Can One Person Use A Two Person Kayak

Can One Person Use A Two Person Kayak?

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If you’ve got a 2 person kayak, but don’t always have the second person available to fill the other seat, you might well be wondering if it’s possible for you to use your kayak alone.

Can One Person Use A Two Person Kayak

Well, great news – this article has the answers that you need! You’ll find out exactly what the challenges, advantages, and disadvantages of using a two-person kayak on your own are – which should help you to make an informed decision about whether it’s the right idea for you!

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Can One Person Use A Two Person Kayak?

The simple answer is that, yes, you can actually use a two person kayak even if you’re on your own. It can be extremely difficult in comparison to a solo kayak, as a two person kayak by definition is intended for two people. However, just because something is difficult doesn’t mean that it’s impossible!

However difficult it is for you is of course dependent on quite a few factors. Firstly, the style of two-person kayak that you actually have is going to play an important part in deciding whether this is a reasonable venture for you or not. This is due to balance.

Balance is going to be key when you are trying this. If you don’t have a well balanced kayak it’s going to be extremely difficult or impossible for you to maintain any sort of stability.

As you will know from using a one person kayak, if you’re even slightly off balance everything just becomes a whole lot more difficult.

This means that you have to pay careful attention to exactly where your weight is in the kayak and where the center of balance is. If the weight is too far back in the kayak, you’ll notice that the bow begins to rise out of the water.

This makes it difficult to steer, difficult to see, and of course reduces your efficiency when paddling – meaning you will have to use more energy.

Likewise, if the weight is too far forward in the kayak, you’ll also be likely to have issues when it comes to steering. Furthermore, you may also notice that the nose of the kayak may start to sink underneath the water – to say the least, this can be extremely undesirable!

Therefore, if the design of your kayak doesn’t allow for a good weight distribution, it’s probably safer for you not to try this.

However if this doesn’t appear to be an issue for you then you can by all means use a two-person kayak even if you’re on your own. However, you’ll of course still need to to account for the fact that you’re in a heavier canoe.

You’ll have to use more energy to do everything, and there’s no escaping the fact that even in the best circumstances things will just overall be more difficult than if you were using a much smaller and lighter one person canoe.

Benefits Of Using A Two Person Kayak

Benefits Of Using A Two Person Kayak

With all this in mind you might well be wondering if there is any benefit at all to using a two-person kayak if you’re on your own. Well, actually there are some advantages that you may wish to bear in mind!

Firstly a larger kayak will mean you’ll actually be able to carry more. This is simply due to the fact that it’s bigger – and also because there’s an entire seat that isn’t being occupied! This can be an important consideration if you’re on a longer adventure that requires an overnight stay, for example.

Although you’ll of course have to deal with the extra weight, and the effect it can have on your stability and steering and energy consumption, the fact that you can simply bring more along with you can be really useful for some kayakers.

A two-person kayak can also be really handy for some of the taller people out there! A natural consequence of having a bigger kayak means that there can be more legroom, which can actually make things more comfortable for taller people then if they were in a smaller kayak!

On long journeys, comfort becomes more and more important – and of course, being in a more comfortable position means that you’re going to be having a lot more fun!

For people with taller builds, these advantages can greatly outweigh any other difficulties that may arise from using a 2-person canoe.

So, depending on your personal needs, a two-person kayak could actually be a really good thing for you to have!

They can transport a lot more, could potentially be a more comfortable ride, and could also be a key part of making sure that you’ve got all of the comforts you need when you arrive at your overnight stay!

Drawbacks Of Using A Two Person Kayak

However, it wouldn’t be fair not to go into some depth on the potential drawbacks of using a two-person kayak when you’re on your own.

A bigger kayak is going to present challenges when it comes to maneuverability that a smaller kayak may well not have. Simply put, you’re going to need more clearance around things because you will have a larger turning circle, and will be much slower overall to turn.

This will also make it more difficult to adjust your heading for things like wind, water currents, and of course to avoid obstacles.

You’ll also find that it’s more of a challenge to maintain the same sort of speeds that you would have in a one person canoe. This is of course in part because it’s more difficult to maneuver – but also because the canoe is going to be bigger and heavier.

This will be true even if you’re not carrying any more weight and baggage then you would on a one person kayak, as the kayak will of course still be bigger and heavier.

And of course, all that extra weight means that not only are you going to find it harder to go at the same speed, but you’re going to be using a lot more energy too.

You’re going to get tired more quickly, because you have to work harder to do everything. And if you’ve got to take your kayak out of the water to store on land – well let’s just say that you’re really going to notice just how hard it can be to deal with a 2-person canoe when there’s only one of you!


Whether using a two-person kayak on your own is a realistic idea for you is, of course, dependent on your own circumstances.

For some it is, unfortunately, a cumbersome and unworkable task – but for others, it could be a fantastic way to enhance their kayaking enjoyment! Hopefully this article has given you the information you need to make the best choice!

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