Can One Person Use an Inflatable Tandem Kayak?

If you’re an avid kayaker or someone who loves exploring water bodies, you might have come across tandem kayaks. These kayaks are designed to accommodate two people, making them perfect for couples, friends, or parents and children.

But what if you don’t have a partner to go kayaking with? Can you use an inflatable tandem kayak alone? In this article, we’ll answer this question and provide some useful tips for solo kayaking in a tandem kayak.

Understanding Tandem Kayaks

Before we delve into whether one person can use a tandem kayak, let’s first understand what a tandem kayak is. Tandem kayaks are longer and wider than single-person kayaks and have two cockpits, one behind the other. They’re designed to be paddled by two people, with each person using a paddle on either side of the kayak.

Tandem kayaks are great for exploring calm waters such as lakes or slow-moving rivers. They’re also perfect for fishing trips or family outings. The two-person design allows for better weight distribution and makes it easier to paddle in a straight line.

Solo Paddling in a Tandem Kayak

Now that we know what tandem kayaks are let’s answer the big question: can one person use an inflatable tandem kayak? The simple answer is yes; one person can use a tandem kayak alone. However, there are some things to keep in mind before embarking on your solo paddling adventure.

Firstly, you’ll need to adjust the seating position to balance the weight distribution of the kayak. Solo paddling will make one end of the kayak heavier than the other.

To counterbalance this weight difference, move your seat towards the center of the kayak. This will ensure that your weight is evenly distributed across the length of the vessel.

Secondly, you’ll need to adjust your stroke technique. When paddling alone in a tandem kayak, you’ll need to alternate between paddling on the left and right sides of the kayak. This will help keep the kayak straight and prevent it from veering off course.

Benefits of Solo Paddling in a Tandem Kayak

Solo paddling in a tandem kayak has its advantages. Firstly, it’s a great way to get some alone time and enjoy the serenity of the water without any distractions.

Secondly, solo paddling allows you to have complete control over the direction and pace of the kayak. You can take your time exploring new areas or pick up speed and challenge yourself.

Tips for Solo Paddling in a Tandem Kayak

Here are some tips to keep in mind when solo paddling in a tandem kayak:

  • Make sure to inform someone on land about your kayaking plans.
  • Wear a life jacket at all times.
  • Check the weather forecast before heading out.
  • Bring along essential safety equipment such as a whistle, compass, and navigation map.
  • Pick calm waters for your solo kayaking adventure.


In conclusion, one person can use an inflatable tandem kayak with some adjustments to seating position and stroke technique. Solo paddling allows for more control over the direction and pace of the kayak, making it an excellent option for kayakers who want some alone time on the water. Remember to always prioritize safety when kayaking alone and have fun exploring new waters!

Photo of author

Emma Gibson