Ultimate Guide to Choosing How Long Should Your Kayak Paddle Be

Ultimate Guide to Choosing How Long your Kayak Paddle Be

Aside from choosing the best kind of kayak for your type of fishing adventure, you also have to choose the right kayak paddle to use. It will include factors such as the shape of a kayak paddle, the materials used to make it, and its length.

Choosing how long should your kayak paddle be will also depend on certain factors so you can come up with the most efficient one to use with your kayak when you go boating.

Choosing Kayak Paddle Size by Paddling Style

Choosing how long should your kayak paddle be will depend on your paddling style when you go kayaking. It is a factor to consider to make sure that paddling can be comfortable for you.

  • Low Angle Paddling Style

Low angle paddling style is deemed to be the most common paddling technique for kayak touring. It is a relaxed paddling style and is also low cadence that can allow you to paddle efficiently to long distances with less fatigue. This paddling technique creates a more horizontal and flatter angle of the paddle blade in the water. It means that you will need a narrow paddle blade and a short kayak paddle.

  • High Angle Paddling Style

High angle paddling style is more vertical compared to the low angle paddling style. It is more aggressive for both maneuverability and power and has a faster cadence. This paddling technique is used in moving water when both maneuverability and acceleration are important. Since high angle paddling will require a sufficient force in every stroke, longer kayak paddles are needed.

Choosing Kayak Paddle Length by Kayak Size

Ultimate Guide to Choosing How Long your Kayak Paddle Be

When you choose how long should your kayak paddle be, the physical size of the kayak you are going to use should be taken into account. It is important to make sure that you get the right length that can be effective for paddling.

You can use the standard widths of the typical kayak types as a reference in choosing how long should your kayak paddle be.

  • Performance Kayaks

Most performance kayaks are long and have a narrow hull. They are mostly about 19 inches to 22 inches in width. This kayak width will require a kayak paddle that is about 210 centimeters to 230 centimeters long.

  • Touring Kayaks

Touring kayaks are designed to have more capacity compared to other types of kayaks. It is usually built longer but just a little wider compared to performance kayaks. Touring kayaks are typically with a width of about 22 inches to 25 inches. This type of kayak will need a kayak paddle about 220 centimeters to 240 centimeters long.

  • Recreational Kayaks

Recreational kayaks are built to be short but wider than other types of kayaks. They have widths that range from 26 inches to about 30 inches. When you choose how long should your kayak paddle be for a recreational kayak, it should be between 230 centimeters to 250 centimeters long.

Wider boats basically need longer kayak paddles. While you can use this sizing guide, you can also measure the width of your kayak to know how long should your kayak paddle be before you buy anything.

Choosing Kayak Paddle Length by Type of Paddler

Ultimate Guide to Choosing How Long your Kayak Paddle Be

Another factor to consider when choosing how long should your kayak paddle be is the torso length of the paddler. You can measure this by sitting up straight on a flat chair and measuring the distance between the surface of the chair and your nose. If your torso length is small, then you will only need a short kayak paddle. The fitness level of the paddler should also be taken into account.

  • Small Paddlers

For small paddlers or the type of paddlers who don’t take speed seriously, what is required are paddles with a blade that has less surface area. However, for the ones who want more power, larger blades are better.

  • Heavier and Taller Paddlers

For heavier and taller paddlers, a wider blade and longer kayak paddles are better. It can move the weight of the paddler efficiently.

  • Athletic Paddlers

For more athletic paddlers, it is more efficient to use shorter kayak paddles that have a wider set of blades to use the additional horsepower it can provide.

These set of considerations can help you choose the ideal length of kayak paddle for your type of kayaking activity. However, when you already have a kayak paddle, the best way to make sure if you have the ideal length is to hold it horizontally. Your elbows should be bent at about 90 degrees. Your hands should be about two-thirds between the shaft’s center and the blade’s shoulder.

Still, the best method to determine if a particular kayak paddle length is ideal for you is to test it out in the water. You can read articles about kayak and fishing in our website for a few tips and guidelines as well.