Kayak Paddle Length-how to Pick the Right Size

So, you’re on vacation and want to spend a lot of time on the water. Then Kayaking is the very thing that can make your vacation more thrilling and enjoyable. Having a kayak that is correctly sized can make your kayaking experience memorable. You have to decide what length of kayak paddle can provide you more comfort and excellent experience despite choosing a brand or model.

Because a short paddle from a well-known brand can harm your hands on the sides of the kayak, on the contrary, a too long kayak paddle can add extra strain to your shoulders. The experience of zig-zagging the kayak in the water can be exhausting. So, let’s know in detail about kayak paddle length-how to pick the right size.

Kayak paddle length-How to pick the right size

The first thing that you have to consider while picking the right size is your height and the second one is the width of the boat. However, we often face difficulties measuring the width, but it’s an easy way to know the exact length of a kayak from its widest point. So, we’re going to depict the kayak paddle length-how to pick the right size.

Body Stature

Using your torso height to determine the best working paddle for kayaking is the best idea. In case your torso height is between 22”-26”, you can use a paddle length of 180-200 cm. the paddle length of 200-230 cm will be comfortable to use for the users having torso height of between 28”-30”.

If your torso height is somewhere in between 32”-36” then choosing a paddle length of 220-250 cm will be a great option. The thing is, it is not just your torso height that matters in choosing paddle length, but your feet length is equally important while determining the size of the paddle.

Kayak Design

A great kayaking experience depends more on maintaining proper paddling on the boat. If the kayak design is up to the mark, then there is no question about it that you’re going to experience one of the best kayaking in your life.

The width of the kayak paddle is proportional to its length. This measurement is very important to provide a great balance in the kayak. Moreover, there are many more variables that come into consideration. A person who is short in height may need a wide kayak, and the taller person may need less wide kayak, but for both people, the same length of the paddle is required.

What’s about the Stroke angle?

So, if you prefer a higher stroke while taking entry to the water, it’ll stimulate more power with a less acute angle. But a lower stroke angle can be suitable for normal touring with your kayak. In the case of the former style, a shorter paddle would be used for the same paddler in the same kayak.

But in terms of the latter, a slightly longer would be used. The ideal paddle length depends on various factors like the physical shape of the paddler, paddling style of individuals, type of the boat, and so on.

On-Water Method


Before going for a final adventure with your kayak, some demo days will help you a lot to test the perfect paddling of a kayak. Once you cope up with the perfect paddle length, the kayaking experience will be smooth and easygoing for you.

You can try a few different lengths of the paddle and choose the best one for you after you’re done with choosing a perfect boat for you. So, you won’t choose a popular paddle for poor performance when you’re a new bee. But a cheap kayak paddle under 100 dollars can be a good option to start your kayaking. It is more important for a beginner to choose the perfect size and have a great kayaking experience.

Quick-Pick Method

In order to determine the proper length of paddle to use, there are two quick and accurate on-shore methods available. However, you should bend your elbows in tight angles having a normal paddling posture.

And make sure that your shoulder is two or three hands away from the center of the shaft of the blade. And proceeding with the second method, you have to choose a paddle that you think of the right length and afterward stand it vertically alongside you. The first joint of your fingers should hook over the top edge of the blade.

By the Numbers

Selecting the right paddle length depends on many factors like the paddlers’ body size, paddling style, and oat size. The more you experiment with different size paddle and length, the easier it gets to select the best paddle for you to offer the best kayaking experience to you.

Height of below 5 feet to 5 feet 5 inches can use a paddle of 210-229 cm. People with a height of 5 feet 5 inches to 6 feet or above can feel comfortable with the paddle length of 220-240 cm.

Final Words

Selecting the perfect paddle length is totally up to the user and his experience. However, we have generalized the process of knowing the kayak paddle length-how to pick the right size. Just numerical measurement is not the best consideration while choosing the best size.

It depends on the number of persons on the boat, the place where you are kayaking, its surroundings, and many more. A perfect length kayaking paddle can offer you the best kayaking experience, and there is no room for doubt on that. A great experience relies on how easily you can turn the boat and handle it while kayaking, and it is a perfect length paddle that can give you this smooth experience.