My wife and I are fairly new to Kayaking - I’m trying to buy her a paddle that can make her Kayaking experience better. We currently bought a couple Pescadero Pro 10 sit on tops. She likes it for the adjustable seat due to our “No Longer Young” backs with the various fishing/gear options. My question is, with a sit on top, what length of paddle should she get. She’s 4’11 (a fierce 4’11). 230? 240? I’m 5’8.
We really like the Aquabound Sting Ray Fiber shaft - our concern is the length as most reviews we’ve read make no mention of sit on top Kayaks.
You really need to try some different lengths, esp. her. For someone that height challenged in a SOT, she will need a longer paddle. The trick is getting one long enough but not too long.
One way to try to get it right is to get an 8’ 1"x2" board and see be how well she can reach the water. Incrementally shorten it until you get to the shortest length that works. That’s a ballpark length.
The Sting Ray is a good choice. Could whatever paddle she is currently using give you some starting point for choosing the length?
Choose one with a longer narrow blade, not a broad one – she will be paddling at a lower angle due to her shorter upper body metrics so a wide blade would be more apt to hit the sides of the boat, and would also have more resistance in the water that could make paddling more strenuous. The Sting Ray is a good choice (rather than the broader Manta Ray). Get the lightest you can within your budget. If she also has proportionally smaller hands. you might want to look for a narrower shaft paddle than standard.
Many of us older paddlers actually prefer slender Greenland style paddles and use a higher cadence, less effort stroke.