Length of paddle

I am just under 5 ft tall, and last summer I was paddling an inflatable that was 10ft long, and 32" wide. I had a 230cm paddle - a Cannon Wave FX that weighs 34oz. I was pretty happy with it, but I don’t have a ton of experience with different types of paddles.

This year, I am paddling my Eddyline Rio, which is significantly narrower, at 24". I’ve been thinking that given my height, I probably should have a shorter paddle. I’ve used my current paddle a few times now with the Rio, paddling 5-7 miles each time. Again, no complaints really, but wondering what differences I might experience with a shorter paddle. I am thinking a 210cm AquaBound Sting Ray Carbon.

I don’t want to spend much more than $200, and given that I have already bought two kayaks in two years, and generally feel ok with what I have, I am wondering if I should just put off this extra expense. Any input or advice is appreciated!

Werner paddles has a guide for length on there site. Proper paddle is huge difference.

If you were paddling a 32" wide boat, you likely have a low angle stroke, which is a factor in determining paddle length. Lower angle = longer paddle. Given your height, and the much narrower boat, somewhere in the 210-220 range should work fine. If you can demo paddles somewhere, try 210, 215, and 220, and see which one feels the easiest to use. Maybe even try a 205 just to see how that feels. If you can’t find demos, a 210 should be fine.

Thanks for the replies so far - just trying to get a sense of how much of a difference/benefit I will feel with the shorter paddle, but probably really need to try it out to see. I will try to see if a local shop will let me demo.

To get the feel of a shorter paddle could you just choke up with the one you have and get a feeling of a shorter paddle on one side for a few strokes. It should give you the feel of where you would enter and exit the water and the shorter length.

With a two piece paddle that has the snap locks would it be possible to saw some off the one half and drill a new hole. I have never tried it but seems like it could be done.

A neighbor bought a cheap paddle at Wal-Mart that is fully adjustable for length and angle. I thought that would be really nice for someone trying to figure out what length they liked.

You would feel more of a difference in the lower weight than the length.

Keep in mind the blades and shaft also may be different, so you might feel a difference there.

Also, it seems that many sea kayakers as they get more experienced find the Werner fit guide (mentioned above) to be a little on the long side. For example, I am 6’ and mm boat is 24" wide and I use 205cm. My partner at 5’1" and 22" boat uses 200 cm.

If you did buy, definitely 220 at longest (what Werner suggests for you when I plug in your numbers for low angle paddler). I’d probably say get the 210 cm.

Agree with Peter-CA here. Basically a 200, 205, or 210 and absolute max of 215 or 220 IF you only use a low angle paddle. FYI, I am 6’1" and use a 210 or 197 (WW paddle) on a 21.5 wide sea kayak. You probably should consider a small shaft diameter paddle - or at least test one b4 buying a paddle.

Why don’t you borrow one from a friend and paddle a trip with a shorter paddle.

My wife is the same height as you - just a little under 5 ft. Her first paddle was a 230cm (30.3oz) Aquabound Stingray that she used with a 29" rec kayak. After a while and a few lessons - and a new 24" wide boat - she switched to a higher angle style of paddling and a 200cm (23.5oz) Werner Cyprus with the thinner diameter shaft. She’s been using that for about 8 years now and is very comfortable with it. Now and then, for a change she’ll use an 82" (25.6oz) western red cedar Greenland paddle.

I would think that your current paddle is too long, and too heavy, for your Eddyline.