Cut my paddle down to size.

I cut my Werner Carbon Little Dipper by about 7 inches down to 212 cm. It came from the factory at over 230 cm.

I suggest that you consider cutting your paddles down to the right size too.

Here are my observations.

Top speed is the same or slightly better.

Paddle is much less tiresome.

This paddle used to be slower and hurt my shoulder on longer days si I would use a werner 215 in fiberglass instead even though it weighed much more.

This also supports my idea that paddle fit is a hundred times more important than paddle weight.

The smallest non whitewater paddle in stores around here is 220 cm. So if the stores don’t get it oreder the right size online.

When I called them he fella at Werner said length doesn’t matter a lot for a low angle paddle, but it mattered a lot of me.

I guess if you are just lily dipping with you little dipper it does not matter but if you want to put in the long days, get a paddle you don’t mind cutting down and start finding the right size for you.

can you explain
how exactly you cut it down and reinstalled the ferrule? thanks

230 San Juan…
Using a template made from tracing the shape of a Shuna/Cypress I cut my old San Juan down to 215. Doesn’t paddle like a Shuna or a San Juan but makes a better back-up than the San Juan did.

230’s HUGE unless you’re paddling a canoe.

Bill H.


– Last Updated: Dec-10-09 9:36 PM EST –

Old school. That SJ was a long stick. Totally low angle.
The actual shaft of that 230 cm SJ was only 3 cm longer than my 210 cm Ikelos or Cypress. It was all blade and a hell of a lot too much Blade.
Cutting it down allowed me to make something useful out of it.

How we did it.
I measured with a bent piece of wire how deep the insert was into the shaft and made sure I cut all of it off. I used a lathe but I think a fine blade saw and a miter box would have been better. We only used a lathe because my son had never used one.

Then I cut the other side by the same amount. If I was only shortening it by an inch or so I’d cut it from one side and skip messing with the insert at all. I don’t think having the insert off center by an inch or two will make any difference.

Then we cut the sft off of the feral with a chisel. You could also shave it off with a lathe.

After that I drilled a new hole in the shaft by eyeballing it and getting it the same distance into the shaft as the old hole. I drilled the hole a little small and polished it with a Dremel tool grinder. Then I put the insert into the hole and locked it into place. I put epoxy on the other end of the insert and put it into the other shaft and squared up the blades by laying it on the floor and adjusting it by eyeball.

Hope this helps

230 is Huge
I agree with what you say, but it is the standard size they give you if you ask at the stores around here. The smallest size they’ll sell is a 220. I’ve seen small women come out with a 230.

I have a 220 and a 230
I prefer the 230 as does my wife. She is 5’7" and slender. I am 5’8" and not so slender. I imagine the boat has more to do with paddle lengths though. We paddle Necky Looksha 14’s that are 24" wide. A narrower boat would certainly reduce the need for a longer paddle.

your size and boat?
To the OP: What’s your height and boat width? Just curious about choice of paddle length.


Modern whitewater kayaks are 24" to
26" and paddles are much shorter, so it’s hard to see why a 24" touring kayak would mandate a 220+ paddle. If people can paddle high angle with a 202, then paddling low angle will not force anyone out past 220, not even with short stature.

I’m very tall, and can manage my Necky Looksha Sport (narrower than the new Looksha 14) with a 206. I have a 215 Prijon touring paddle, designed for high angle, which I expect to be too long.

me too
I had a 220cm Werner high angle large-blade paddle, and I cut it down to about 207. I didn’t bother removing the ferrule, I just lopped the shaft on the non-ferrule side, and drilled a new hole for the button (which allowed me to change the feather angle to 15 degrees too). The one problem with having the ferrule off-center is that when split, one half is about 6 inches shorter than the other half, and that sometimes makes it a little harder getting the short one under a bungie.

It’s definitely a better size for me. However, this fiberglass paddle is still too damn heavy, and I’m counting the days until I replace it with a CF paddle.

Size 5’10" and boat 21" to 28"
It is a tiny bit small for the wide 28 inch boat and still maybe longer than I need for the 21.5 inch boat. Overall it is just right. The important thing I want to emphasize is that the shorter paddle means less shoulder pain.

I think it’s personal pref.
I’m 5’ 11" and paddle a Dirigo 140 @ 28" wide (if I recall correctly). I have a 230cm paddle that’s WAY too long. I even feel like 220cm is long with 215cm being most comfortable regardless of the boat that I’m in. I will say - 210cm feels too short.

I’ll go one step farther on…
your suggestion, and suggest that after a new paddler realizes that his or her paddle is not the right size, it is time for a new one with a 10CM adjustable ferrule.

Then you can fine tune it too exactly where you want it, and even change it according to wind and wave conditions.



I’ll go one more step further,
and suggest that the paddle blades can also be a variable factor. I have found that a mid-size blade is more comfortable and less tiring for me than a full size.

I am average size and strength.

I can paddle for hours with the mid-size blade, whether

in a canoe or kayak, using the kayak paddle. When using

the mid-size, I am not tired at the end of paddling, but

when using a full-sized blade for the same time and distance, I have to pay more for it in energy expended.

enough of the advise already, Frank
tell us how you did it!

Cut in the middle, or take it off the ends?

One small advantage of…
REI is their no-questions-asked return policy. Yep, you pay a little more but for a beginner like me, when I purchased my first ever paddle, it was a nice Warner from REI. After using it a bit, it was returned for a shorter version of the same.

My paddling partner initially thought he wanted in inflatable. I gave him the same advice - buy it at REI where you can at least return it if it’s not what you’re expecting.

He did - and he did.

look up in the thread
I left detailed instructions for taking it off the middle.

I’ve heard of people taking it off
the ends (sawing it off and then splitting off what portion of the shaft on the blades remains). Did you ever consider that? Any pictures of what you did?

No I didn’t consider that
I didn’t even consider cutting the balds apart and trying to dig or grind the epoxied shaft remains out of there. I think it would be really hard to do it that way. My way took about an hour and I’m really really slow.