Newbie Question re: Tandem

-- Last Updated: Jan-10-15 7:55 PM EST --

Hello. I have been trying to educate myself as much as possible reading the forums here. I plan on purchasing a tandem(possibly two). We have a camper on a lake in Northeast TN with our own dock. Two boys 12 and 13 who already look "man size" (approx. 140 lbs each, 5'3-4") Flat lake (does get choppy with boats on busy day). I think the boys will want to paddle, jump off and swim, get on, and repeat. One son likes to fish so I am thinking he may like that aspect.

A SOT tandem would allow their friends in campground to join them (or mom and dad).

Are all brands pretty much heavy duty? At first I was looking at Lifetime products but they don't seem to track from what I've read. Been reading a lot about Perception. Is that a good choice? Been looking on Craig's list, not much luck there. We live in a smaller town so I don't know if we will have a lot of luck. Basically thinking a combination of stability and tracking. I know you can't get great on both, maybe something in the middle?

Any advice is welcome. You think tandem is the way to go? The more I read, the more I think I might enjoy also. I love to fish and be on the water. I've read not to go to big box stores. So I don't want to waste my money on something that won't hold up, but at the same time, I don't want to spend thousands.

Thanks in advance!

Buy two solos
A tandem soloed is not fun. Your boys are not kids. Buy four solos

The kids do not need stability. They can learn to paddle and any SOT will track. Stability is often a function of parents fears. They are going to jump off anyway. Capsizing is the number one way I see kids having fun paddling.

solo suggestions?
Any solo suggestions? One that can take abuse from teen boys - ha? I hope as they get older they will enjoy other styles of kayaking, then we can get a better quality boat.