paddle length?

Hello all, I had an idea and wanted to get some feed back from some of the more experienced yakers here. I’ve been paddle fishing for the last 8 months or so and thought that by this time my paddling strokes would have become a little more effienct but to little avail. However, on my last outing with a fellow yaker I began to realize that my problem may be due to paddle length. I yak from a Scupper pro TW and use a 230 paddle. I believe that is too long. I stand 5’-6" and have a 32" inseam. As you can guess I have a rather short torso. On the other hand I have long arms…I’m not sure what my reach is but I do have a clear advantage while boxing other people my own height. :wink: I tend to gravitate toward a more “high angle” style of paddling. I’ve notice that in order for me to be able to paddle straight I have to hold the paddle very high. It’s centered almost at my neck. When I paddle with the paddle closer to the center of my chest my strokes are very bad and I tend to pearl to the left a little more. I think I would be better off with a 210 or a 215 if I can find one. What say you?

That is really hard to say with your
dimensions , plus the boat. Can you borrow or rent different lengths to try?

A well stated question
I am a high angle paddler, so perhaps I can help you with this. I used to Canoe a lot, and that habit of having one hand chest level is too hard to break. There is no such thing as right or wrong, between high or low angle, it all depends on what is right FOR YOU.

The best way I know of to decide on paddle length, is to paddle with your eyes closed, and ask your partner to tell you how much of your paddle is actually in the water. I am 5-10, and I use a 215cm paddle length. I could easily get away with a 210, but the ofsets on the crank shaft were too close together for me on the shorter crank shaft.

As you are doing your normal stroke, the paddle blade should be totally in the water, but the end of the blade that is attached to the shaft should be at the water line.

If when you do your normal stroke, the blade is burried real deep in the water, then you need a shorter shaft. If you only have part of the blade in the water, you need a longer shaft.

When I realized my last paddle was too long for me, I kept moving the drip rings until when I paddled they just were hitting the water. This gave me a reference point to judge total length. I then measured the blade length, and measured the distance between the two drip rings. I added the shaft drip ring length, to 2 blade lengths, and that gave me the starting point of the paddle length I ended up with. Since I wanted a crank shaft paddle, I ended up with a slightly longer paddle than I wanted, but it fits me well, and works fine for me.

You first must define your paddle style, high, verses low, and then focus on finding what length works best for you. Ask if you have more questions!

Happy Paddling!

wjlatsha, you made a great point, thanks a bunch. I will give that a try. Thanks to all others who have posted also…

230 is way too long for your height.
I am 5’9" and use a 220 touring and 213 wing.

See if you can try a 215