paddle lenghth--tempest 170

hey–would a 220 cm or 230 cm paddle be better? I’m 5’10"

also pdf and spray skirt reccs? thanks.


i am 5’10"
and use a 214cm paddle…

skirt: all neoprene IR special K for a plastic boat and DRY cockpit…glass tempest: IR shockwave…

Just kidding.

No longer than 220

– Last Updated: Jul-04-06 11:27 PM EST –

would be my recomendation. I would be at a 205-210 myself.

You will throw some air braces with the shorter paddle till you have enough chops to torso rotate and watch the waves.

Go here
How to choose a paddle:

Paddle length
5’10" Tempest driver . . . .

220 on the paddle, snapdragon on the sprayskirt.

You need to match the paddle length with your stroke, high angle (shorter) vs low angle (longer). Try before you buy. I like a neoprene deck skirt, provides for a dryer ride.

thanks everyone. n/m

WOW! Not so long!
I paddle a Tempest 180 and a romany HV and I use Epic paddles with length lock. One paddle is 205-215cm the other is 210-220.

I prefer the shorter paddle, but you need to decide first if you paddle high or low angle.

good luck!


PS: I love my Epic paddles! And I really love my length lock mechanism.

pss: I’m 6 ft tall…

Has Alot To Do With You
Your posture, your paddle style, and the paddle all play a part. Try this. Paddle with your current paddle and establish what you would consider your stroke. Look at the top of the blade and see where it is relative to the surface of the water. Your paddle should be such that the top of the blade is at or just under the surface fo the water. The overall length of the paddle is important, but the length of the shaft between the blades is what really counts.

Happy Paddling,


at the risk of offending…
Try this analysis-

if you like a “high angle” stroke, conventional wisdom deems a shorter paddle appropriate, a longer paddle for a “low angle”.


With a shorter paddle, my blade is closer to the boat during a forward stroke, creating less yaw and wasted energy. With a longer paddle, using a high angle, my top hand is too high, and I am not biomechanically efficient.

Conclusion- with a reasonably short paddle, I can employ a high angle, or a low angle stroke (hint- with a very short paddle, isn’t it still easy to do a sweep stroke?). With a long paddle, one that keeps my top hand above my shoulder using a high angle stroke, I will convince myself (falsely) that a “high angle” stroke is unreasonably hard, indeed, a low angle stroke is all I can do. So, a short paddle is more versatile.

More. Consider the paddle as a lever. It is best percieved as a class III lever, but for those that think it is a class I lever (this is what happens using the outdated “push and pull” technique), it makes little difference. The basic formula for mechancical advantage implies that, for any given load (what moves the boat), a longer outboard (distance from water side hand to center of resistance of the blade)requires a greater force applied by the paddler. And not just the water, think about wind,as well. With a longer paddle, you will be giving wind the advantage over you (referring to the blade in the air).

Although a bit anecdotal, I use the following (I am 6ft tall, BTW). Sea kayak paddles, 205-210 (I prefer large blades and short paddles, again, physics demonstrate it is more economical to move a large amount of water slowly than a small amount quickly- the international rowing community figured that one out a long time ago), Greenland paddles, 208-214, and my wing paddles, 212-218. That last may seem a bit odd, but when I paddle with a wing, I usually use a boat with a much higher seat than most sea kayaks, and a boat with a lower resistance hull.


Karl: bentshaft thoughts
what are your critical thoughts regarding the merit of bentshaft kayak paddles?

is better’n longer…for many of the above reasons.

I have been using a new Reed Chillcheater skirt on the Tempest (and other f/g rims) and it rocks.

dry, light, so far- bomber. had it in 5’ dumpers in the Pacific the other day.

pfd- whatever floats your bod. kokatat is nice.


timing is everything…
I just ordered a new replacement for my SnapDragon spray skirt yesterday!

Oh well…


paddle length

Paddle sizing-I checked both the Epic and Werner sizing applications and while I appreciate the effort, anytime one uses overall height as a factor I think it should be suspect. There is a more effective way to determine correct paddle length IMHO, that uses your height while in your boat. The considerations of this method are; that there is no reason to put any more of the paddle in the water than is necessary, the higher the angle the more efficient the stroke and that the elbows should not bend more than 90 degrees. The path of the blade then is a diagonal to the boat, thereby gripping the water while keeping the stroke length short. I made a short video that shows the method at


PS Thanks for the Reed Chillcheater review Faltpick

seems to me
I remember Steve, his wife Cindy, and I doing a trip on the Olympic outer coast. Due to the surf landings, Cindy opted out of using her GP, instead used her WW paddle. What was it, 194cm?. Seem to recall her wondering what the disadvantage, if any, was…

Ditto on the Chillcheater skirts. They do not hold up for instructor use, if one is frequently performing assisted rescues and dragging a boat across the spraydeck. Otherwise, aren’t they sweet! Agree they really stay on in Pacific surf, and the lack of bulk makes for great comfort.

192 cm actually
she recently switched to a A/T T-2 flexy…

wow. anyone wanna buy some ol’ Lightnin’ ww sticks??

yep, my report on the skirts has been ‘personal use’ use w/o alot of R/R practice. Me thinks the same thing that makes this skirt sweet (LIGHT) might limit it’s durability in the EDU/ heavy use arena. time will tell on durability.


> anyone wanna buy some ol’ Lightnin’ ww sticks

if they are ~197 cm or less and 15 degree or less feather and don’t weigh a ton…

Otherwise I’m looking at paying more for a paddle than I did for the Riot 007 I bought on a whim.

So are sea kayakers just a couple of years behind white water kayakers or is there a reason for a longer sea kayak blade. For that matter is there a reason river runners tend to go a little longer than play boaters?

hmmm, lots of views on forward stroke
good website and video clips by the way.

i’ve taken forward stroke training from Brian Henry who has taken his training from many of the top racers around the world. he gets pretty agitated when people talk about the not-more-than-90 at the elbows.

he says that in order to maxmize reach, you should be bending your elbows considerably at the end of each stroke in order to catch as far forward as possible. he then showed us video of a handful of his racer friends and this is what they were doing. all in all, there is tremendous subtlety in the forward stroke and there is a number of different approaches. the more i learn about it from videos (i’ve seen most of them) and training the more i realize that there is no definitive forward stroke, high, low, or otherwise that is the most efficient. different yes, better, not necessarily. and we haven’t even broached the difference between efficiency for distance and touring, and efficiency for sprinting or especially rough water. different boats, different bodies, different conditions, different goals (all day tour, sprint to catch that wave, etc, etc, etc, ad nauseum)…