paddle length

200lbs 5’11" Tempest 170


In Short (pun)

– Last Updated: Jun-12-08 10:22 PM EST –

There are lot's of factors, but it will likely boil down to this... if you tend towards a lower angle stroke go 220cm, if you tend towards a higher angle style go 215cm.
I suspect 220cm will be your call, if you wanted/needed a 215 you probably wouldn't have to ask.

i think
you should try 210…I am your size and that is my pref in a euro.

But really, you should get an 86" GP! ; ))

possibly 210 for high angle
if you go too long you will never have decent body rotation, paddle stroke and you will work much harder for the same distance paddled.

Demonstrated by Nigel Dennis’s clinic here


Whatever you are comfortable with
or what the Pamlico 140 kid tells you. I use a 210cm Windswift, a 191cm Lendal and an 84in Mitchell Greenland Paddle in a Nordkapp.

I find it difficult to…
recommend a paddle length for others but do keep in mind that blade shape noticeably affects overall length.

For instance, my 210 Werner Kauai has a shaft length about 1/2’ longer than a friend’s 220 Werner Camano. The former is designed for a higher stroke while the latter is geared towards a lower stroke. Their blade shapes are decidedly different.

Many paddlers find their preference gravitates to shorter shafts as their stroke proficiency increases.

It’s really rather unlikely that your first paddle will be your final tool. All too easy to find oneself building a collection for different applications and moods!

Good luck and pleasant waters to you.


It’s a no brainer…
Get an adjustable one from 210 to 220.

Or are they too expensive for a Tempest?



Epic’s Paddle Wizard
is a good place to start:

Agree with Jack-get an adjustable, 210-220 mm., that way you’ll have freedom to experiment, with length and feather for a variety of boats.

I find this invaluable; my seating position in my SINK is different from the ski.

Depends on blade shape
but I’m your size and paddle a slightly lower volume kayak. I use a 210 Werner Cyprus.

Paddle lenght
It comes down to you mate. Are you a high angle paddler or a nice low paddler?

I had a tempest and I am 6 foot 2 and 102 kg. When I work I use a more of a high angle paddle stroke and use a 220 and a 230 when i am cusing with the mate (Low angle) i could go a little longer as my polar bear is 60cm wide.

Your boat is not that wide so the 230 gets you more in the power range of the stroke before you hit the glide phase

just try before you buy

paddle sizing
Here is the method I use to size paddles.


Is he a low or high angle paddler

took me back
to the era of silent movies!

Yikes I just bought my first kayak, a Manitou Necky, and my paddle is 230 mm and I’m 5’11". Sounds like it might be too long. The salesman sized my by telling me to stretch out my arm over my head, and choosing the paddle that my finger tips reached over. So that’s why I got a 230. I’ll just be paddling on flat water.

For some reason …
… many sales people recommend long paddles.

I’m 6’4" and my previous boat was 24.5" wide Tsunami. I found that 220cm was the max I could use without planting the blades way too deep with high angle stroke. 220 seems to work well for me for a more low-angle stroke (where the width of the boat does not matter that much compared to high angle, where the thinner the boat the shorter the paddle).

For rough water I would even be happy with a white water paddle that is even shorter…

230 may be too long for you, but if you paddle at a relaxed pace, I think it is fine. I had one of about 230 cm and I liked it but it was for slow relaxing paddling and it was shaped for very a low angle stroke. Totally up to you -:wink:

Nigel Dennis video
this video looks great, and I learned from it, but i am not getting any sound on either of my computers. Is there sound on this? Other youtube videos are playing sound.

in any case, thanks for that link

depends on your use

– Last Updated: Jun-16-08 1:56 PM EST –

people who race or like to go as fast as possible tend to prefer shorter paddles---210-215 range--with a high angle stroke(the shaft and blade held closer to the vertical) shorter tends to work better. People who do a lot of touring, including going in rough water and high winds where bracing becomes more important, tend to use a low angle stroke which works better for a longer paddle(220--230). May not be as big an issue as it seems---If you put a 220 beside a 215, you will notice very little difference in length---5 centimeters ain't much.

How much did you intend to spend on the paddle because not only does length make a difference but weight does too(probably even more so) The more expensive the paddle, the less it will weigh, which is a good thing.

what is the longest paddle you can get?

Your salesman

– Last Updated: Jun-17-08 12:49 PM EST –

probably isn't an experienced paddler.

I'm 5'9" with a 22" boat. I'm looking to get rid of my 220 and 215 because they're much too long for me. I've used my 196 whitewater paddle in this boat and been comfortable.

A paddle that's too long will make it harder to paddle straight, and to develop good technique.

IMO, a longer paddle doesn't make bracing easier -- it's harder to maneuver.

good paddles too