Difference in Paddle Lengths

I find a huge difference in “power” generated between using my 210CM paddle vs my 215CM paddle. The approx difference in half the paddle length is only 15/16". I understand that this additional length is sweeping through the water in a somewhat longer arc. Is there anything else I’m missing to explain the vast difference? BTW, both paddles are the same in all aspects except length. Thanks for your input

blade depth
Tough w/o video, but the longer paddle will submerge the blade more fully, lessening ventilation; air sucking down the backface. ??

How do you know?

– Last Updated: Oct-01-13 5:35 PM EST –

Could it be you feel the longer one being the more powerful, while in fact being less efficient and just wasting more of your energy and making you tired faster?

I experiment with different lengths (got an adjustable length) and there is no clear cut rule if longer is better or not. Longer allows me a more efficient catch, farther forward, fully under water, good body rotation. But it also requires better techniques, high arm position, etc., which is exhausting over a longer period. A shorter length allows me to actually have more leverage against the water, so I can generate more power in a short burst, but obviously I have to shorten my stroke during its most powerful phase a bit. Or I can keep my hands closer together and still have the same reach as with the longer paddle, but with less stress on my body over long periods of paddling at lower intensities...

And by "short" and "long" I mean lengths that are still within the ergonomic range for me, just intended for different paddling conditions and boats. A paddle that feels short in my surfski feels long in my Nordkapp RM as I sit much closer to the water in the latter and can't rotate nearly as much to be able to utilize the length properly.

Lastly, yes, a longer lever will require more power from you (longer paddle) but does this mean more power to the water or does it mean more exhaustion for the same result?

What do you feel? Which is more powerful for you and why?

more load not more power
Granted a small difference of 1cm can be felt as more torque required but longer is not necessarily making your boat move faster so may not be more powerful. In surfski paddling lots of people find a shortened paddle and faster turnover is faster, especially in windy choppy conditions.

Your longer paddle is also deeper in the water so has more effective area than the shorter one.