buying a tandem kayak-please help

Hi all.

I am new to kayaking and would really appreciate some input,

I am looking at buying a tandem kayak to do MOMAR adventure race in and have only kayak’d once before in a single.

I am looking at the following

1)current design crosswinds (polymer)

2)Necky amaruk (fibreglass)

3)seda tango 21 (fibreglass)

I think they are all roughly the same weight. I am 5’7 and my partner is rather oversized a 6’7 but slim.

If anyone has any thoughts on what may suit total beginers best (but we have time to practice)

they are all 2nd hand, seaworthy and all around $1000.

I am interested in paddling fast and getting a good time in the race

many thanks for any info

Just my opinion, looking at the specs. The Seda has been proven in adventure races – it has wider spacing between the stern and bow paddlers which allows for asymmetrical paddling – also has a v hull which should track better than the soft chined Amaruk, and has a Feathercraft rudder, which is a nice feature. Either of the composite/glass boats is a better deal for $1000 than the rotomold Crosswinds. Seda is also 10 lbs lighter despite being 2’ 6" longer.

thanks, i’ll give it a look, that is certainly the oldest and most used that I am lookinh at.


Second the Seda
All things considered, cost, weight, etc. Owned my expedition weight Tango for a number of years. Despite the 100 lb. weight of mine (They are significantly lighter now.), it is a boat that will take whatever you throw at it. It will plunk around tidal rivers in 8" of water, and will weather the nastiest water imaginable (Ask my tandem partners in the Mayor’s Cup races around Manhattan.). Tons of storage, and wide enough spacing between cockpits so you can paddle out of sync and never clash paddles.

Biggest detriments are very wide beam for stoker (rear) paddler, and high sides which can make it feel somewhat ‘bathtub-like.’ (Note: These high sides will also keep you bone dry in big swells.) Check out my review on this site. Great, great boat…

it is an older one so may be at that 100lb mark!! will check it out and get paddling!

thanks for the advice guys.


Get the longest and narrowest one that your giant partner can fit in. Even though that shouldn’t matter. Taking won’t matter as long as it has a rudder. It must have a rudder. Also learn to paddle in synch.

Ryan L.

Seaward Passat
The Necky Amaruk is slow and heavy… good for pushing water in front of you, not so good for racing.

I would consider a Seaward Passat - one of the fastest and best all-around tandems, imo.

Paddling in sync is more efficient, if the 2 of you have relatively close cadences. If you both have quite a different natural cadence, there may be point where trying to adjust to each other ends up causing a loss of efficiency.

A good forward stroke is quite technical, so I’d recommend a lesson or coaching just on the forward stroke.

Adventure Racing in Northwest

– Last Updated: Jul-09-11 9:24 AM EST –

I assume this not the same race, since the paddling will be on a lake hopefully. A while ago there was an adventure race where several paddlers were not dressed for cold water and had zero experience, they took off in a squall and two of the paddlers died of hypothermia/drowning. If you are training in the Puget Sound area make sure you get some instruction and learn to do self rescue with tandem.

The kayak is important but the engine will win the race, but if you want to get a good time I would look into getting some good instruction, maybe more important than buying a tandem, since you can rent very good kayaks in your area. Probably would cost a fortune to buy, but I watched some multi-sport paddlers in New Zealand in tandem surfskis - you would blow away the competition -but it might take a couple of years to learn.