Learning how to use a two man kayak takes time, but it is certainly a fun process overall. There are several styles, and both hard and inflatable two person crafts, so it is best to start by selecting a great kayak. Following is some advice on how to use a two man kayak.
- First, make sure that your kayak comfortably seats you and your partner. If not, trade it in, or rent one to learn on.
- Next, go to any local lake or pond, where calm water is available for practice. Put your life jacket on, and get in, and have your kayaking partner do the same.
- To sit in the kayak, the back person's feet will go to the sides of the front person, who will also have plenty of room. Push off from shore, and then, begin to learn how to man the two person kayak.
- You and your partner will need to find a paddling rhythm. To paddle, hold the kayak paddle with two hands, and use an overhand grip; reach forward with one hand, and have that side's paddle blade pull water back. Then, do the same with the other hand.
- If (once) both of you know how to paddle, practice your rhythm. Try to keep in sync. Keep your strokes timed right, so that each of you reaches into the water, and pulls out with the paddle at the same side. This is how to propel the craft.
- Once you have this down, all that you need to know is how to maneuver the boat, and turn sharply, if necessary. To turn the boat, the back paddler will need to paddle hard on one side, which will turn the boat to the other side. For sharp turns, the back man may actually back paddle on the side that the craft will turn on. These turns will be very handy in rivers, where water is faster, and quick turning of the kayak is imperative. Once the back man has favorably turned the craft, he will need to get back into rhythm, by mimicking the stroke of the front paddler.
Learning how to use a two man kayak is a fun process. Once you have the basics down, you and your partner may try rivers, and work your ways up until you can handle rapids.