Choosing The Best Kayak Paddle!

Choosing The Best Kayak Paddle!

The kayak paddle is the main way to move this watercraft, so it's important to choose one that fits your needs and is easy for you to use. Many people who have never used a kayak before don't know how important it is to choose the right paddle. When they get home, they find that they bought the wrong type and length of paddle for their kayak.

When choosing a kayak paddle , you need to make sure it's the right size for your height and the width of your kayak. The material the paddle shaft is made of, the shape and diameter of the shaft, and the shape and orientation of the blade are all part of the selection process. The right paddle makes you feel better and keeps you safe.

There are a number of things to think about when choosing a kayak paddle . Your kayak paddle choice will depend on how tall you are, what kind of kayak you have, and what kind of water you kayak in. We'll help you figure out how to use these factors to find the best paddle for your needs.

Why Is Kayak Paddle Size Important?

Your kayak paddle is how you will steer, move, and move your kayak, so it is a very important part of your kayaking experience.
If you choose the wrong paddle for your kayak, the following things could happen when you use it on the water.

Fatigue. If a kayak paddle is the wrong length, has the wrong style of blade, or is made of the wrong material, the person using it will get tired very quickly.
It hurts to use the paddle. If a paddle is the wrong size, it can hurt your hands, wrists, and shoulders. Your hands could also rub against the kayak's sides, which would be painful.
Not being able to handle the kayak. Since the paddle is the main way to control the kayak, a paddle that doesn't fit well won't let you have the best control over how the kayak moves and how fast it goes.
Experience level. If you choose a paddle that is too advanced for your skill level, you might have trouble staying upright in the kayak or getting through rough water.
Choosing the wrong paddle for kayaking can make the difference between having a fun and safe time on the water and having a hard time.

How to Decide on the Right Kayak Paddle

There are a lot of things to think about when choosing a paddle for your kayak, and you might be surprised at how many options you have. Many people who are new to kayaking think that a paddle is just a paddle and that any kind will work.

This narrow point of view comes from not knowing how important it is to choose the right paddle for the job. To start making a choice, you should think about the following options and criteria.

  • Your size and shape.
  • How wide your kayak is.
  • How long the paddle is.
  • The style and type of shaft.
  • The shape and direction of the blade.

If you make the right choice for each of these criteria, you'll end up with the best paddle for you and your kayaking needs.

How to choose the right size kayak paddle

There are two main ways to figure out what length paddle you need. Both ways involve measuring your body and your kayak and then looking at a chart to find the right length paddle.

We suggest that you try both ways and compare the recommended size for each. Then, you can choose a paddle length that is somewhere in the middle of the two suggestions for the best starting length.

How to Measure the Length of a Kayak Paddle

The first way is to measure your torso height, which gives you an idea of how high your shoulders will be above the water.

To find the bump of the vertebra where your neck meets your shoulders, tilt your head forward. This will be where the measurement will begin. Stand with your hands on your hips and your thumbs in a horizontal position along your back.

Ask someone to measure your height from the base of your neck (where your vertebrae are) to where your thumbs cross your lower back.

Determine Paddle Length By Torso HeightSuggested Paddle Length
Torso Length
22 inches (55.8cm)70.8 inches (180cm)
24 inches (60.96cm)70.8 – 78.74 inches (180 – 200cm)
26 inches (66.04cm)74.8 – 82.67 inches (190 – 210cm)
28 inches ( 71.12cm)78.74 – 86.61 inches (200 – 220cm)
32 inches (81.28cm)86.61 – 94.48 inches (220 – 240cm)
34 inches (86.36cm)90.55 – 98.42 inches (230 – 250cm)
36 inches (91.44cm)94.48 – 98.42 inches (240 – 250cm)
38 inches (96.52cm)98.42 inches (250cm)

Method 2: Figure out how long a kayak paddle is

This method takes your height and the width of your kayak into account. Because of this, it's important to look at the recommendations from both methods and then choose a paddle length that is between the two.

To find the right paddle length table, you'll need to know how tall you are and how wide your kayak is.

How to Choose the Shape and Material of a Kayak Paddle Shaft

When choosing a kayak paddle , the length of the paddle shaft is not the only thing to think about. The diameter of the shaft, how much it weighs, and how much the material costs.

The following are the most common types of paddle shafts.

  • Aluminum. These paddle shafts are heavy, but they last a long time and are a good value.
  • Plastic. Plastic shafts are usually light, strong, and cheap, which makes them a great choice for beginners.
  • Graphite. Graphite or carbon fiber paddles are expensive, but the price is worth it because they last a long time and are very light.
  • Fiberglass. Fiberglass shafts are a good choice because they are strong, light, and cheaper than other lightweight materials.
  • Wood. Most other types of paddle shafts are cheaper, easier to find, and don't cost as much as these.
    The shaft can also be straight, or it can have bends where your hands go. Which style of shaft you choose will depend on which one feels better in your hand. The kinked shafts let you keep your wrist straighter during the paddle stroke, which may help people who have problems with their wrists.

How To Choose The Shape And Orientation Of A Kayak Paddle Blade?

There are many different types of paddle blades, such as wide blades, narrow blades, asymmetric blades, wing blades, and dihedral blades.

Wide blades have a lot of power, but they can be hard to use for a long time. Narrow blades don't have as much power to move forward, but they are easier to use for long periods of time.

When a paddle has an asymmetric blade, the top of the blade is not the same size as the bottom. These types of blades are better for paddling in shallow water.

Wing paddles are scooped, water-friendly paddles that are usually only used for kayak racing.

Dihedral blades have a raised strip in the middle that runs the length of the blade. This makes the water spread out evenly on both the top and bottom parts of the blade. This gives the kayak less resistance and a good amount of forward power, but it also makes it less stable, which makes it harder to move the kayak.

Another important thing to think about is how the blades are made. The difference is in how the paddle blades are bent or turned in relation to each other. Most of the time, feathering is a personal choice, but feathered blades are better for racing because they block less wind. Some kayak paddle s have feathering that can be moved, so you can change the angle to suit your needs.


As we've shown, a kayak paddle doesn't come in one size that fits all. It's just as important to choose the right paddle size and features as it is to choose the right kayak.

The best way to find a kayak paddle that fits you and feels good is to try out a few different types and styles until you find the one that feels best. You can also have more than one paddle and choose the best one for the day's conditions on the water.