How to Paddle a Tandem

HarborLAB uses the Malibu 2 XL by Ocean Kayak as the core of its fleet because these boats are stable, reasonably quick for day trips, and (like all sit-on-tops) easier to re-enter. Another huge advantage to this boat model is that it’s a tandem, which means we were able to use your donations wisely (one tandem is cheaper than two singles) and keep trips safer (fewer boats to manage, and the social pressure of shared boats reins in carelessness). But a tandem can be frustrating when poorly coordinated. Ocean Kayak posted this quick and handy video to avoid difficulties.

One small note: if you want to make a very sharp turn while maintaining momentum, it’s better to *not* turn by the method demonstrated at the end. Instead, keep in sync, but hold your paddles by a blade and middle-shaft, making very wide arcs that turn you while keeping the energy you’ve built up. Again, this method (learned from NY Kayak Co.) is meant only for sharp turns without slowing down. Ruddering or back paddling can be great tools for slowing while turning.

When you’ve progressed beyond sit-on-top kayaking, here’s a demonstration of the more advanced (and ultimately more recommended) sweep stroke: