SOT Paddle Length? Tarpon 28 inches wide

How much longer of a paddle would you folks suggest when using a Tarpon 160 than a sit in kayak? I normally paddle a 22" and a 24" wide kayak. When paddling those I use a 215cm Werner high angle and a Onno that I keep around 220cm. I stretched the Onno out to 224cm and it still felt too short. I’m guessing 230cm might be a good fit but was hoping to hear from others that paddle this boat. String you reading this?


should work

– Last Updated: May-02-15 1:30 AM EST –

I normally use a 213 cm and a 220 cm Greenland with my SINK kayaks which run 21" to 23". But I used to double paddle the bow in a Mad River tandem Adventure 16 canoe, which is close to a sit on top (molded plastic, low sides, kayak -ike gunwales) where the clearance was about 28" across (measured it) and I found a 230 cm Werner Skagit standard paddle worked just fine. Have also used that length with a 27" wide folding kayak.

I realize that is not as good of a recommendation as from somebody with an actual Tarpon, but since we prefer the same length paddle for our SINK's, I figured we must have similar metrics and size preferences so I'd weigh in on my experience with 230's in wider boats.

Perception Pescador
I paddle a 12’ Perception Pescador which is made from the 2008 Tarpon mold; it’s 30" wide. I’m currently paddling a 230cm and looking for a 240cm. I paddle a high angle stroke and tend to get a lot of excessive drip from the high side of the paddle. I think the limit of 230cm is why I can’t get the drip rings far enough out to keep from dripping on me, yet close enough in that I don’t dip them under and get water over the top of the rings. I’m looking for a good sale price on a carbon shaft Manta Ray in 240cm.

230 cm
Should work fine on a 28" wide boat.

Yes. I use a 212 in my T160.
I can do that because I am tall with wide shoulders. I started with a 240 a long time ago, went to a 230 then got an adjustable Onno and kept experimenting until I got it right for me. At 210 I would whack my knuckles on the handles.

I typically am a high angle paddler.

215 was good for my Tarpon 160
I don’t have the boat any more but a 215 with a high angle stroke was best and it kept up with the sea kayaks just fine. I think the key is that you learn high angle stroke form. Many white water boats are over 26 inches wide and are rarely paddle with anything longer than 200 cm.

Fo surfing I liked a 205 with the Tarpon best.


– Last Updated: May-03-15 11:54 PM EST –

Thank you all for the feedback, and for the measuring Willowleaf. I got out with some other paddlers yesterday and luckily got to try a 230 and a 240. It was only my second time on the boat and my first time with some new thigh straps. I really liked the thigh straps, they make a huge difference for boat control. What they also do is move my legs out a bit into my stroke when I have them hooked up. With my legs braced way out in the straps the 240 felt good. When only slightly braced the 230 was good. When I traded back for my Onno stretched out to 224 it felt ok. I'll have to spend some more time in it to get a decent feel. As for a vertical stroke I found I threw a lot of water on to myself when I did that and preferred to keep it low. I was planning on ordering a new paddle right away but I think I'll wait until I get some more time in and get a chance to play with a few more paddles.

As I said, I have a vertical stroke
and it will put some water on you. One reason SINK paddlers wear skirts. But we have scuppers.

A secret wheapon for the Tarpon
Try a 48 inch bent shaft single blade for all water that is calm emough to be below your elbows. I bet you will love it and get more miles in a day because of it. The double is still best with rough stuff or for sprints.

And another thing. The tarpon was made for a rudder. Get one and try it out. In certain conditions you’ll be glad you did. I used the Crack of dawn and the hobie rudder with very good results.

Single blade?
That sounds like something interesting to try, never considered that. Thanks.

Mine has a rudder on it. I haven’t paddled on flat water with a lot of wind yet but so far I haven’t found the need for it. I engage the hull a fair bit so it tracks quite nicely. I also found it pretty responsive to edging. Too bad it’s so slow, other than that I’m really liking it.