Paddle length

How do I figure out what paddle length to get?

Your height, kayak width, deck height, type of waters paddled, physical injury history-if any, personality?

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

Canoe or kayak? nm

Profile says kayak so…
this site may help.

Details on me
I have a rec kayak and a cheap paddle from the store now but plan on getting a Cuda 12 or 14 in a couple of months. I borrowed one last week for a 4 night trip at lake Jocassee. … When I get the new or used Cuda, I was think’n of a new paddle too.

I’m 5’7" or do I need to go by torso height since I’ll be sitting?

Lakes and inlets will be where I use the kayak.

Oh I also
Have had three back surgeries. So I don’t plan on doing anything over 10 miles. … I’ll be sure to check out that Werner site too!


Cuda width

– Last Updated: Oct-28-15 3:20 PM EST –

at 31" on the Cuda 12, your height and history of back problems, likely a 240cm is best. Get something with a nice swing weight, likely fiberglass (light) or carbon blades (very light).

See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY

I would think a …
230-240cm paddle would be about right for you and the new boat. You’ll want a quality paddle and they can be expensive. Some good value:cost paddles I’ve been impressed with are the AquaBound touring paddles. Nice ferrule, two blade sizes to choose from, carbon or fiberglass.

You can see some of them here:

Real Easy Now A Days
Adjustable paddles are available, usually in 10 cm. increment lengths. So start out at the 220 - 230 cm and test out in the kayak you’ll be paddling. Shorter? Then go with 210 - 220 cm length or 200 -210 cm length. Rule of thumbs are inaccurate, for I first started out with a 230 cm Werner San Juan paddle many years ago and now my go for paddle is an Onno 198 cm fat blade wing. That’s a whopping difference of 32 cm. Most adjustables allow you to adjust the feather too: I started at 90 deg, went all the way down to 60 deg. for many years, then switched to 70 degrees, and now prefer 80 degrees. Most of these adjustables, like the Onno, allow you to go either left or right hand control, which might impact your desirable length. You might want to try indexing too. Have fun, for it will take many outings before deciding…

Adjustable is the way to go
I’ve got 3 ONNO wings, First one was a 220-230 with large blades, next I got a 210 -220 also with large blades, finally needed a 205 to 215 mid blades, for the surf ski. All are adjustable length and feather.

Another vote for adjustable
I use my Epic Relaxed 205 -215 for everything including surf, mild water, and flat water. At 5’10" I was first sold some 230 paddles but I’ll never need anything over 212.

I cannot figure out why they put rec boat paddles with 230 cm paddles. I sometimes heat it is because the boat is wide, but whitewater boats are very wide too and those paddlers think 200 cm is a really long paddle.

The best for the money
The length of paddle that works best for you and your boat is something you should try to work out before you spend the money for a new paddle. I’m guessing that either a 220, or 230 will probably be what will work best.

Anyway, you will have a tough time finding a better paddle for the money than a Carlisle Expedition. The suggested price is $179, but if you look around, you will probably be able to do a little better on the price.

OP kayaks
Keep in mind the OP was considering a Jackson Cuda 12 or 14. At 31" and elevated seating position from the water he’s going to need some shaft length to reach the water, regardless of it’s set or adjustable length.

'Course he could always stand and use a SUP paddle.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

I appreciate all the feedback.

I forgot to mention that the kraken 13.5 was in the running too. I think it’s going to be tough to narrow it down from these three. And I can’t forget about the paddle…