Divorce Boat (Canoe) vs. Kayaks

My husband and I took lessons and purchased our own individual kayaks this summer so that we could enjoy something as a couple. In truth, we encountered several spouses who did not co-exist well with their tandem canoe/kayaks. Now, I have this huge passion for kayaking and my husband is lukewarm. Is this just another example of imbalance? In all honesty he has fun but I have the passion for the sport. I have read many stories about individual yet dual kayaking couples over the months. Is it always like this? One person or another has more spirit?

So good you bought singles
You can go as often as you want - he can join as he feels like…

You’d be in real trouble if you’d bought a bicker barge.

Unless the couple met while
kayaking I can’t imagine them both having the same level of interest in it. Would be pretty unusual if they did.


pretty common
I think your situation is pretty normal. Almost everyone in my family paddles, but I’m the only one who goes out frequently. I know several other families that are the same.

Incidentally, not all canoes are tandems. There are plenty of solo canoes out there.

Almost always…

First Tandem
Our first purchase was a tandem kayak. My wife would not have gone paddling (initially) in a solo. She developed a passion for the sport and loves being on the water.

I am a little more passionate than her and will purchase a solo before next season. She is considering getting a solo also. If not, we will take the tandem together and I will use the solo at times in more challenging conditions or when I have no company.

It was not a divorce boat for us. We had a great first season. She was in Florida visiting her sister recently and even rented a tandem with our nephew.

Sometimes when one member of a couple is passionate, the other becomes passionate through osmosis. She likes to play tennis and I learned to enjoy it through her enthusiasm.

There are exceptions …
to the rule. I have 2 friends(married a year ago) who always paddle tandem and both love it. I will add that they paddled together before they were married, and still got married! They bought solo canoes, but almost never paddle them. They enjoy the teamwork of tandem paddling and are working their way into whitewater OC2 paddling. Definitely a rare thing these days!

I consider myself the luckiest guy …
in the world.

My wife loves paddling her solo kayak with me, loves paddling our C-2 together, loves biking our road and mountain bikes together, ( although I wish she would take a pull now and then), loves x-country skiing together, and loves mounting climbing with me.

It is usually a mutual: “not tonight dear” after a all day canoe or kayak paddle, but then we mutually make up for it the next night.



Hey Madge
take him down to Florida, and the two of you paddle out to Elliot Key and set up camp. Then take a day paddle and stop at one of those beautiful tropical isolated sandy beaches where there is just you, him, and the sun and water, and I guarante you he will be a paddling partner forever.



You are a romantic devil Jack.

Tried both, no divorce, no tandem…
My wife and I paddled solo kayaks for over 3 years before we bought a tandem. We liked the idea of paddling together, but didn’t like it in practice. Paddled the tandem once, then sold it. Definately try before you buy, tandems aren’t for everyone. For the record, I am much more passionate about paddling than my wife is. However, a tandem may be in the future with the addition of little Hannah. Sounds like you have a great arrangement now, but there is no harm in trying a tandem.

For what it’s worth
I’m in my 60s. I met and began paddling with a group of folks (male and female)who range in age from late 30s thru early 60s). There’s about 20 of us all total. Of that 20, NOT ONE has a spouse who paddles…or even wants to paddle! Some of these folks are out paddling any day the weather will permit (one has logged 92 paddles this season…most being 6-8 miles in length)Makes you wonder…then again, maby it allows each to enjoy solo pursuits and ‘return to the table’ refreshed.

The Motto!!
Sleep Tandem, paddle Solo!! But yeah It seems that way to me too, although I am Happy my Wife does get out and paddle with me on Occasion, and she loves the QCC, she is not as In to it as me. However she always goes with me on the Big trips. And from what I’ve seen paddling spouses seem to be in the low 20%-30% range!! Heck she even goes in the swamp with me!!

The swamps I have been to…
are some of the most beautiful and peaceful places on earth.



and NO JET skis!!!and NO Bass Bubbas at 60MPH!!!

Usually just one
Similar to the above thread, though the majority of the regulars in our local paddle group are married my husband and I are one of maybe pairs where both people are as present. And even in that there are differences - I am more likely to volunteer to lead, and usually more compulsive about fitting in devoted time for skills practice on a regular basis. Our paddle group is dominated by guys as a result, but that’s probably common.


Selfish? not me
I didn’t want to be selfish but wanted to finally get into paddling so my first kayak was a tandem.

My wife looked at it and said, “nice but my a** will never be that close to the water!!”

So when i got tired of paddling the tandem , i bought a single. I’m in the water by 6:30 on most days and manage to get in 4-5 miles before work. Saturdays I stretch it a bit and usually get home for lunch.

I still have the tandem and often tell her how much she would love it but she has yet to paddle.

The good news is that she knows how much I love it and puts up with me and my habit.

I want her to discover paddling but what if I don’t enjoy paddling with her??? I might be better off leaving things as they are but i’ll always have the tandem so she knows she’s always welcome to join me even if I’m not so sure.

Thanks for all your input
Thanks for everyone’s insight! Guess we made the correct choice in selecting individual yaks. Although a tandem might not be too bad for occasional moments. But it’s kind of like dancing. Who leads?

Madge, if you’re leading on the dance
floor-you need a better partner!Yaking is NOT like dancing.

its more fun to take turns leading
a great way to learn new moves ; )