How to Size a Kayak Paddle- 7 Important Approaches You Should Follow

How to Size a Kayak Paddle

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Last Updated on July 16, 2020 by Michael J. Branco

It is very important for you to learn about the way to size a kayak paddle if you are fond of Kayaking. Besides being aware of what to look for in a kayak, a newcomer is also contested with knowing what the ideal paddle length to pick. Opinions vary slightly as to what is the most efficient length for a particular paddler even though the assortment of methods is fairly narrow and commonplace during the paddling community.  You are reading this article means you need to choose a kayak paddle. Therefore you have also need to learn how to size a kayak paddle.

Deciding the proper kayaking paddle length and proper kayak length to use is based on many elements, from body height to boat dimensions to paddle stroke taste.  Before getting into those dynamics, a few comments about how lengths are talking about. Choosing a kayak paddle is vital for kayaking. Check out our kayak paddle buyer’s guide.

The production average is to using metric units to size and label paddle lengths. Inform a fellow kayaker you use a 72.22″ paddle and you’ll probably get a blank stare.  Say you need a 220cm, nevertheless, and most everybody will instantly know — and image — what length you’re speaking about.

On the off chance that you are still somewhat corroded on your inborn metric change capacities, know this: 2.54 centimeters (cm) = 1″. Remember this when you are looking at the distinction long between a 220cm and a 230cm oar. We are speaking 3.9″; that is less than a 2″ difference on each end – out to the blade tip from the middle of the shaft.

Though slight, it may make a small but accumulative difference when you consider the ramifications that may result from using a paddle of less (or longer) than an optimum length: jeopardized form, banged knuckles, ineffective paddle angle or electricity face contact, and others.

Body Height

A good buddy of mine is precisely the same height, 6’7″ tall. We turned each other to new fishing kayaks out there we can comfortably lower our tall down frames into.  Despite our equivalent height, most of the time a super nice fit for one was an embarrassing contortion for another. What’s going on? 

The length of your chest becomes one of those components when using your height to determine which paddle length will work best for you personally.  Most tables chart listing only your height against different paddle lengths.  Taking your chest height into account too might help reaffirm what the height graphs suggest to get a suitable paddle length.

How to Size a Kayak Paddle

Design of the Kayak

In simple words, the wider the kayak paddled, the more the paddle needed.  To be able to maintain appropriate blade positioning in the water, then you have to have the ability to reach beyond the gunwales of your craft when maintaining appropriate paddling form.  You do not need to be banging your knuckles on the deck, nor do you really want too much or too little of the power surface of the blade in the water. An ideal kayak size can keep safe your kayaking.

Here again, there are many factors that are involved.  A briefer person in a broader boat may need exactly the exact same length of a paddle as does a taller person in a narrower kayak. Paddles in kayaks generally are more than those used in solo kayaks and so on.

Another variable is the height of the chair surface in relation to the gunwales.  Two kayakers of the exact same torso/height at precisely the same kayak may require unique paddles if the chair height was distinct in each boat.

what happens when you use too long of a paddle for kayaking?

Stroke Position Preference

Can you prefer a high stroke that brings the power face nearer to the other side of this boat in a less acute angle of entry into the water? Or, how do you enjoy the lower back angle often used for casual traveling that places the shaft in a more acute angle to the surface?  The same paddler, in precisely the same kayak, would use a slightly shorter paddle to the prior design, slightly longer for the latter.

It’s possible to observe that finding the ideal or optimal paddle length is dependent upon many different factors regarding the physical shape of the paddler, the person paddling style and the sort of boat with which the paddle is going to be used.  These are all grey areas that restrict any black & white announcement about which paddle length you should pick.

best kayak paddle for the money

On-Water Method

By farthest one of the best and ultimate method for determining that ideal length would be to get out on the water and paddle using appropriate techniques in a kayak, you’ll be using with your paddle.  Demo times are an excellent way that will assist you test paddle a kayak.  Most reps will have the ability to indicate a starting length of the paddle that you test.  Once you find a boat you want, you may choose to try out a couple of distinct lengths of paddles as well.

Examining a paddle will mean using proper form (torso twist, vertical posture, proper hand positioning, good forward and sweeping stroke fashions, etc.).  You do not wish to select a paddle based on bad paddling form.  Of course, the newcomer’s form you’ve acquired could be the end result of employing an improper length of the paddle from the beginning.

As you can see from the chart, the broader your boat, the longer your paddle should be.  If you’re tall, you’ll need a longer paddle, too.

Touring kayaks are extensive and steady, so you’ll need a lengthier paddle to be able to reach the water readily. Touring kayaks are thinner, and sea kayaks tend to be narrower yet, meaning that your paddle can be shorter because you have less reach toward the water.

Quantify your kayak’s diameter across its widest point.  If you’re kayak shopping, the manufacturers will record width as one of the specs of every boat.

High-Angle or Low-Angle Paddling?

Another factor will play a role in your paddle’s length: Are you currently a high-angle or a low-angle paddler?

High-angle paddling is antagonistic and quick. Since the strokes are more vertical, so your paddle ought to be shorter.  Whitewater kayakers and speed-lovers use high-angle strokes often.

Low-angle paddling is comfy and meant for long times on the water.  Your strokes are more horizontal and so your paddle needs to be longer.  Touring and recreational kayakers use mostly low-angle strokes.

whitewater kayak paddle length

How to Size Your Kayak Fishing Paddle

When you size a kayak paddle for fishing, then your boat’s width is going to be the most essential factor, as well as the height of your chair.

Fishing kayak boats are often wide and stable, and so demand a longer paddle.  You can use the exact same chart above, to start out with.  Then…is your seat height-adjustable?

If it is, you’ll need a paddle that has an adjustable ferrule–the paddle can subsequently be lengthened or shortened based on how your seat is adjusted.

Adjustable ferrules are generally used by kayak fishermen because of their versatility and ability to accommodate wider boats and adjustable seats.

Adjustable ferrules will also be great if there will be paddlers of different sizes with the same kayak. Or one paddler utilizing several kinds of kayaks. You must paddle a kayak in the right way.

Kayak fishing paddles are equipped with a wide, high-angle blade so you can paddle your gear-laden boat with ease.

260 cm kayak paddle

Quick-Pick Method

There are two quick and fairly accurate on-shore Techniques for determining a suitable length of paddle to use:

The first method entails holding your arms out, elbows bent at about right angles in ordinary paddling posture and grasping the paddle as you would ordinarily. 

Reach up with your arm fully extended, hooking your initial finger joints over the top border (tip) of the paddle.  If it’s possible to reach further/completely around the top edge or, conversely, if your fingers don’t even get to the top, choose a different length so.

best kayak paddles

By the Numbers

Here is an assembling of capacities from many paddles productions. That is cross-reference height and boat widths to suggest the proper range of paddle lengths to consider:

Choosing the right paddle length you should use depends upon many elements that depend upon your dimensions. Paddling style and type/size of boat.  The more you create and fine-tune your paddling. Experimentation with different paddles. The easier it’s going to be for you to determine what the best length for your paddle is. If you’re like most enthusiastic paddlers, you will have many in your toolbox from which to pick.

Now, deciding on the form of the blade, feathered/untethered and size a kayak paddle weight and material is a whole other relevant thing…

Be harmless; Have fun!

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