Paddles clanking against each other and on the sides of the boat. Our words clanged against each other as well the first couple times we took our new tandem out. I can see why the tandem kayak is called “the divorce boat” AND I can see why kayaking is a popular sport.
Manitou II is a beautiful blue with splashes of black. It’s about 15 feet with the rudder and the best impulse purchase we’ve ever made. If you’re interested in specs here it is on the Necky site.
We live by a lake so getting out to practice was easy, it was the practicing itself that was hard, if we wanted to actually get around the lake in a semi straight line.
If you’ve ever been kayaking you know you can lean and stroke and move a kayak fairly easily, even if you don’t know proper form. In a tandem you have to stroke in rhythm together, to keep your paddles from hitting each other. You have to lean together to add enough emphasis to not struggle against the water (if you lean at all, which we certainly didn’t at first!). Oh yeah, and then there’s the back seat driver thing.
If I’m backseat driving in a car all I can do is yell and push on my pretend peddle. In a kayak I can actually turn the boat, and then he can turn it back in his direction.
To move past the backseat driving we found a system that works for us. I, the one who tends to ask for rest breaks more frequently, get to set the pace. My husband gets to order our paddling direction, since he works the rudder in the back. We get to provide (mostly polite) input to each other but we each get the final say in our respective roles.
That system still works for us, almost two years of paddling later, without divorce papers in site. After all, how do you split a tandem 50/50 and still stay afloat?