Paddle Size Guide

Having the correct paddle size can make all the difference. But how do you know what paddle size will suit you best?

Kayak Paddles

First, determine the length and width of your boat. These factors combined with your height will be the key factors in finding the correct length of paddle for you.

When measuring your kayak, make sure you measure it at its widest point. You will need a different length depending on if you’re a high-angle or low-angle paddler. These width and height combinations are intended for the best use of recreational and touring paddle shapes.

Refer to the chart below to find the best length of paddle depending on your paddling style.

SUP Paddles

Blackwater SUP Paddles are versatile not only in style, but also in size. Every paddle is adjustable, meaning your paddle can be used by multiple paddlers in a multitude of circumstances.

To find your paddle size, use the "giraffe method". Put your paddle blade firmly on the ground, with the shaft vertically in front of you. Hold your arm above your head with a limp wrist, forming a giraffe with your arm. Adjust the shaft so that the handle sits comfortably in your palm. Ideally, for flat-water paddling, the paddle should be 8-10 inches taller then you. This ensures that your blade is treading the most amount of water without the discomfort of the shaft being too short or too tall.

Having a correctly sized paddle will give you distance and power!

Canoe Paddles

The most important part of finding the correct size for your canoe paddle, is to take into consideration how high or low the seats are mounted in the canoe. Keep in mind, that you will most likely be sitting in a canoe, or, potentially kneeling.

To find the right canoe paddle for you, first, find a flat chair or you can choose to be seated on the ground. Sit straight and put the paddle vertical, with the blade up, handle down, in front of you (if you are sitting on the floor, put the handle on the ground, if you are sitting on a chair, put the handle between your legs on the flat chair). Grab the paddle so that your hand is level with your eyes. Your hand should be a fist length away from the blade. If it is, that is the size you should paddle with, if it is much farther away from or closer to the blade, grab either a smaller paddle or a bigger paddle.

If you do not have a paddle or paddle options you can physically compare, you can also measure your torso and determine the size you would need based off the chart below.

Bent Shaft: The size difference between a bent shaft and a straight shaft is 4”. If you know your size in a straight shaft, the bent shaft alternative will be 4” shorter, and vice versa.

Dragon Paddles

When finding the perfect sized Dragon Boat Paddle, it is highly recommended to get the opinion of your coach, as the correct paddle size may change depending on where in the boat you are seated as well as your paddling style.

There are many variables that go into finding the perfect DB paddle. To start, choose a paddle that sits right at your sternum. There are recommended sizes depending on your height (see chart below), however that will change depending on where you sit in the boat and how far out of the boat you are leaning while paddling. Typically, people who are more experienced paddlers will feel more comfortable leaning farther out of the boat, therefore, needing a shorter paddle then someone who is less comfortable. Paddle length may also change depending on your body type and how you are positioned while paddling.