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How many People can go in one Kayak?

Frau auf Boot zeigt mit wie leuten man gemeinsame kajakfahren kann

Kayaking is a great way to spend a day on the water. A kayak trip is a rewarding activity where you don’t even notice how quickly time passes. Water sports are also an excellent workout for the arm and upper body muscles, which doesn’t feel like a workout at all.

With the kayak you can follow your own urge to explore. Lakes and canals can be explored and admired from a completely new perspective.

It is therefore no wonder that many kayakers like to share their hobby with other people. For trips across the open sea, for kayaking in winter and also for trips in white water, everyone should grab a buddy anyway. This is important for safety reasons alone.

Paddling in groups is not only popular for safety reasons. We humans like company and share our experiences with others. If you think of kayaks, you probably imagine a single kayaker taking his course in the water. Today, however, many groups of friends meet for joint tours and even small families undertake joint adventures with the kayak.

Often not every kayaker gets his own kayak. Multi-person kayaks are the new trend. But how many people can you kayak with?

The maximum number of people on a kayak depends on the model. One kayak is driven by one person. There are two kayakers on tandem kayaks. Three kayaks offer space for three paddlers. Four kayaks are rare.

So there are many multi-person kayaks. But where are the advantages and disadvantages? Is that really a good thing?

Solo or multi-person kayak?

We often hear the question “Should I buy a solo kayak or a tandem kayak? Often the questioners already have a kayak buddy in mind with whom the first joint tours are planned. The reality is that after the first trips together the air is out (and not with the inflatable kayak). The chance is high that you or your kayak buddy will go on the first tour alone after a few weeks.

What does that mean now? Was it a good idea to buy a tandem kayak? Would a solo kayak have been a better choice? And can you actually ride a tandem kayak on your own?

The choice between solo and tandem kayak sounds simple at first sight. In fact, this question can involve an elaborate weighing of pros and cons arguments and can cause serious headaches. The decision has already led to some relationship disputes, if one was not sure whether the tandem kayak is really used and that would be a pity because of the money thrown out, while the other simply wants to get out on the water.

Who is right, cannot be said. Let us therefore concentrate on the real question. What should you buy? Tandem kayak or solo kayak? Or two solo kayaks? And can a tandem kayak be converted into a single kayak?

Advantages and disadvantages of tandem kayaks

Advantages – Tandem kayaks are a great way to spend time together with a buddy, child or partner. While enjoying the tranquility of nature and the great atmosphere together, long interesting conversations can be held.

Synchronous paddling isn’t easy at first, but after half an hour you’ll have the knack. With two paddlers on one boat you can reach much higher speeds. A tandem kayak is because of its size more expensive than a solo kayak, but still cheaper than two solo kayaks. The modern inflatable kayaks do not cost much even in the tandem kayak version.

Disadvantages – The biggest advantage can also become a problem. Who paddles together with another person on a boat, depends on the fact that both always have the same goal. If you do not paddle in the same time or if you constantly want to steer the boat in a different direction, you will hardly make any progress. An interesting observation, which is certainly shared by most kayakers, is that the mistake is of course made by the other person.

A tandem kayak can be driven alone, but some tandem kayaks behave a bit sluggish. It should also be noted that the two-man kayak can be unbalanced when driving. This can affect agility and your own safety. Two kayaks are bigger and offer more storage space, but with two kayakers on the boat the space for luggage is still quite limited. For kayak fishing with two persons, simple inflatable two kayaks cannot be used, special fishing kayaks are needed.

Advantages and disadvantages of single kayaks

Advantages – Solo kayaks offer one thing above all else: freedom. On one kayak you can do what you want, when you want and for how long you want. You have complete control over the canoe without having to exchange arguments beforehand. And even if nobody has time, you can just grab the kayak and go to the lake. (In the cold and in dangerous waters this should not be done.)

A solo kayak is also lighter, which makes transport easier. With the right equipment solo kayaks are also great for fishing.

Disadvantages – Families with small children who are not yet ready for their own boat should avoid solo kayaks. One kayak is quite narrow and not designed for two people. If you leave the child sitting on his lap, you are taking a big risk. The higher centre of gravity and the restlessness that a child brings on board make capsizing the kayak more likely.

Although some kayakers like their lonely trips, most paddlers prefer to go out in company. The only way to go on tour with one person without buying a tandem kayak is to buy two solo kayaks. And that costs a lot of money.

The Alternative: Convertible Tandem Kayaks

Nowadays many tandem kayaks are convertible into solo kayaks. On most inflatable kayaks, the seats can be removed or moved in a few easy steps. However, you should make sure that the seat can be mounted in the middle of the kayak. This is also possible with some fixed kayaks.

Advantages – These boats are perfect for paddlers who want to use the kayak both alone and in pairs. Some models have a third person (usually only a child) in the middle between the two kayakers. Otherwise, the arguments for tandem kayaks also apply to these canoes.

Disadvantages – With some kayaks the sitting position in the middle of the kayak is not very comfortable. You can then clearly feel that the boats are not designed for this type of use. Furthermore, the same points that speak against two kayaks also apply to these boats.


This is the end. Now you have to make your own decision. As always in these moments, the individual pros and cons must be weighed against each other. Together with your own experiences, your assessment of the situation (do you have a fixed kayak partner?), your budget (can I afford it?) you can make your choice.

In our opinion you should rather go for a tandem kayak. After a few tours you’ll see if you both enjoy kayaking. If not, you might find another buddy for a few trips together. If that doesn’t work out either, just get yourself a solo kayak. The modern inflatable solo kayaks really don’t cost much.

If you have a single and a double kayak, you can spend wonderful time alone on the water and you are also prepared for adventures together. If you have two boats, you even have enough space

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