Hybrid paddling

This weekend I went for a little paddling trip. I took the Pamlico 160 as the wife wanted to go, and we had never paddled Tandem, I am a firm believer in the paddle solo sleep tandem motto. Any way being yackers all we had were yack paddles. I have paddled the Pamlico solo with my yack paddle with NO problems… The problem is, when my wife was in it, I would have to Match her stroke exactly to keep from thwacking her paddle. The problem with that is; well I have a faster stroke rate, and having many more years of paddling experience, I would start setting up for turns way before her, and before long Thwack, our paddles would hit, it was pretty comical. I am thinking that if she used a canoe paddle we wouldnt have any problems… Has anybody paddled like that? Btw when the wife & I were in sync it was really really nice, but the minute I sped up, or she hesitated, thwack… It didn’t help much that the boat was slightly Nose heavy, requiring some heavy correction strokes once it got into a turn and wanted to swap ends… problem is she cant scoot back much more with out encroaching on MY space… any way it works much better with the daughter in the front as she can scoot up really far.

We have good luck in a Pam 135T
which is even shorter and we both have yak paddles. We’ve paddled so much together that our srokes are almost always in sync. You really have to be cognizant of what the front paddler is doing. Occasionally, my wife shortens her stroke (both the catch and the take-out) and I have to remind her to get her rhythm back. She can’t see me so it is my responsibility to match her or communicate with her during the infrequent times we are not in sync.

I am still thinking its easyer to just paddle seperate yacks! like we Normally do L

What Bruce said.
Also, the front paddler needs to rest the paddle forward on the leg, near the knees, not close to the waist, when taking a break so that the rear paddler can keep paddling without hitting the idle front paddle.

I think it is a thing of beauty when tandem yakkers are paddling in sync.

Agree Yanoer
It is fun when the rhythm is good. People think we look like a big dragonfly when the srokes are together and we’re usually able to move very fast.

Couldn’t Ever Really Get In Sync…
with another paddler in my Pamlico 135. Part of the reason I got rid of it (along with the Loon 138). None of us – me, wife, sons – go get into any rhythm.

I can paddle a weird tandem now. I hook a short tow line to my younger son’s kayak when he needs it and we both paddle away (he could stop if he so chooses). Much easier for me.


i like the idea
i did it with my daughter when she was young. sometimes we were together, sometimes on opposite sides, and each paddler with more individual input. she can pick up some new techniques, bow rudders and sweeps for example, that will help her feel like she is contributing ans that she has some control. especially in winding streams, she can be a big help steering. and you probably dont need much help, swedge, to reach hull speed : )

Hey Swedge
It is a lot of fun when you are in sync, and it is up to you as the rear paddler to make sure you stay in sync with her since she naturally can’t see your stroke.

Knowing that you have a much faster stroke, why not just try to forget about that and try and match her stroke.

After a few times out she will probably get a little faster, and you can even ask her to pick up her stroke rate.



That’sthe reason
they are called “Divorce Boats” :slight_smile: It only took one such trip for us to buy individual kayaks (her idea) :slight_smile:

Use 48" bent shaft
canoe paddles work best. If one of you likes the nostalga of using a kayak paddle, then use it.

The other guy (or girl) should use a canoe paddle.

If this doesn’t work, lay down about 4K for a REAL double - about 22’ long should due…


Differential blade area
I’m not a tandom K-1 paddler but it occurs to me that you might try getting her a smaller area blade or get a larger area blade for yourself. This should bring your native cadences more in sync for this boat.

Another approach
is for you (the stronger or lead paddler) to occupy the front seat, your wife (the weaker paddler) follows your paddle strokes :slight_smile: If you (heaven forbid) use a rudder, rig it so the front paddler controls it.

The best part of tandem kayaking
is putting your kids in the front seat so you can lecture a captive audience.

My wife use a smal bladed paddle

– Last Updated: May-17-05 9:18 PM EST –

and I use a big one so the stroke rates are equalized.
those with tandems should plan ahead and consider this.

Upon reading all I realize Solotom wrote this first.

Great Ideas
Her Blade is relatively small. I could never sit in the front as the boat would be Really really Bow heavy! She all ready has her own Qcc-700 so splurging and buying a “real canoe” is not really an option. I got the Pamlico 160 mainly for fishing trips with my Dad and or daughter. yeah I did slow my stroke down, but like I mentioned she would set up for the turns too late then I would be forced to rudder at the last moment, or sweep madly or even an occasional heavy reverse sweep to keep from plowing into something. The boat was Nose heavy so once it started to turn it really really wanted to swap ends… But we had a blast trying to figure things out. I think it was fun because we each knew that we had Solo boats that we could go back too, and that this just confirmed that we suck as a tandem pair. But the few time we were on the same page it was nice… I would think that if we were in a real “balanced” canoe. Things would get a little easier. Although to me and her at least not as easy as a solo QCC, or even a tarpon for that matter… I think the boat balance was the big thing, as it was fine if it was going in a strait line but once you started to change course by even a little bit it wanted to swap. Next time we decide to use the Pamlico I will try scooting her seat back a bit more and let her try using a canoe paddle. Of course i dont even have a canoe or canoe paddle any more as I sold it…

easy solution
I have used in a canoe. The back paddler(me) stops paddling and doesn’t tell the front person. No paddle smacked together and ya feel refreshed(as if yer not even paddling) :slight_smile:

Thats the BEST Idea yet!!! why didnt I think of that… I can hear her now, Man the pamlico is a bear to paddle, I am sooo tired… me, Oh I feel great!!!