Tandem Kayak paddles Solo?!! - Mountain Buzz

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Old 02-23-2019   #1
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Tandem Kayak paddles Solo?!!

Has anyone paddles a tandem kayak solo? If so please five me feedback. pros and cons. Hard to find info online. Iím thinking of paddling an outfitter tandem solo. How does it handle solo? Itís only like 2 1/2 feet longer then solo kayaks. Please help. !! Thanks in advance. Iíll be paddling class 2,3,4 rapids and flats.

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Old 02-24-2019   #2
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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Do you want the ability to self-support on overnights and multi-day trips (backpacker style camping)?
Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 02-24-2019   #3
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Yes. I typically stay 1 night. On the river. I just have no idea if will be able to handle the long kayak myself and move through the water well.
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Old 02-24-2019   #4
Jenks, Oklahoma
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I have two buddies with tandem IK's and they paddle them solo and loaded. No problems either way.

I have a outfitter solo and just got the tandem. the solo paddles great unloaded and spins and handles runs on the ARK in BV just great. I personally have not paddled the tandem outfitter solo but have paddled it tandem and it does great.

Others with more IK experience than me can give you their experiences. I think you probably have two of the higher end IK's both construction and what I will call "paddle ability".

I think you determine just how well your IK's paddle, solo, tandem and loaded. All of us Buzz fans can give you all sorts of opinions. The real life answer is you are the answer and only you can determine just how well your IK's perform.

So get out on the water and learn to paddle each of your IK's and gain the skill set needed to make them perform at the level the boats are designed.

I been following your posts and it seems like you are in the South East. I grew up in that area, now in Oklahoma (midway between quality Rocky Mt and SE runs). For what it is worth, get out on the Nanty. One awesome river to train on. Easy to do multiple runs in one day or weekend. Take your boats out and run them down the Nanty. Get some instruction from NOC. Bottom line while the Buzz is a great place for opinions, you are the factor that determines how your IK's perform.

Be safe, have fun and paddle all you can!!!!
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Old 02-24-2019   #5
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Great post ! Yes. I typically paddle chatooga section 3. I want to do section 4 but will wait until I get comfortable. The difference between outfitter and solo is like 2 or 3 feet. So I hope that doesnít kill the handle
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Old 02-24-2019   #6
Jenks, Oklahoma
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I am very familiar with section 3 of the tooga

my little group of spelunkers out of Atlanta were boating the Nanty big time way back when, plus the Chatooga before the movie and Ocoee back in the day when it was the run for the SE creekers.

Of all these rivers, the Nanty was the creek run where we learned to run rivers. This was when a Grumman Shoe Keel was the hot design later a Blue Hole with either a truck inner tube or section of hard foam was the WW craft of choice. We were also experimenting with surplus survival military little rafts from the pilots surplus outlets all over Atlanta.

times have changed now we have so many great boats and improvements coming out each year that the thought of a canoe as the ideal WW craft is just funny.

IK's have come along and made running mountain creek type streams much easier than it was years ago. I have a West VA IK the Thrillseeker, it comes the closest IK I have found to my hard shell kayak creekers. The Aire Outfitter series is the most comfortable and stable IK's I have found. Bottom line you have a great quiver of IK's to boat.

None of this boat of choice matters though as much as the individual's ability to learn how to paddle and read what ever craft and water they elect to run as White Water.

You live close to the Nanty and NOC. NOC is probably the best place to learn how to read and run white water any where.

I know I learned a lot by doing it and swimming quite a bit early on. Then I started spending time and money at NOC taking many clinics multiple times as a week of vacation time. Same thing for rowing skills with several guide schools out west when I moved here.

My opinion is if you want to have more safe fun running rivers and creeks in what ever craft, get quality instruction (note QUALITY) then get plenty of time in your craft of choice. One of my kayak heroes is Mary Hays now DeRheimer she once told me in a clinic that setting in her kayak was just as comfortable as most feel setting in their TV recliner. My opinion, time in the boat is where a person gets that level of comfort. Tips from posts on the Buzz is good and fun to spend time doing in the off season. The real deal is quality instruction and a ton of time on the water perfecting your mind and body to what you were taught. The more time you spend grooving technique the better, but even that fails if you groove bad technique and have to unlearn that before you move up the comfort and skill ladder.

The place to learn the skills to run Bull Sluice what ever the level is in your case is NOC and the Nanty. Again, my opinion to learn class 3 or 4 skills you need to be learning in at least a class lower streams or even flat water. At least that is my advice.
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Old 02-24-2019   #7
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I ran section 3 seven times last year. Bulls made me swim twice and one of the time was on my new lynx. Lynx is a great boat but i donít recommend for over night trips. Itís gets pretty tight on room when packing gear on it. Also the boat is not as stable due to the smaller diameter tubes. Plus One down side to lynx is that you canít seat on top of the seat. I have an Aire thwart seat. Seating on top of seat on the Lynx is not stable! I mean one wrong move and your in the water ! I bring a fishing pole with me Bc I enjoy fishing trout on calm flats. Thats why the outfitter caught my eye. Iím still leaning on getting the tandem just Bc I can bring my GSD. He would love to be on the river with me.
Pic of a rock bass. Was a tight and uncomfortable ride compared to my buddies.
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Old 02-24-2019   #8
Jenks, Oklahoma
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I use and recommend the thwart seat on both my outfitter IK's.

In flat water I think it is ok to set on top.

In any kind of WW the boat is going to be more stable the lower in the boat the paddler is.

Setting on top of the thwart seat in a Lynx is asking for a flip in my opinion.

Setting low in the IK, thigh straps and a foot rest is the way to go for performance in WW in my opinion. IMPORTANT. Work with a instructor in flat water to make positive sure you can time after time eject out of your outfitting no matter what craft you are paddling, especially true for IK's or kayaks.

My guess is the Outfitter Tandem would make a good fishing boat long as the person is super careful not to hook the boat and create an air leak.
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Old 02-24-2019   #9
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I have set on top of a thwart seat and hit class 3 and didnít flip. So much fun ! Was not able to do that on the lynx lol. Washed me out!
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Old 02-24-2019   #10
Tres Piedras, New Mexico
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I've seen a lot of big guys paddle tandem IKs just fine in whitewater. If you want performance this isn't it. If you want ability to haul more at a slight reduction in performance than its great.
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