Go a little long for kids paddle?

-- Last Updated: Jun-17-14 12:42 PM EST --

I've got a 12 year old boy and a 10 year old girl. Did the bending branches trick of measuring their torso in a sitting position (measure from seat to nose) and they are both pretty close. A 48" paddle is probably "perfect" and the BB twig youth paddle comes in a 48" size. I just bought a 57" BB Traveler for myself and there is a 51" size in that model too.

Question: I am leaning toward getting them a pair of 51" Travelers and letting them grow into them. It will also let the one not sitting at the bow reach the water better. They will be slightly long for now though.

Any thoughts on that plan? The Twig does have a slightly smaller blade but I am thinking it wouldn't make too much difference. It also has a T grip instead of the Traveler's freestyle palm grip.

We'll be paddling flat water in an 18" Wenonah Sundowner. Rivers and calm lakes.

My thoughts are one of each
Your 10 year old probably is not as close to a growth spurt as your 12 year old.

Smaller paddles are is much less tiring on smaller muscles.

I’m not a fan of a t grip for flatwater as its not as confy but in two years or three she may need another paddle anyway.

There is a huge difference in the size of the paddles you are looking at. One is 88 sq inches in area…the other 135… Adults can handle 135 usually. Some ladies prefer less area.

Actually, that seems to make sense.

– Last Updated: Jun-17-14 1:18 PM EST –

Remember that one aspect of choosing a paddle size is the seating height. For a kid that age, the seat is proportionally higher than it is for an adult. Unless you put the kid in a special, low seat (probably not a good idea since you can't lower the gunwales on your canoe!), accounting for what's essentially a "higher" seat height for a child seems necessary when using "standard tables" to choose paddle length. If you are familiar with proper paddling technique, you'll know pretty quickly just from watching them if the paddle length is reasonable, but my best guess is that it will be.

By the way, I also agree with Kim's post above. T-grips are not as comfortable as palm grips, and shorter paddles require less effort. I usually carry a paddle that's "too short" for me (just two or three inches shorter) that I use when in shallow water, but after a long day on the water, the reduced muscle effort that's needed to power the boat with the shorter paddle can make the shorter paddle my first choice even if the water isn't shallow. I didn't try to see which paddle had the larger surface area, but Kim is right on that point too, that a paddle blade with less surface area will be less taxing for a small person to use.

Heck, I prefer less area.
Standard 20"x8" paddle blades are too big for my use for more than 20 minutes or so and I’m no woman and not a child, though not real strong and have shoulder problems.

Don’t get an oversized paddle for a
child, or anyone for that matter.

Paddles that are too long or have too large of a blade are tiring and make paddling less fun.

I personally don’t like T grip handles - too bad the Twig has it.

Maybe Foxworx paddles could make a custom paddle for your kids.

In my opinion, the Traveller blade would be much too large for your kids, unless they’re pretty strong.

Good luck finding a good fit.

maybe the solution is to buy
one longer paddle. The idea that your son will grow into it is probably spot on if he is anything like my grandson.

One gallon of milk a day has to go somewhere.

Try it on both kids… Then order another paddle. Perhaps not the same. The younger kid would seem to be a better fit for the shorter paddle. But if you buy one of the longer you have something for both to try with no commitment to the size of the second paddle.

Unless you are leaving for a trip soon!

That’s odd. Several posts that were here a few minutes ago are now gone.

yeah it happens now and then
but I didn’t notice any posts that were uncivil.

Telescoping Onno Canoe Paddle

– Last Updated: Jun-18-14 6:44 PM EST –

That Patrick designed for my daughter, proved invaluable in determining the best length for her when paddling different canoes, for she can adjust the length of her paddle on the fly, even in "Victory at Sea" water conditions. That innovative Onno Lever Lock is just fantastic in making this possible. She can adjust her paddle from the shortest length of 45 inches all the way up to 53 inches tall. This way eliminating all the guess work of figuring out the correct length and the clutter of extra paddles of different lengths in the closet.

ps: I just checked her last setting, after a 6 mile downwind (25+kt) surf run on her solo outrigger canoe, and she had it set at 48.5 inches long. Her other wooden canoe paddles are 47,48, and 50 inches inches long respectively, so without the telescoping feature, we would not have known that a setting between 48 and 50 inches was the best fit. The ability to make incremental adjustments of a half inch more or less is just wonderful.

Thanks for that info.
Adjustable length makes sense. I love it on the kayak paddles.

About time
I’ve been waiting for someone to start making adjustable length single blade paddles. It seems like a no brainer. Both for figuring out your ideal length and well as jumping between different boats or just for when you want to change paddling styles in the middle of the day.

I assume the adjustment is close to the grip end? Any interference on the huts? How are Patricks’s single blade paddles? I’ve never seen one.


Yes! Adjustment Is Near the Grip
And the grip is very comfortable and more versatile than a T grip. It is the Onno Lever Lock, which most paddle makers have imitated and switched to, that makes it possible. Other lockers, like on the SUPs are rather crude. Being able to adjust your paddle length in 1/2 inch increments, more or less, is fantastic.

You’ll have to contact Patrick regarding his single blades, for they are very rare and he puts in a lot of tender loving effort into making them.

Tossing the paddle back n forth during “hut” changes is smooth and haven’t missed the the grip yet (better than the “T”). So far, no damaged to the blade edges from occasional contact with rear iako and gunnels of OC1.