How to Size a Kayak Paddle | Important Approaches You Should Follow

How to Size a Kayak Paddle | Important Approaches You Should Follow. Keep reading to learn more.

Your fiberglass kayak paddle is as substantial as the kayak itself. Worldwide, Kayakers depend on their paddles to help them get through the water safely and return home.

An incorrectly sized kayak paddle puts you in danger of not having control over your kayak or of turning a fun adventure into a tiresome outing. Use this kayak paddle length guide to study how to choose the right size kayak paddles.

Why Kayak Paddle is Important

If you choose the wrong size paddle for your kayak, you risk losing the following.

how to pick correct size kayak paddle


Your peace of mind is essential to a successful kayaking trip. A necessary part of that peace of mind lies in the way you handle paddles. If they are too long, you may not be able to lift and move them quickly. Many short paddles can cause hand and knuckle injuries from rubbing the boat or back wounds from bending over too much to get to the water.


If you can’t use your kayak paddles properly, you could end up trapped in the water. Navigation, turning, and direction of your kayak depend on precise paddle use.

Ease of use

Many components come into play when sizing the kayak paddles, including fishing and experience level. If you choose a paddle designed for active sailors or deep-sea kayakers while you are a beginner getting ready for your first informal trip on the lake, you will likely encounter some hardships. Get the best fishing kayak.

How to Size a Kayak Paddle

The paddle’s precise length depends on a few factors: your height, kayak width, and the type of kayak you are going to do. Whitewater uses shorter paddles for fast turns and light acceleration, while tours use longer paddles for smooth and efficient strokes.

Many outdoor stores hire staff with paddle sizing experience if you require more assistance in choosing the right kayak paddle.

Measure the width of your kayak

The first thing to do in kayak paddle sizing is to understand your kayak.

To get the most accurate measurement of the width of your kayak, measure at its widest point. In most cases, the more comprehensive a kayak is, the more extended your paddle will have to be to get into the water on both sides without putting too much pressure on your body.

When you have an accurate measurement of your kayak’s width, use that number to calculate the preferred paddle length for you by comparing it to your torso and body height.

Find your body measurements.

For the most part, taller people will require longer paddles and shorter paddles. Your height and boat’s width affect the paddle’s angle, which you should use to choose the correct paddle height.

You can use a measurement system exclusively, but to get impressive results, we suggest measuring your body height and complementing that measurement with your torso height to find a corresponding size within the two height ranges on the kayak paddle size chart.

Measure your torso height

Follow these rules to know your torso’s right height:

Bend your head down. Use your hands to find the upper vertebrae, where the shoulders are with the neck.

Find the lower torso by measuring your lower back. To do this, place your hands on all of your hip bones with your index fingers and thumb pointing backward.

Visually assess the space between all of your thumbs.

Stand up straight and ask someone to use a tape measure slowly to measure the distance from your upper vertebra and the imaginary line through your lower back.

Round up your torso measurement to the nearest inch and use it as a starting point for the paddle size. Also, take into consideration the sit-on top kayak paddle length.

  • Twenty-two inches: try a paddle about 180 centimeters long. You will usually find this size in the juvenile part.
  • Twenty-four inches: look for a paddle between 180 and 200 centimeters long.
  • Twenty-six inches: you should look for a palette between 190 and 210 centimeters long.
  • Twenty-eight inches: look for a paddle between 200 and 220 centimeters long.
  • Thirty-two inches: look for a paddle between 220 and 240 centimeters long.
  • Thirty-four inches: choose a pallet that is between 230 and 250 centimeters long.
  • Thirty-six inches: find a pallet that is between 240 and 250 centimeters long.
  • Thirty-eight inches: you will probably feel more practical with a trowel that is 250 centimeters long.

Measure your body height

Calibrate your height to the nearest inch. Then, proceed to compare this measurement with the width of your kayak to find the precise size.

  • If you have 5 feet 5 inches or less and your kayak is
  • Twenty-three inches wide or less: try a paddle that is 210 centimeters wide.
  • Try a 24 to 32 inches wide paddle: that means 220 centimeters wide.
  • Try a 29 to 33 inches wide paddle: that is 230 centimeters wide.
  • Thirty-four inches or more: try a 240-centimeter wide paddle.
  • If you reach 5 feet and 5 inches and 5 feet and 11 inches protruding, and your kayak is 
  • Twenty-three inches wide or less: try a paddle that is 230 centimeters wide.
  • Try a 24 to 32 inches wide paddle: that is 240 centimeters wide.
  • Try a 29 to 33 inches wide paddle: that is 250 centimeters wide.
  • Thirty-four inches or more: try a 20-inch wide paddle.
  • If you are 6 feet or more and your kayak is
  • Twenty-three inches wide or less: try a paddle that is 220 centimeters wide.
  • Try a 24 to 32 inches wide paddle: that is 230 centimeters wide.
  • Try a 29 to 33 inches wide paddle: that is 250 centimeters wide.
  • Thirty-four inches or more: try a 260-centimeter wide paddle.

Paddling style

For those who choose the waves, a shorter axis with a narrower blade should be the order of the day.

This facilitates faster side-to-side shifts and offers riders the ability to make explosive wind turbines with paddling capability when it is paramount.

You may not have as much range, but you will be more agile and better able to perform than surfing. You also have the possibility of being advised to choose for a tighter diameter shaft that achieves to reduce fatigue with the grip throughout the sessions.

If you are a touring enthusiast, then a more extended shaft, for greater reach, with a broader blade, which provides more significant water movement, would be a good selection.

Covering a longer distance with less effort will make travel times more effective and less body strain.

Tips for Kayaking

Low angle paddles vs. high angle paddles

Also, consider is whether you plan to paddle the lower angle or high angle paddling.

If you are unsure whether a paddle is preferable to a paddle at a prominent or low angle, most developers list the suspected use on the product label.

Low angle paddling

At this point, the low-angle procedure is perfect for long runs in soft water.

When you row at a low angle, you use the lever on your oar to hold the subtly tiled shaft while your dominant hand remains below the shoulder level at all times.

Kayakers in the water for distraction, rather than for sport or adrenaline-fueled adventure, usually choose to paddle at a low angle and, in most cases, drive from the back of the kayak.

High angle paddling

  • Rowing at a prominent angle is much more accelerated and rigorous than the low-angle procedure.
  • The strokes are short, precise vertical movements, usually completed from the front of the kayak.
  • If you are a prominent angle paddler, you use the water closest to the boat with fast and exciting movements.
  • Oars with short shafts and wider paddles are special for paddling at high angles since they move through the water more slowly and lightly than longer oars.
  • Prominent-angle kayakers practice kayaking for sport or agility, such as in competitive races, whitewater tours, and trips with deeper water conditions.

Materials and Kayak Design

The structure of your shovel matters as much as its size. When choosing your new pallet, consider the materials that make up the blade and shaft, thus designing the pallet.

How to Size a Kayak Paddle

Palette and shaft options

The material of your paddle blade plays a substantial role in its performance, as well as in your ability to handle it comfortably. Several of the most common paddle blade materials are next.


Fiberglass is a favorite among kayakers because it is lightweight and spectacularly durable but more affordable than other materials.


Aluminum belongs to the superior paddling materials for kayak beginners because it is very productive. However, aluminum paddles are usually very heavy, which makes them challenging to handle for many.

Carbon fiber kayak paddle:

Carbon or graphite fiber paddles are more expensive than other paddles and are a little less straightforward to find, but are among the lightest paddles available.


Wooden trowels are exceptional for their style, strength, and durability but are commonly more expensive than other types of trowels.


Plastic is another paddle material for beginners. Although it does not tend to be as enjoyable as other paddles, it is accessible and generally swift.

Some paddles allow you to adjust the fading level manually. Featherless blades do not turn and have no movement. Some kayakers choose a feathered paddle because of its ability to cross the wind. Others prefer a non-feathered paddle because it is simpler to use and does not strain the wrist as much.

Wing paddles:

Runners and competition kayakers use wing paddles exclusively because they offer a powerful forward stroke. However, for occasional recreational use, wing paddles do not tend to be the preferred alternative.

Dihedral Paddles: 

Dihedral paddles have a high score, or spine, in the center that helps distribute the water flow in a suiting manner on each side of the paddle. While this creates less resistance, it also creates less safety. Navigation is somewhat more complicated with dihedral blades.

Straight vs. Bent Shaft

Straight axis:

Most of the pallets you see have straight axes. If you have a practical, slow motion with the right torso rotation, then a straight shaft should fit you very well.

Bent shaft:

If you have wrist problems or notice that paddling with a straight shaft strains your joints, you may want to look for paddles with bent grip surfaces that provide a more deductive hand angle along your paddle stroke.

Blade Quill

In front of you, the paddles can be displaced at different angles and appear to be mismatched.

This is called feathering. Several believe that feathering gives rowers the ability to cut through the wind in the forward stroke.

Others believe that feathering is simply a more natural way of rowing, offering their wrists a neutral position throughout their rowing time.

This would also avoid injury or harm since it would prevent recurrent wrist flexion.

How to Size Kayak Paddles: FAQ

What size paddle for kayak do I need?

The primary component that you should consider when knowing your kayak paddle’s length is its height, followed by the kayak’s width.

If you are in a Whitewater kayak, please refer to the following table. Keep in mind that quite a few people use a shorter paddle style for boating and freestyle. A larger paddle size is better used for running in rivers and streams.

What are the best paddles for kayaking?

  • Werner Camano 2 PC Straight Paddle (better overall)
  • Carlisle Magic Added Kayak Paddle (best value paddle)
  • Aqua-Bound Manta Ray Carbon Posi-Lok 2 Piece Kayak Paddle
  • Bending Branches Angler Classic (the best palette for fishing)
  • Carlisle Expedition Fiberglass Paddle (best for travel)
  • Werner Kalliste Carbon 2-Piece Paddle (best-bent shaft)
  • Advanced Elements Compact Touring Kayak Paddle
  • Seattle Sports 060295 SeaWhisper Carbon Kayak Paddle
  • SeaSense X-TREME1 Kayak Paddle (the best economic paddle)

Check out the best kayak paddle with all details.

How do I know what size kayak I need?

In general, the larger and tighter the kayak, the faster and straighter it will go. A kayak is more permanent and more comfortable to turn if it is broader and shorter, but it can sacrifice agility. If you are a beginner at kayaking, a wider kayak may be an acceptable alternative to beginners as you get used to being in the water.


The paddles of your kayak are too indispensable in this custom; there is no doubt that these paddles have a colossal clash concerning their rowing style and so on this planet.

To have a pleasant experience, it is a requirement that you choose the volume of your paddle well. Otherwise, it can be a disaster.

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