How Do I Know What Size Canoe Paddle to Buy?

If you’re new to canoeing, one of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll need to purchase is a paddle. But with so many options available, how do you know what size canoe paddle to buy? In this article, we’ll explore the factors that determine the right paddle length for you.

Factors to Consider

1. Your Height: One of the biggest factors in determining the right size canoe paddle is your height. Generally speaking, taller people will need longer paddles while shorter people will need shorter paddles.

2. Your Canoe Width: The width of your canoe also plays a role in choosing the right paddle length. A wider canoe requires a longer paddle while a narrower canoe requires a shorter paddle.

3. Your Paddling Style: Your paddling style is another factor to consider when choosing a paddle length.

If you have a high-angle paddling style, which means you keep your hands higher and closer to your body, you’ll need a shorter paddle. If you have a low-angle paddling style, which means your hands are lower and farther from your body, you’ll need a longer paddle.

Determining Your Paddle Length

Now that we’ve explored the factors that determine the right size canoe paddle for you let’s look at how to measure for it.

Step 1: Stand up straight with your arms raised above your head and your elbows slightly bent.

Step 2: Measure the distance from your hands to the ground in inches.

Step 3: Add 6-8 inches to this measurement to determine your ideal canoe paddle length.


This method is just an approximation and may not be perfect for everyone. You may want to try out different lengths before making a final decision.

Additional Considerations

In addition to the factors mentioned above, there are a few other things to keep in mind when choosing a canoe paddle.

1. Material: Canoe paddles can be made from wood, aluminum, fiberglass, or carbon fiber. Each material has its own benefits and drawbacks, so choose the one that best fits your needs and budget. Grip: A comfortable grip is important when paddling for long periods of time. Look for a grip that fits your hand well and provides good support. Blade Shape: The shape of the paddle blade affects its performance in the water. A wider blade provides more power while a narrower blade provides more control.

In Conclusion

Choosing the right size canoe paddle is essential for an enjoyable paddling experience. Consider your height, canoe width, and paddling style when determining the ideal length for you.

Additionally, look for a comfortable grip and blade shape that fits your needs. With these factors in mind, you’ll be able to find the perfect paddle for your next canoeing adventure!

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Emma Gibson