Kayak Paddle

Got a question for all you “pro-yakers”!

What factors are involved in determining the “appropriate” paddle length for you? Your height? Kayak width? Both? Or is it merely a matter of personal preference?

and your paddling style, upright or low angle. Patrick at ONNO paddles told me to paddle normally and watch the paddle blade. The blade should just submerge. If its going too deep, get a shorter one, too shallow, get a longer one.

touring- a 215cm lendal crank shaft

surfing- a 178cm jackson kids paddle

river (rarely)-194 seven2 airidium

hand paddles tossed in for fun on all three boats…

i have been tempted by those other hand paddles that are on ebay everyonce a while…longer than normal handpaddles…look fun…


Paddle Length
Hey, I do appreciate the input!

My “ride” is a Cobra Fisn N’ Dive. Love fishing out of that thing! At my age, I rather doubt I’ll be winning any races or setting any long distance records, so I’ll stick to the leisure fishing! I do enjoy an occasional (short-term)exploring or sight-seeing trip, though!

Thanks again for the suggestions! I will indeed pay attention to my “technique” the next time I go out!

arm length too!!
the common components are boat width, paddling angle, and ‘torso’ height. ‘Torso’ height for measuring a paddle is actually the height from your butt to your head while you are seated. Some people say the appropriate height for the shaft will be equal to your seat to head height.

None of these take into consideration arm length. If you have two paddlers identical in every way except for arm length, the one with the longer arms will have a shorter paddle shaft.

Interestingly people assume the shorter a person is the shorter their paddle should be - this is a guideline. But if you are considerably shorter than average your paddle need to be longer so you can reach the water without leaning to each side.

Paddle sizing
I have a short video on paddle sizing on my website at www.secondwindsports.net/instruction

Click on the key elements videos and you will find paddle sizing.

I hope this helps.


Paddle Length
Mornin’ Falcon!

I do appreciate the help! I watched your video, and it was as informative as it was helpful!

Thanks a bunch!

Paddle Length
Mornin’ Kayakjourneys!

I do appreciate your taking the time to respond!

I guess you could say I am “proportionally” average, (Except for being a bit overweight. I gave up on trying to remedy that long ago! Now I just tell everyone I’m not overweight! I’m under-tall!)

Judging from the responses I’m getting and Falcon’s video, I’ve got a sneakin’ hunch the paddle I’ve got is the correct one. Just sheer luck! It came with the kayak! I’m not sure what the length is. The little sticker came off long ago! Well, Duh! Guess I could measure it, couldn’t I?

I associate the suggestions with past experience and everything SEEMS to fit! However, I still think I will closely observe all points the next time I go out!

Thanks again for your reply!

By the way, in another thread, you mentioned “Surf Wax” What is that and what is it’s purpose? Is it readily available?