Whitewater paddles in a sea kayak

When it comes to a high angle stroke in a sea kayak what are the main advantages to getting a longer sea kayak paddle?

I have a really solid bent shaft carbon whitewater paddle about 197cm long, and I prefer to have a high angle stroke. How significant is the power difference, between the 210cm sea kayak high angle paddle, and the 197cm whitewater paddle?

Try it

– Last Updated: Feb-18-08 6:32 PM EST –

Depending on the boat and your size, the 197 might work just fine. It just needs to be long enough that you're not bending side-to-side to reach the water. I'd rather use a paddle that was slightly too short than one that was too long.

I’m sure you will get more informed
answers than mine.I started paddling a 12’ boat with a paddle that had wide blades like a ww paddle.No problem.I got a 17’ sea kayak , paddled a few miles with that paddle and thought my arms were coming out of the sockets.My take was that all that surface area increased the stress to my shoulders.That and I was a new paddler without a clue.

I traded for a longer, more narrow paddle and never had the problem again.

For euro paddles, and whatever form stroke you are using, any paddle length in excess of that needed to fully bury the paddle blade in the water for the complete working part of the stroke is wasted length.

Basically, sort of, lots of caveats apply.

I use a 197 Onno Surf Paddle
Even when I paddle long distances in my touring boat.


I found disadvantages
with longer larger blade seakayak paddles, mainly fatigue after 10 miles or so. I am ok after 20-25 miles with a whitewater paddle.

And I am fine for 20-25 miles with
a longer bladed paddle. Kind of like bent shaft vs straight. Use what feels best for you.

You got the paddle, just go out and use it. That’ll tell you way more than any responses here. :slight_smile:

Personally, I have taken to using my 191 ww paddle in a long boat. If I really need a wide sweep, I extend the paddle.


Tried it, liked it
My sea kayak is inches narrower than my ww boats, so why not give it a try? I liked it. Among the advantages are that it feels a lot faster/easier to set up the roll (paddle dexterity) in wipeouts. What power you lose in leverage, you pick up in blade area.