How Do I Know What Size Kayak Paddles I Need?

Kayaking is a fun way to explore water bodies and stay active. However, choosing the right gear is essential to have a comfortable and enjoyable experience. One of the most critical components of a kayak is the paddle.

Kayak paddles come in different shapes, sizes, and materials. Choosing the right size of paddle can make a significant difference in your kayaking experience. In this article, we will discuss how to determine the correct size of kayak paddle you need.

Determining Your Paddle Length

To determine your ideal paddle length, you need to consider two main factors: your height and the type of kayaking you intend to do.


Your height is one of the most important factors in determining your paddle length. Taller people need longer paddles than shorter people to reach comfortably into the water without straining their arms or shoulders.

As a general rule, if you are under 5’5″, you should choose a paddle length between 210cm-220cm. If you are between 5’6″ and 6′, choose a paddle length between 220cm-230cm. If you are over 6′, choose a paddle length between 230cm-250cm.

Type of Kayaking

The type of kayaking you plan to do also influences your choice of paddle length. Different types of kayaking require different lengths of paddles.

For recreational kayaking, where you will be paddling on calm waters such as lakes or slow-moving rivers, choose a shorter paddle that allows for easy maneuvering and control. A shorter paddle also reduces fatigue during longer trips.

If you plan on doing more aggressive kayaking such as whitewater or touring, then consider using a longer paddle for better control and power.

Choosing Your Paddle Blade Width

The width of your kayak blade also influences your paddling experience. Wider blades are generally better for more aggressive kayaking, as they allow for more powerful strokes. Narrower blades are better suited for recreational kayaking, as they reduce the strain on your arms and shoulders.


Choosing the right size of kayak paddle is essential for a comfortable and enjoyable kayaking experience. Consider your height and the type of kayaking you plan to do when selecting your paddle length. Also, consider the width of the blade to ensure that you have an efficient and comfortable paddling experience.

Remember to take your time when selecting a paddle size, and don’t hesitate to try out different sizes until you find one that feels comfortable for you. Happy paddling!

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Daniel Bennet