
Paddling in tandem has a learning curve, but practice makes perfect.This movie shows two paddlers paddling their W500 fishing kayak in tandem, using dual blade paddles.

It is important to realize that standard kayak paddles are too short for paddling a W500 fishing kayak.

Unlike canoes, kayaks are designed mainly for solo paddling, and tandem paddling should only be for secure, confident paddlers. Therefore, you must be well accustomed with your fishing kayak before bringing an additional person along. Your passenger should ideally also be experienced with paddling your kayak solo, in order to let you both get the hang of tandem paddling more quickly.

Once you master the skills needed to successfully paddle in tandem, you can fully enjoy the fun of paddling with a partner, or even two if you’re up for it and they’re small (e.g. children…)

Note that this kayak can be motorized in tandem, either with an electric trolling motor or with an outboard gas engine.

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