Paddle length - 225 vs 215.

What is the practical difference between a 225 and a 215?

A friend has been advised that he needs a 215 but he paddled at least 8 miles today with my Onno at 225 and it worked great for him. So what is there to gain by losing 10 cm? His preferred stroke is not quite vertical.

Can be huge
I was quite surprised by how much diff I felt between even a 210 and a 205 cm in the Cyprus. Even at just about 2 inches of diff the 205 is much easier for turns and any close maneuvering than the 210. For regular paddling, yeah less of a diff. But 5 inches… for me anyway a very noticeable diff and shorter is easier on the body.

10 cm is quite a bit…

– Last Updated: Nov-23-10 7:39 PM EST –

Can's say what's the right length and if he is "in-between" either one could work. I paddle a range of lengths, from 200 to almost 230cm or so (different paddles: from whitewater through a Greenland). All of them work well for me for their different applications.

When talking about the same paddle, just a couple of inches make a big difference. Ten cm (4 inches or so) would be huge if they are all in the "wrong direction".

I got an anjustable length shaft on one of my paddles that extends from 215 to 225cm. In one of my kayaks that rides high on the water, I can feel I can adequately change length of that paddle within about 2-3" max to compensate for the conditions. I use it usually at 216-222cm or so, with a rather high angle stroke. Outside of that range I feel my stroke becomes inefficient.

When I use the same paddle in another (lower riding boat) boat, I feel it would work best if it was perhaps 212 to 215cm - anything longer than 215 seems too long in that boat but 215 is quite tolerable (similar high angle stroke, just I'm closer to the water).

There was a thread a couple of weeks ago about paddle length - dig it up...

If he is paddling with a vertical stroke

– Last Updated: Nov-24-10 5:24 AM EST –

and is comfortable with a 225, he must be as tall as you are.
You didn't say how tall he is.
If he is quite a bit shorter then you are, that is way too long!
I am 5'-8" and use a 213 wing.
When I paddled with a euro and a wider stroke, I used a 220.

Jack L

String, have him call me ONNO or not.
Here to help.

that is just LOA
Also consider the span between the inner blade ends not just length overall. A 210 (82.67") Cyprus is 50 inches of shaft. A 210 Camano is about 45, a difference of 5 inches or 12.8 cm. So LOA is not the only factor. My guide is how much below the surface the blade is during normal paddling. If above, too short. Just below is OK. Too deep is an inefficient and tiring lever.

Paddle farther
If he gets the chance he should borrow your paddle after he has paddled all day or even better if you can lend it to him to use for a who day. Back when my longest days were 15 miles I was much less fussy about the paddle.

Now I’m very particular even on short trips.

Too many variables
to say on a BB. Height, armspan, width and depth of the boat all factor in, as well as personal preference.

Example: Myself, I’m 5’7" with a normal armspan for my height. I paddle fairly low volume kayaks (My Caribou is my highest volume boat). I use a 218 GP and a 215 EP in the 'Bou, and my GP and a 200-215 EP in my Anas Acuta. My BBK Recluse, I use the GP and the 215 EP. I have a 220 EP, but I hardly ever use it, and when I do, I bury it real deep in the water.

But that’s me. Everyone else here will have a different preference. Best advice is to go as short as you’re comfy with, and then work back up a little, and see which length works best for YOU. Adjustable length paddles are great for this.

BENT touring hand spacing/ length?
On my bent shaft whitewater blades from Werner, a 194 has a different hand position width than a 197 …

Does it work the same with their BENT touring paddles? OR Lendal’s? AT’s?

I’ve never used a bent shaft paddle.

Paddle Length - It Depends…
Paddle length depends on:

1.) upper body length

2.) boat width and seat height

3.) high angle versus low angle

4.) touring versing racing

5.) distance

6.) Euro versus wing versus Greenland type of paddle

I currently use a wing that is adjustable wing between 210cm and 220cm and have a high angle racing stroke. I’m 6’ and paddle a 21.5" wide boat. I find the lower 210’s the best. I’m typically around 212 or 213cm. When I started out, I paddled a 29" wide plastic boat and a 230cm Euro, and had friends that used 240’s. For short easy paddling, it will be hard to tell a big difference. For long distance or racing speed, I tire out faster with longer paddles.

So, it really depends.