Kayak Paddle Sizing Chart
Correct paddle size is essential to optimal kayak performance. If your paddle is too short, you'll be hitting your hands on the side of the kayak to reach the water. Too long and you won't be able properly guide your kayak. The following sizing charts will help you determine the correct paddle size for your kayak.
The standard unit for measuring paddle size is the centimeter (cm). There are 2.54 centimeters in 1 inch. All measurements below are expressed in cm.
The above charts provide suggested paddle length based on kayak width and kayaker height for both Low Angle and High Angle paddles.
- Low angle paddlesare ideal for sea kayaking, kayaking on lakes, kayaking in open rivers, and leisure kayaking.
- High angle paddles are used for whitewater kayaking, kayaking in fast flower water, and when maximum maneuverability is the objective.
Kayak paddle length based on kayaker height & kayak width
|Kayak Width||Under 5'||5'-5'6"||5'6"-6'||Over 6'|
|Under 23"||210 cm||215 cm||220 cm||220 cm|
|23"-28"||220 cm||220 cm||220 cm||230 cm|
|28"-32"||230 cm||230 cm||230 cm||240 cm|
|Over 32"||240 cm||240 cm||250 cm||250 cm|
Selecting the correct paddle length for your kayak is a function of paddler height, kayak width and paddling style. To find your recommended padde length plug in your height and the width of your kayak into the above chart.
If using a long angle paddle add 10 cm to the recommended paddle length. If your kayak is wider than 32" or has a lifted seat seat, add 10 cm to the recommended paddle length shown in the above chart.
Whitewater kayak paddle length chart
|Height of Paddler||Paddle Length|
|Up to 5'2"||188 - 194 cm|
|5'8" - 6'1"||192-200 cm|
|Over 6'1"||196 - 204 cm|
The above chart provides suggested paddle lengths based on paddler height for whitewater kayaking using relatively shorter, highly maneuverable kayaks. Whitewater kayak paddles tend to be short lengths to allow for the high stroke rate used when whitewater paddling, especially when playboating and freestyling.
- Average Length: 60"
- Average Guide Length: 66"
- Hint: Measure from floor to chin for a more precise paddle length.
Other tips and considerations for determining paddle length
Consider adding 5 or more centimeters to the length of your kayak paddle if two or more of the following conditions are met.
- You are going to have a casual paddling pace
- You are going to have a low-angle (horizontal) forward paddling stroke
- Your kayak is much wider than 32 inches
- Your kayak has a flare, flat-bottom or V-shaped design
- You have an abnormally high seat
- You are extremely tall
Consider removing 5 or more centimeters from the length of your kayak paddle if two or more of the following conditions are met.
- Your paddling pace is aggressive or active
- You are going to have a high-angle (vertical) forward paddling stroke
- Your kayak is abnormally narrow for it's length (<23")
- Your kayak has a Tumblestone design
- You have an abnormally low seat
- You are shorter than 5'