How To Determine The Size Of Kayak Paddles To Use

Do you know that poor choice of kayaking paddles can hamper your paddling adventure? Other than the model, it’s important to use kayak paddles that are of the right size. Just consider this for a minute: a short-sized kayak paddle may make you hit your hands against the vessel while a long-sized kayak paddle may be heavy to use. So, what would you rather use—long or short paddles? I guess your answer is none. So, how do you ensure that you buy the right paddle size so as to enjoy kayaking? Before you approach a kayak seller, you should do the following:

1. Measure the Width of Your Kayak

As a paddler, it’s important to get paddles that suit your kayak. Apparently, there is no standard width for all kayaks. Generally, kayaks’ widths depend on the kayak type. For example, recreational kayaks mostly measure 26″-30″ while touring kayaks measure 22″-25″ in width. On the other hand, fishing kayaks (measure 30″-40″ in width) and the performance kayaks (measure 19″-22″ in width). So, you should get kayaking paddles that match the dimensions of your vessel.

2. Measure Your Height

Usually, the longer you are, the longer the kayak paddle that’s recommended for you. If for example, your height is less than 5’2″, you should use a kayak paddle that is 188-194 cm long. If you are 5’2″-5’8″ tall, your perfect paddle size is 190-196 cm long. Lastly, if you are 6′ tall, then you need a kayak paddle that is 196-2014 cm long.

3. Measure Your Torso Size

To calculate your torso size, you should sit upright on a flat chair and determine the distance between the floor surface and your nose. If the value that you get is 22″-24″, you paddle size should be 190-210 cm. If the value is 26″, the paddle that suits you should be 190-210 cm. Other torso values are 28″, 30″, 34″, and 36″ where the recommended sizes for the kayak paddles are 200-220 cm, 220-240 cm, 240-250 cm, and 250 cm plus respectively.

4. Your Fitness level

Your fitness level is also important when you are choosing a kayak paddle. For instance, more athletic paddlers prefer shorter paddles with wide blades for the extra horsepower that they provide while heavier and taller paddlers want longer paddles with wider blades to allow them move their weight efficiently.


It’s very satisfying knowing that you can order kayaking paddles that match your size and that of your vessel. With the right paddle size, kayaking is fun. You get to do it easily without putting much effort.

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