How To Decide On The Right Kayak Paddle Length

Right Kayak Paddle Length

When you want to spend time in close proximity with nature and also indulge in light exercise, kayaking fits in as an option. Millions of people resort to paddling in lakes, rivers and even seawater for the thrill and relaxation. However, you have to learn about the nuances of kayaking and be prepared. Based on where and when you paddle, picking the right kayak and accessories will be necessary. Picking the right paddle is something you just can’t overlook in this regard. 

Why Choosing The Right Paddle Is Important For Kayaking?

Without the right paddle, you cannot enjoy kayaking anywhere- whether it is a lake or ocean water. The paddle length has to be right for your body type and kayak type. Without a proper shaped paddle, moving in water smoothly will be difficult. Besides, you will face hassles in turning and changing direction of the kayak, especially in rough weather. You will get tired quicker, develop strained muscles and the relaxation factor will diminish.

Things To Analyze When Shopping For Kayak Paddles?

When you shop for the kayak paddle, finding the right one with an apt length for your needs is important. To figure out if a chosen paddle is optimal in length, you have to assess the below–listed factors.

  • Body stature – Not all tall or short people have the same body stature. Some people have taller legs while in the case of others the torso part is taller. Pick a paddle that matches your torso length well. 
  • Kayak Design – The kayak body style is a factor here as well. If you have a wide kayak, using a longer paddle is advisable and the opposite is also true. The bottom line is you should be able to sit comfortably in or on the kayak and you will not have to bend in any direction excessively to paddle through the water. The height of the person using the kayak is also another factor.
  • Style of paddling – Not all kayaking lovers uses the same style of paddling. Those who are fond of kayaking in calm water, in a relaxed manner opt for low-angle paddling. This needs moderate levels of strength and stamina. Longer paddles are ideal for these people.
  • High-angle paddling involves short, faster strokes and for this paddle with wider blades and short shafts are ideal. This is useful in rough waters. 
  • Try and buy – This is what yields the best result in this regard. Some kayak and accessory shops let the buyers try paddles for simulating and testing. This helps you figure out which paddle will suit your needs the best.
  • Material of paddle – Kayak paddles are made using various materials. Fiberglass based paddles are both durable and lightweight while Aluminium-based ones are heavier. So, people who are not muscular or able bodied, skip the latter. Carbon fibre paddles are heavy on the wallet. Beginners in kayaking opt for plastic-based paddles. 

While you can buy kayak paddles online and some online shops do offer measurement guides, it is ideal that you buy the accessory from a physical outlet. Opt for a shop that lets you try a paddle before buying. 

Posted by
Arthur G. Moore

Arthur G. Moore is a veteran paddler. He has over 10 years of whitewater kayaking experience in his kitty. When he was young, he used to love kayaking in rapid III and rapid IV but as time went on, he decided to concentrate mainly on covering long distances on a standard touring kayak. He is currently working as a senior editor for Kayak Manual.

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