what paddle

I have a 2 man kayak that I use to take my 5yo out with me, but getting ready to have a buddy go along, would it be better to have both of us with kayak paddles and try to keep in synch, or have the front person use a kayak paddle, and back person use a canoe paddle to steer and help out?

Back person can “steer” just as well
with a kayak paddle, and you can cover water faster if you both use kayak paddles.

things that would help
what kind of kayak is it, and where are you going?

(river,lake) You could do either. I don’t think it would matter really. You can J stroke with a kayak paddle if you want.

Both of you should use kayak paddles
and stay in sync.

the stern paddler can see the front paddler, so it is his job to make sure to stay in sync.

If the bow paddler is too slow , too fast, or not in a good steady cadence, it is up to the stern paddler to speak up and tell him so.

It takes time and effort, but once you get it down pat, it is a tremendous amount of fun

Good luck



What Jackl said . . .
He paddles both canoes and kayaks . . . fast!

To that, I would add: two place kayaks often are a little wider than the longer single place kayaks - and therefore may need a longer paddle, unless you and your partner are inclined toward a more high angle stroke. You should not have to lean to each side, with each stroke, in order to get your whole paddle in the water. Just some thoughts, in case you are looking for additional paddle(s) for your twin. Lots said on this topic elsewhere.

If you’re not serious…
If your just going to paddle with this buddy a half a dozen times or so and then paddle with a different buddy, then I’d consider two canoe paddles. Less synchronicity is needed and more fun is had by all.

You’ll move fast enough to do anything you want but Jack and his bride will beat you in any race. Which is the same as if you used two kayak paddles together and didn’t practice an awful lot.

Neither of the above two posters
know me or have paddled with me, so I’ll repeat:

If you have a tandem why not paddle it the correct way, which is with kayak paddles.

My wife and I have on lots of occassions rented big wide tandems and also have used them on tours, and you are never issued a canoe paddle in either case, so why not learn it the right way

Even though in synch is fun, when we are lilly dipping or exploring, I am always at the back of the pack, and can paddle completely out of sync if I so desire, and if it is a rudderless kayak many times do just to make it turn quicker.