Kayak paddle is an important thing that you need to consider just like a kayak. Kayakers generally depend on these paddles that will help them navigate in the water safely as well as return home. But, the wrong sized kayak paddle will put your life at risk of not having any control over the kayak and turning your fun adventure into an uncomfortable outing. You can make use of the kayak paddle guide and see why the sizing of kayak matters and learn how to select the best paddle on the water.

When planning to buy the right paddle size you will not just have to determine the right length, but what type of paddle fits you the best, or what blade shape & ferrule is correct for you. Let us check out a few important things that you need to consider:

Why Do Your Kayak Paddle Size Matters?

If you are select the wrong sized kayak paddle, you risk losing the following things.

  • Control: If you cannot use the kayak paddles rightly, you may get stuck in the water for a long. Navigation, directing, and turning the kayak depending on the right use of the paddle.
  • Comfort: Comfort is important for the successful trip of the kayak. A big part of the comfort rests on the way you handle the paddles. Suppose your paddles are very long, you may find yourself not able to lift or move them easily. Suppose you find the paddles to be short then there will be problems with sore hands or knuckles from rubbing over the boat and back pain from leaning far to reach it.
  • Usability: Many factors will come into play when you are sizing the kayak paddles, which include experience level and angling. Suppose you select the paddle planned for the active boaters and deep-sea kayaking but you are the beginner getting ready for the first casual trip over the lake, probably you will run in a little difficulty.

Also Read: 7 Best Kayak Paddle Holders 2021

What Size of Kayak Paddle do You Need in Inches?

What Size Kayak Paddle Do I Need

Irrespective of the country or if you use the Metric or Imperial measurement system, the kayak paddles can be measured in cm and not inches. Just enter any store, you will talk about paddle size in centimeters—cm. Given are a few more considerations when it comes to choosing the right kayak paddle size:

Torso Height

When it comes to choosing the right paddle size, the first thing that you have to know is how much tall you are while sitting down. Many people have got different proportions, also two people being 6’4” standing may be of different heights while they sit down. The reason is some people will have good height in the legs, and some have good height in the torso. So, it is always better to make use of torso height when it comes to measuring your paddle length, as that is what affects you while you are paddling the boat.

Also, you can measure the torso height just by taking the flexible tape measure & running it with your back. The top of the torso is a bony bump at the base of the neck, where the shoulders meet. And the bottom of the torso will be square between your hip bones on top. This is the same number that you will use to size the backpack, hence it is one good thing that you need to know about how to enjoy the outdoors.

Kayak Width 

The kayak’s hull width is another important consideration that you need to check out when you are determining the right kayak paddle. If your yak is wider, then your paddle should be longer; it is that easy. Make sure you measure the kayak’s widest point to get an accurate reading.

Kayaking You Do 

The next way you can narrow down the paddle size is to check in the type of kayaking that you want to do doing –touring, recreational, performance, and whitewater. For example, in the rough waters or whitewater rapids, your control is very important; the shorter paddle fits a bill. The longer touring kayaks will need longer paddles since they help to generate higher stroke power. The recreational paddling falls in between.

Stroke Angle

Different people have got different styles of paddling. The high stroke angle will keep its blade close to the kayak. This gives you faster and shorter strokes. This moves your kayak much faster but will be tiring if you are precise in the paddling.

The low stroke angle will be relaxed and simple going kayaking. With the low stroke angle, the top hand will stay below shoulder level.

The high stroke angle generally will demand the shorter paddle, whereas the low stroke angle needs the longer one. You might find that a few blades will be shaped specifically for getting most from the low or high stroke. That is something you need to consider when you are looking for paddles, however not very important as finding the right sizing.

How Can You Size Up Your Paddle?

Suppose you’re buying the paddle from a store, then there are some fast and simple ways of sizing up the paddle length. Both the methods are very accurate and come in handy in case you do not have enough time and measuring the scale.

Step 1:

  • Hold your paddle upright with its ends placed firmly on the ground close to you. Then extend your arm a little up and curl the fingers over your paddle blade tip.
  • Make sure to wrap just one finger joint on its top. Suppose you wrap two or more finger joints, or fingers cannot reach its top, get the different sized paddle.

Step 2:

  • With your elbows bent hold your arms at the angle in front at a 90-degree angle as you do in the normal paddling position. And take hold of a paddle in both hands with a strong grip.
  • Ensure your hands to be two-thirds away from the middle of a kayak paddle to every end where this paddle shaft meets its blades. Suppose you need to move both your arms for getting the right position, try out the different paddles.

Final Words

When selecting the right size of paddle length generally depends on several factors that can be determined by the size, style, and type of boat you use. Once you develop & fine-tune the paddling or experiment with various paddles, it becomes a bit simple to decide the right length for the paddle. 

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