Paddle length for 6'3 & kayak 32 inches wide

Hi everyone. So I have a 32 inch wide Airvolution AE3029 and I am 6’3. There are many charts that show the proper paddle for certain height people and width kayaks. But none of the charts address my particular situation. What length should I get? I am pasting a typical example of a chart that does not help me. I called Airvolution and they just said to look on the internet. Also, my current paddle is 237 cm, and it does not feel right.


What about the paddle does not feel right? What brand & model paddle are you using?

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Then buy a 250 cm.

I agree with Hank. Do you know what a paddle should feel like? I have zero experience with inflatables so I don’t know what you are feeling.
I’ve often seen 250 paddles recommended, but a 240 puts more stress in my shoulders so I use a 220 or 230 based on the boat width.

250 I don’t think Vikings used paddles that long.

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But Im not a viking.

I have a 240 cm. The 250 cm is better. 220s and 230s feel like my elbows are tied to my waste. 250 isn’t for everybody.

Thanks for the info and I am going to try 250 cm and see if that feels better.

In response to the two questions of kayakhank: I am using the paddle that came with the kayak and I can’t exaplain what does not feel right. It has been decades since I did a lot of kayaking. I am having fun with a new kayak, but I do not experience the feeling of “oneness” between myself, the kayak, and the water that I remember from kayaking 20 years ago. Of course there could be other explanations like that I am not in the condition that I was in then. But I am defininetly going to give a longer paddle a try.

That oneness for me is created by seat time. Your body and brain need to learn how the boat moves so you can move with it instead of resisting.

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Agree with string about paddling time. From your response about the paddle having come with the kayak, you probably need to buy a better quality paddle to be able to feel the water better. That being said, Werner and AquaBound are two excellent paddles in the mid to high price range which you can feel the difference when paddling. My thought is going to a length of 250 is the wrong direction - suggest you try some different length paddles before buying.


And I agree.

I think I have seen a couple of 250s out there and the paddlers using them do what I thought; they use their forearms to paddle.

A better paddle is always an improvement, sometimes more so than a better boat. That paddle does need to fit the paddler, though, so I agree with trying a few, if you can.

Personally I have never owned a paddle longer than 215, so I might not be the right demographic for where you are.

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This is sad.

What’s sad?

Resistance to using 250 cm paddles. A 6’3" kayaker with a 32" boat asked for advice saying the 237 cm paddle didn’t feel right. Now I realize the sizing guide is a wild guess for a starting point, but if anyone looked at the bottom right corner of the above chart, the logical step is 250 cm. My suggestion: 250 cm.

One reply mentioned never having use a paddle longer than 215 cm. Even vikings never used 250 cm.

My impression from forum members is an automatic reaction that anyone using a long paddle is ignorant, misguided, paddling wrong, abusing shoulders, using forearms, doing it wrong.

I’ve used paddles from 210 cm through 250 cm. My first paddle was a Carlisle fiberglass Magic, 220 cm (130 sq in), then an Aqua Bound Sting Ray, 230 cm (92 sq in), a Werner Camano 240 cm (100.9 sq in), until I settled on a Werner Kalliste 240 cm (99.7 sq in) for at least 5 years. It went to Werner for warranty work. In the interim, I went back to my paddles in storage, and swapped off swapping with the Kalliste 240 cm I bought for my sister. I couldn’t stand it, so I ordered another Kalliste in 250 because that way I’d have a 240 and a 250 cm to compare. After comparing, I settled on the Kalliste 250 cm for the past five years.

My first year on the water, I timed each trip and plotted from point to point using a topo map and dividers, until I bought a GPS. I recently started using an app that samples and graphs the time, distance and speed (both devices sample every second).

I’ve tested the paddles over the years and Im.satisfied that the 250 cm Kalliste works best for me. I stopped sharing information because I was told a Tsunami won’t go that fast, the GPS isn’t that accurate, speed depends on factors such as winds and tides (which I’ve

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Paddle length, body size, and paddling technique I have come to accept is a tangled mess. Quick history. I started kayaking with a 24" Tsunami 125. I was told to get a 230cm. It immediately felt too short, based on, well, nothing. I returned it and got a 240cm. This was a mistake. I am 6’ tall, but with a 32" inseam and a tall back, so I sit up higher than a typical six footer. I began to distrust charts.

Then I switched a 22" wide WS Tempest 175. I began using a 220cm paddle which felt pretty much okay, but I began to adopt a more high angle technique. I switched to a 210 Cyprus CF, which was okay, but I felt I could handle something larger. Then came a 215 Correyvrecken CF. I was only doing 2-3 hour outings, so it never felt like too much blade.

Then I decided I just wanted an inflatable puddle jumper, and got an Aquaglide Chelan 120 at 36" wide. I still use the 215 Correyvreckon with a hybrid high angle technique. I have a garage full of paddles. Start your own collection. Good luck.

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Which I’ve factored in by testing in aocatiin that has two, two mile legs around a point that has a 1/4 mile section across the point. One leg is influenced by tide only, and the other side is influenced by tide and a constant current of about .5 mph from a river. If the wind is northerly or southerly, one side will be with wind, and the otber is against. If its from another quarter, its on a lee side or windward side, or split.

The closest course I can get to balanced. I’m absoluty confident in which paddle is best for me. In my opinion, paddle dimensions depend on an individuals physical build, body proportions, endurance, slow and fast twitch muscles, the resistance of the boat, and the style of kayaking, whether it’s white water, riding waves, hauling, racing, or paddling flat water
One size doesn’t fit all. Everyone is entitled to express, but its shocking to me when members dismiss long paddles as tool of the uninformed, the ignorant, or someone who doesn’t know how to use a paddle

I have a bad left shoulder with two tendons that are still detatched, yet I prefer a 250 cm. After a layoff of several years while I recovered from the shoulder injury, I started therapy not being able to lift a one pound weight with my left arm. I didnt start until July last year, but after 20 trips, I was within .5 mph avg of my best times ov er that course. This year, after 3 trips, I’m .1 mph off last year’s avg.

Comments that I’ve made about improving speed are typically met with “speed isn’t everything”. I get it! I can see why average speed isn’t necessary to someone taking pictures, exploring nature, just relaxing, surfing waves, or running rapids, and I understand that anyone into racing kayaks already has it figured out.

Paddledog52, much of the progress and knowledge about paddles and paddling that I made last year and this year is a result if out discussions over the past year since I joined the forum. I appreciate and value those discussions.

I understand that long paddles are not for everyone. Its not necessary for High Angle, can be hard on shoulder joints if the surface area of the blade is too great, is not for everyone if you don’t have the strength to handle the increased length. What I consider sad is how long paddles are typically dismissed, even for someone who is 6’3" paddling a 32 " boat.

Used properly, the long blade doesn’t cause the kayak to waddle, in fact it facilitates sweep stokes that can help control the boat in 10-15 knot winds gusting to 20 knots. Regarding the long paddle being tiring, notice the graph I included earlier doesn’t show significant change in speed despite an ebbing tide, an outgoing river current on the right track or a significant wind coming out of the south. That’s in my 145 Tsunami. For transparency and in fairness, I know of one other person who can push a Tsunami faster, using High Angle in a shorter paddle with a larger blade. Long paddles aren’t the only way to paddle, its not fair advice to dissuade a person from trying a longer blade.

Forum is about opinions. Nothing sad about opinions. Whoever’s reading can use which ever opinion they choose or none.

I would never buy a non-adjustable paddle again after having one.

Jyak, you must be an engineer.

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