How to select a paddle for tall guy?

I am a tall guy and I need to select a paddle for my use. I am purchasing a Pungo 140 rec kayak. I am 6’3" tall and from the seat to the tip of my nose is about 33 1/2 inches. According to a chart I saw on one site I need a 240-250 cm long low rise paddle. There are a million different paddles and material combinations out there but very few in the longer length. My paddling is on lakes and calm water rivers so no whitewater for me.

I would like some suggestions at a decent paddle for my situation. I am not sure I need a carbon top of the line paddle but something in the middle of the pack would be nice. And if the length were adjustable I think perhaps that would be a plus.

Any suggestions on a paddle?

Try something quite a bit shorter. I’m
6’ 5" and very tall in the torso, and I can’t use paddles that long (240-250) while seated in a kayak, low angle or not. I’ll bet you can get started with a 220. I also question whether a fully low-angle style will work with a Pungo. Low angle paddling works best with kayaks that have very strong tracking tendency. You might want to get closer to a high angle.

how wide is your wing span?
You are only and inch taller than I am, so I am guessing a 240cm and up would be too long for you. But that all depends on your style, if you haven’t kayaked much then you might not know your paddling style yet.

If you want a good paddle at a good cost, check out Adventure Technology’s Straight Shaft T4E OS. Consider a 225 cm length, which you can adjust to 230cm. Its $99, and would make a great spare if you decide you like a different paddle.

I’m 6’3"
and like a 220 cm. A 230 cm feels too long.


Call Pat

thanks for the answers
Thank you all for the very helpful responses. I was thinking if nobody makes a paddle longer than 240cm there must be a reason. Yes apparently the chart was not very accurate. I don’t put too much faith in charts anyway. Its tough for me in the midwest corn fields of Illinois. We simply do not have any good dealers locally for help. Seems when you go to places like REI and Dicks sporting goods they try and sell you whatever they have rather than what you need.

Thanks again gentlemen.

hubby’s 6’7"
and paddles his Pungo 120 with a 240 paddle. He tried a 230 and said it was too short.

For some reason, outfitters try to start
beginners with 240s. Unless you are paddling the Queen Mary, the 230 s/b plenty. I am 6’5" and paddle a canoe with a 230.

paddle length
I’m 6’2" and use a 240 with a Loon 138. It works very well. With my Hornbeck Black Jack I use a 260.

nessmuk, try a shorter paddle.
I have a 260 but it wears me out. Lever arm and all that.

… has a pretty darn good satisfaction guarantee. Works even with paddles - you know, long ones, short ones, 6-month old ones…

this is best sizing chart

Werner will probably be the same.

I entered your info for rec tourning and came up with two choices… 225 mid size blade (relaxed touring) and 222… larger blade…

Epic blades are average size blades.

Call Pat at Onno paddle for your best deal on a carbon paddle. He will size it just right for you and your boat.

BTW I’m 6’3’’ and use a 215 and 220. (larger blades, narrow beam)

Onno has adjustable length, so I’ll bet 218-225 is just about right for you.

You still want a light paddle.

quite a difference
Wow that chart is significantly different than the one I saw online. Thanks for that info.

My own 2cents
When I asked the same question at two good kayak shops I was told 215cm for me and I’m 6’3". Apparently they don’t recommend 220cm unles you are over 6’6" or wide beamed boat. Also was strongly suggested a touring blade the learn the skills, not a wing etc.

Take care - and I guess its all about what feels good. And hell use your hands as long as you have fun!

thanks for the answers
I so wish I could demo these paddles real time but like I said previously I must rely heavily on advice since kayak dealers here are in short supply. It seems everyone has their own take on paddle length but the overall consensus seems to be a 230cm or shorter touring paddle would serve me well. Now I just have to do some research on what materials (carbon or glass) and if the ergo bent shaft models would be best for me. Would be so much easier if I could actually try them ahead of time.

220 cm should be good

– Last Updated: Jun-02-08 2:50 PM EST –

The Pungo is on the wide side, so a shorter paddle will probably not work well with it. I am 6'4" and paddle the WS Tsunami 145 which is 24.5" wide and 220 already feels a few inches too long for me, even on mid-level (vs. low level) stroke. On high angle it is too long and 210-215 would work better, but 220 still does the job and I think with the wider Pungo (if that's what you want) should work well. I considered the Pungo for a moment when buying my first sit-in due to the "great comfort fit", but then I thought I'll be bored with it even on flat water very fast and crossed it out of my list). I already have a sit on top and the pungo is not that much different...

If REI is on your list, you can try a straight or bent shaft Lendal carbon with the plastic Kinetic blades (not the "mid size", which corresponds to the Lendal's "S" size, but the slightly larger size in yellow that is currently out of stock - you can get them at as well for just a little more considering the REI discount). Sign-up for their e-mail and you get 15% off - order the two items separately for free pick-up in the store so that the 15% applies to both items. This way for about $200 you will have a *very* nice paddle. Or try the adjustable Bending Branches or AT that someone else recommended. But going used is the way to go if you have a selection where you are...