Padddle Length-Kayak

Yep, another Paddle Length question!!

Sorry guys, but Ive searched and searched the archives, and just feel I need to ask AGAIN!

I am buying the Seda Tango. (Tandem Kayak)

Lenght 21’ Beam 29’

And Im planning on doing mostly Sea Kayaking, however I do have a Yukon River trip coming up.

I am 5’8" Tall. And I just dont understand how to choose a paddle for myself.

I hear alot of people say: Try a few different types. However I dont know anywhere around here that rents or lends out paddles. So what next?

From what I have read, and absorbed so far, I have been thinking maybe 215 or 220 at the longest. Still confused/not confident!

Ive saved up my pennies and I am prepared to buy a paddle up to $300. But I dont want to find out that I just spent that kind of money on something I really dont like. What now?

Are any of the length adjustable paddles in that $$ bracket? Been pondering with just going that route. Seems to be the wisest maybe. Who makes these?

Ive seen alot of folks talking about paddle technique as well… but not knowing what my technique is in this boat, how can I decide?

There are a few kayak shops in my town, plus an REI, but the little shops are high $$! And REI reps are little help! And Im a bit nervous about ordering online without at least holding the paddle in my hand first.

Nees some feedback!!!

Any suggestions or comments very much appreciated!!!



No problem
I am an inch taller than you, and yes somewhere between 215 and 220 should be just right for you.

Why not get a Epic “Length-lock” which is adjustable.

Check their website, but I would suggest their “Active Touring” Paddle

Get the one that adjusts between 210 and 220.

You can also adjust the feather on it.

I am not sure of the price, but I think it is up near the high end of what you plan on spending.



You have a pretty wide boat

– Last Updated: Apr-25-05 2:14 PM EST –

I don't paddle a tandem, but I see you have a 29" beam kayak. I think you will need a longer paddle length than the last post.

I use a 215cm length in a 22.5" wide kayak. I am also a high angler paddler from years of paddling a canoe.

My first kayak was 28" wide, and I used a 240cm paddle length. It worked OK for me.

From what I have read here on P-Net, the wider boat works better with a longer paddle, and a narrower kayak with a shorter length. From my experience, I agree.

I have also heard that the back person in a tandem needs a longer paddle, as the boat is wide in front of them. The front person has a narrower hull in front of them, so the shaft can be a bit shorter.

For a 29" hull, I would go with a longer length. But personal preference means a lot on paddle length.

As an added note, Bending Branches make an adjustable length fiberglass paddle for about $250.00 list price. I have seen one and adjusted it, and it seemed like a great deal.

Happy Paddling!

I use a 218 in a 30" wide tandem
Works fine for the way I paddle. YMMV.

I stand corrected
I did not notice the wide beam.

You are probably right.

I was baseing that length on a much narrower yak

Sorry about that,


I have 20", 21" single and a 29" Tandem, I use a 215cm on the singles but have to go to 225cm on the tandem, I am slightly taller than you. Jackl’s recommendation on the Epic Active Tourer with the adjustable length sounds good, it’ll be there for you if you get a narrower single boat down the road.


Bending Branches New Paddle
Don’t know anything about these, but Bending Branches just came out with an adjustable length paddle. It adjusts from 215-230cm and any feather angle between 0-60. Two models, the Breeze Plus(three blade types) and the Infusion Glass Plus. I think the Breeze model lists for ~$250, the Infusion less.

I have a 220 in a 29" tandem
I am 5’9". No problems.

Or you could call Pat
If you are interested in an ONNO paddle, Pat will set you up for less than $300 and spend time talking to you about what’ll work work for you.

Onno 225

– Last Updated: Apr-25-05 11:52 PM EST –

`is your best value. Forget the mass merchants and you'll be glad you did. If you form gets really good you will hate me and wish you had gotten a 220.

If money is no object at all The epic signature all carbon in a 215/225 length lock is very nice for that application. The Hybrid signature is good, but the hybrid non signature is not my favorite. I use mine at 215 in a 21.5 inch sea kayak and at 225 in my 29 inch wide pamlico (with somewhat decent form required in the tandem.

Do not let the "experts" talk you into a 230 or longer.

Find a demo day nearby.
Why not find a demo day nearby and try some different length paddles. It’s Spring and demo days are happening all over. My local shop (Kelly’s Canoes and Kayaks) let me exchange my Swift paddle for a shorter one after trying it once and not scratching it up.

Demo but
as you use torso rotation and other elements of better form odds are you preferred length will get shorter.

I love the durability of turbo blades. Last week used heat to remove the hot glue on blade and then shorten shaft by one inch. long narrow blades are a safe choice to reduce shoulder problems. The olympic k1 was won by a turbo blade that was heavier and cheaper than epic. Maybe the heavier blade drops in water easier to start the stroke. Maybe you should buy a good used paddle for $50 and then see what you want by trying many different ones.

I have a 20ft tandem
and a 16 6 single and use a 240cc with the tandem and a 230 cc with the single.The rule is wider the beam longer the paddle.The difference is evident if you have 2 different boats to compare.The Werner Comano is a great paddle for the price. If your budget is tight scrimp on the kayak not the paddle.