Kayak paddles are usually measured in two ways: length and blade size. Length is measured from the tip of the paddle to the center of the grip, while blade size is measured from the widest part of the paddle blade to the narrowest.

Paddle length is important because it affects how much power you can generate with each stroke. A longer paddle will give you more power, but it will also be more difficult to control. A shorter paddle will be easier to control but won’t generate as much power. The best paddle length for you depends on your height and kayaking experience.

Blade size also affects how much power you can generate with each stroke. A larger blade will give you more power, but it will also make it more difficult to control your kayak. A smaller blade will be easier to control but won’t generate as much power. The best blade size for you depends on your height and kayaking experience.

The best way to find the perfect paddle for you is to try out different types and sizes until you find one that feels comfortable and gives you the performance you want.

What instruments should you use to measure kayak paddle size?

To measure kayak paddle size, you will need: -

  • A tape measure -
  • A kayak paddle

To measure kayak paddles, place the end of the tape measure at the top of the paddle and extend it to the bottom. For width measurement, place the tape measure at one side of the paddle and extend it to the other side.

Why are kayak paddles available in different lengths?

Paddles are available in a variety of lengths, and choosing the correct length is critical to achieving efficient strokes and maintaining good technique.

There are several factors that influence the ideal paddle length, including the paddler's height, the width of the kayak, and the type of kayaking being conducted. Generally speaking, taller paddlers or those using wider kayaks will need longer paddles, while shorter paddlers or those using narrower kayaks can use shorter paddles.

A kayaker's type of kayaking should also be considered when selecting paddle length. Racing kayaks are often narrower than recreational kayaks, so racers may prefer paddles that provide more power per stroke without sacrificing too much speed.

If you are unsure of what length to choose, it is usually best to choose a longer paddle. Inefficient strokes caused by a too-short paddle will result in a boat that does not move through the water as efficiently as it could.

When a paddle is too long, it may be difficult to control and may lead to fatigue more quickly than when it is properly sized. Before making a paddle purchase, it is a good idea to consult the paddle manufacturer's recommendations based on the factors listed above.

Kayak Paddle Sizing Guide - Kayak paddle tips

Here are a few kayak paddle tips. A kayak paddle sizing guide should include the following:

  • The different types of kayaks and their dimensions (length, width, cockpit size)
  • A paddler's height and weight
  • The types of paddles (e.g., flat water, whitewater, touring) and their dimensions (blade length and width)
  • How to measure a kayak paddle (e.g., use a tape measure or ruler to measure the blade length from the tip to the center of the ferrule; use a caliper or ruler to measure the blade width at its widest point)
  • How to choose a paddle based on paddling style and conditions (e.g., shorter and narrower blades for racing or sprinting; longer and wider blades for long distances or in strong winds)

Different types of kayaks have different dimensions, so it's important to know what type of kayak you have before selecting a paddle. For example, sea kayaks are generally longer and narrower than river kayaks. Likewise, whitewater kayaks tend to be shorter and squatter than flatwater kayaks. The cockpit size will also affect your paddle choice - larger cockpits can accommodate larger paddles, while smaller cockpits may require smaller paddles.

Your height and weight are also important considerations when choosing a paddle. Taller paddlers will usually need longer paddles, while heavier paddlers may need stronger (i.e., wider or thicker) blades. Conversely, shorter or lighter paddlers may find that they do better with shorter or narrower blades. Ultimately, it's important to choose a paddle that feels comfortable in your hands and gives you good power transfer when you're stroke is efficient.

If you're unsure about what size to get, ask someone at your local outfitter or rental shop for help choosing the right size for you. They should be able to help you select a few different sizes based on your body type and intended use for the boat/paddle combination..

There are three main types of Kayak Paddles –

  • River/Creek Paddles
  • Touring/Flat Water Paddles
  • Whitewater Paddles

Each type has different designs based on their usage but all consist of two main parts –the shaft which is held by the user ,and the blade which provides thrust through the water .

Below we will go into more detail on each type so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing your first kayak paddle .

Shaft Material : Aluminum vs Carbon Fibre

Weight: Heavier = More durable but harder work | Lighter = Easier on arms but more expensive

Length: Longer = More leverage but harder to control | Shorter = Less leverage but easier maneuverability in tight spots

Blades Surface Area: Larger = Greater forward momentum but increased drag | Smaller = Less initial effort required per stroke but reduced efficiency over distance

Shape: Dihedral vs Vee – Most common shape used as it provides stability without too much turbulence . Vee shapes provide less resistance initially as there is less wetted surface area however dihedrals track straighter due where vees may twist if not aligned correctly with your stroke

Aspect Ratio : Higher aspect ratio blades have slimmer profiles making them more aerodynamic however they offer less resistance per square inch providing less initial thrust per stroke

Fiberglass vs Polycarbonate : Fiberglass offers good durability being slightly more flexible than polycarbonate with relatively little weight increase however polycarbonate is stiffer offering improved performance especially in cold weather conditions where fiberglass can become brittle.

In terms of sizing there are 4 main criteria which we will discuss now

  • Paddle Length
  • Paddle Width
  • Shaft Diameter
  • Cockpit Size
Kayak Paddle Length Measurements

The length of a kayak paddle determines how efficiently you can paddle through water. A shorter paddle means that you have to exert more force in each stroke of your kayak. A longer one gives you more leverage so that with each stroke, there is less effort required from you. It might be counterproductive because it would slow down your speed while stroking but overall it lessens fatigue and makes paddling much easier than before. Also, Shorter paddles are used for <51 lbs kayakers whereas those weighing >240 lbs prefer long ones towards at 10 feet (308 cm)

As previously discussed taller individuals will benefit from using longerKayak Paddles as they can generate greater leverage however beginnersto intermediate users may find longer kayak paddles harder to maintain control over due their lower levels experience.

Conversely, shorter individuals will find it easier to maintain control overlonger kayak paddles as they provide less leverage though this does resultin reduced performance .

Measuring Kayak Paddle Width:

To optimise comfort most adult userswill want awidth between 6”- 7”. However, if you have particularly large hands or intend doing a lot of cross training such as circular rowing then a wider blade maybe recommended

Kayak Paddle Shaft Diameter:

The kayak paddle's shaft diameter matters because it determines how much water the paddle can displace. A larger diameter shaft will allow the paddle to displace more water, which means that the kayak will move faster through the water. Also, if the shaft is too small, the paddle will bend and break.

The Cockpit Size:

Cockpit size matters when choosing a kayak paddle because it affects how much room you have to move your paddle around. A larger cockpit will give you more room to maneuver, while a smaller cockpit will be more difficult to move your paddle around in.

With recreational sit-in boats, this dimension affects both the cockpit opening size and the deck height above the waterline. A cockpit opening that is too large will receive rough water, while a deck height that is too low will restrict visibility and emphasize any water splashing into the cockpit on open-top boats. It's important to take into account both deck space and free board.

What are the parts of a kayak paddle?

A kayak paddle consists of a shaft with two blades attached to the end. The blades are usually made of plastic or wood, and are designed to provide resistance against the water as the kayak moves through it.

The paddle shaft is usually made of aluminum or fiberglass, and is connected to the blade at a 90-degree angle. The shaft is typically about 2 feet long, although it can be longer or shorter depending on the size of the kayak and the paddler's preference.

The blades of a kayak paddle are attached to the shaft at an offset, so that they create a little bit of space between them when they're in the water. This offset helps to create lift as well as thrust, which propels the kayak forward.

The size and shape of a kayak paddle's blades will vary depending on the type of kayaking you'll be doing. For instance, whitewater paddles tend to have smaller blades so that they can maneuver easily through tight spaces and rough waters. On the other hand, touring paddles have larger blades so that they can maximize efficiency and minimize fatigue for long-distance paddling.

When choosing a kayak paddle, it's important to consider its length, material, weight, and blade shape. You'll also want to think about how you plan to use your paddle – for instance, if you're only going to be using it for leisurely trips down calm rivers, then you won't need something as durable or powerful as what would be needed for whitewater kayaking.

There are several reasons why the material of a kayak paddle matters. When traveling light or if you have any injuries that prevent you from lifting heavy objects, the weight of the paddle can be a factor. Carbon fiber paddles are very light yet sturdy. If you intend to use your paddle frequently or in rough conditions, you may want to choose a more durable material. Furthermore, some materials float better than others, making it easier to retrieve your paddle if you happen to drop it in water.

what is a ferrule in a kayak paddle?

A ferrule is a small metal or plastic sleeve that fits around the end of a kayak paddle. The ferrule helps to keep the paddle blade in place, and also provides extra support to the paddle shaft. There are two main types of ferrules: those that screw on, and those that snap on. Screw-on ferrules are the most common type, and they usually have a small setscrew that goes through the middle of the ferrule. This type of ferrule is easy to install and remove, but can be prone to coming loose over time.

Snap-on ferrules are less common, but they offer a more secure connection between the paddle and ferrule. These ferrules typically have a series of ridges or teeth that help to grip the paddle shaft, making them more difficult to remove (but also less likely to come loose).

Ferrules are an important part of any kayak paddle because they help to keep the paddle blade attached to the shaft. Without a ferrule, it would be very easy for the blade to become detached from the shaft - which could lead to serious injuries if you were paddling in rough waters. In addition, ferrules provide extra support for the paddle shaft itself, which can help prevent breakage during use.

Kayak paddle materials

Kayak paddles are made from various materials, including wood, aluminum, and composite. The best material for kayak paddles depends on the intended use of the paddle. For example, wood paddles are lighter and more maneuverable, while aluminum paddles are more durable.


Aluminum paddles are more durable than other types of kayak paddles, making them a good choice for beginners or for use in rougher waters. However, aluminum paddles are also heavier and less maneuverable than other types of kayak paddles.


Wooden kayak paddles are lighter and more maneuverable than aluminum paddles, making them a good choice for experienced kayakers who want to paddle in smoother waters. However, wooden paddles can be damaged more easily than aluminum paddles.


Plastic kayak paddles are less expensive than other types of kayak paddles and are more durable than wood paddles. However, plastic paddles are heavier than wood or aluminum paddles and are less maneuverable.

What are the dimensions of a kayak paddle?

The dimensions of a kayak paddle can vary depending on the size and model of the paddle, but they are typically between 210 and 250cm in length, with a width of around 18-22cm. The blade of the paddle is usually curved to help with paddling efficiency, and the shaft is often made from aluminium or another light weight material.

When choosing a kayak paddle, it is important to consider the size and shape of the blades, as well as the overall length of the paddle. Blade size and shape can affect how much power you can generate when paddling, and a longer paddle will give you more reach but may be more difficult to control. It is also worth considering whether you want a straight or bent shaft; a bent shaft can offer more comfort for your wrists and arms during long paddles, but may be less stable in windy conditions.

What is the ideal kayak paddle size?

In general, shorter paddles are better suited for maneuverability while longer paddles provide more power and reach.

The most important factor to consider when choosing paddle length is the type of kayaking you'll be doing. For example, whitewater kayaking often requires quick and precise strokes, so a shorter paddle (usually around 180cm) is preferable. On the other hand, touring or sea kayaking typically involve longer journeys over larger bodies of water, so a longer paddle (200-220cm) would be more efficient.

Additionally, your height, body stature, body type and arm length will determine how comfortably and effectively you can use a particular paddle length. If you're on the taller side (>6ft), you may find that a longer paddle gives you more leverage and therefore more power with each stroke. Conversely, if you're shorter (<5ft), a shorter paddle may be easier to handle and won't tire you out as quickly. Ultimately, it's best to try out different lengths and see what works best for you.

Finally, keep in mind that Kayaks come in all different sizes which will somewhat dictate what size paddle you need. A good rule of thumb however is that your Kayak Paddle should be 10-12 inches wider than your Kayak beam at its widest point plus 1 foot extra for each foot narrower your kayak stern gets compared to its bow measured at water line + 2 feet extra length for really wideKayaks like tandem recreation sit on top types.

For example an average sized solo recreation sit on top might have 36" dimensions which would lead us to recommend a 54-60" long paddle.. But if we looked at say a 38" beam tandem recreation sit on top we might recommended going 62"-64". xtra large sit on tops or expedition style might justify going 66"-68" even 70" also very tall people 6'6""+ might want 72"-74" long paddles but these folks could probably just about get away with anything from 60"-74".

Why do kayak paddles have offsets?

An offset is a special design on a kayak paddle which allows the paddler to more easily maintain a straight stroke. The kayaker’s arm and hand are in the same plane (horizontal), so if your paddle has an offset, your hand will naturally move towards the side of the paddle with less resistance. Additionally, most kayaks have curved blades, so having an offset on your paddle makes it easier to correct for any sideways movement of the blade as you steer.

What angle should kayak paddles be?

This depends on a number of factors, including the kayaker's individual physiology and paddling style. However, a good starting point is to hold the paddle so that the blade is perpendicular to the water surface when the paddle is in the "catch" position (i.e. just before stroke initiation). From there, experiment with different angles until you find what feels most comfortable and efficient for you.

Can you use a canoe paddle in a kayak?

Yes, you can use a canoe paddle in a kayak. The two paddles are very similar, and both are designed to propel a boat through the water. The main difference between the two is that a kayak paddle has a blade at each end, while a canoe paddle only has a blade at one end. This means that when you paddle a kayak, you alternate strokes on either side of the boat, while when you paddle a canoe, you stroke on one side only.

Another difference between the two paddles is the size of the blade. A kayak paddle has a smaller blade than a canoe paddle because it is designed for use in narrower vessels. Canoe paddles also tend to be longer than kayak paddles, as they are meant for use in larger boats.

The design of the handle also differs slightly between these two types of paddles. Kayak paddles have handles that point towards the center of the boat so that they can be used with both hands, while canoe paddles have handles that point away from the center of the boat so that they can be held with one hand only.

So why would you use a canoe paddle in a kayak? There are actually several reasons why this might be beneficial. For one thing, using a canoe paddle can help you generate more power and speed because of its longer length and larger blade size. Additionally, if you are looking to save money or don't have space to store multiple paddles, using one versatile tool like a canoe paddle can be more convenient than having separate kayak and canoe paddles.

However, there are also some potential drawbacks to using a canoe paddle in your kayak. One issue is that because it is not specifically designed for use in a kayak environment, it may not perform as well as a purpose-built kayak paddle - although this will vary depending on factors such as size and strength of a user, muscularity and so on.

Why are canoe and kayak paddles different?

Canoe paddles and kayak paddles differ in a few key ways. Canoe paddles are typically longer than kayak paddles, as they are meant for use in larger boats. They also have a wider blade, which helps to provide more power when paddling. Kayak paddles, on the other hand, tend to be shorter and have a narrower blade. This is because kayaks are smaller and require less powerful strokes to move through the water. The blades of canoe and kayak paddles also differ in shape; canoe paddle blades are usually oval-shaped or teardrop-shaped, while kayak paddle blades are often square-shaped or rectangular.

The way that canoe and kayak paddles are used also differs somewhat. Canoeists usually hold their paddle in one hand and use a J-stroke to propel themselves forward; this stroke involves pulling the paddle through the water from front to back with one hand while simultaneously using the other hand to push against the boat from behind. Kayakers, on the other hand, typically hold their paddle in both hands and use a skating stroke; this stroke involves alternate pulls with each arm from front to back while keeping the body stable in the center of the boat.

Though there are some differences between canoe and kayak paddles, ultimately both types of paddle serve the same purpose: propelling a boat through water.

Can you use a single paddle for kayaks?

Yes, you can use a single paddle for kayaking, but it is not recommended. A single paddle makes it more difficult to control the kayak and can lead to fatigue more quickly.

How thick should a kayak paddle shaft be?

The thickness of a kayak paddle shaft should be around 1.5 inches in diameter. This will give you the proper amount of leverage when paddling and will also make the paddle easier to control. If the shaft is too thick, it will be difficult to grip and control, and if it is too thin, it may break under the strain of paddling.

What are bent shaft paddles?

The bent shaft kayak paddle consists of paddle blades that have been curved or bent in order to increase the efficiency of paddling. This technology is often used in recreating and fishing kayaks in order to enhance the boat's tracking and reduce drag. Furthermore, bent shafts can be useful for beginners who are still learning how to paddle a kayak, as they provide an unconventional technique that helps beginners balance better.

Are bent shaft paddles better?

There are a few key reasons why some people prefer bent shaft paddles:

A bent kayak paddle increases stroke efficiency

The blade of a bent shaft paddle is set at an angle to the shaft, which means that when you’re paddling, the blade will be entering and exiting the water at a more effective angle. This results in greater power transfer from your stroke to the paddle, meaning you can cover more ground with less effort.

Greater comfort due to paddle size

Because of their design, bent shaft paddles put your hands and wrists in a more natural position while paddling. This can help reduce fatigue and pain over long periods of time relative to using a straight shaft paddle.

Better Control

The angled blade on a bent shaft paddle also provides greater control when steering your kayak or canoe since it allows you to “feather” the paddle (keep one side of the blade out of the water) with ease.

Overall, whether or not a bent shaft paddle is better for you is largely dependent on personal preference. If you’re looking for increased stroke efficiency and comfort, then a bent shaft may be worth considering; however, if you prefer simplicity and don’t mind sacrificing a bit of power and control, then stick with a straight shaft paddle.

Why do kayak paddles have offsets?

A kayak paddle typically has an offset of about 60 degrees. This means that the blade is not perpendicular to the shaft, but is angled so that the top of the blade is closer to the shaft than the bottom. There are several reasons for this:

1) An offset paddle is more efficient than a non-offset paddle. When you stroke with an offset paddle, your hand will be at a natural position in relation to your body and the canoe will move in a straighter line because both arms are pulling in unison on opposite sides of the boat. Non-offset paddles can cause you to zigzag because one arm has to reach further out than the other, which causes you to twist at your waist and throw your weight off balance.

2) An offset paddle gives you more power when paddling against a strong wind or current. Because of the way they are angled, offset paddles act like sails when there is a strong crosswind, helping you move forward instead of being pushed back. They also help you keep moving forward when paddling against a strong current—the blades act like rudders, steering you in the direction you want to go.

3) Offset paddles are easier on your wrists and shoulders. Many people who paddle regularly find that they have less pain in their wrists and shoulders when using an offset paddle than when using a non-offset paddle. This is because with an offset paddle, your hands are in a more natural position and there is less strain on them as you stroke through each stroke cycle.

Solo kayak paddles vs Tandem kayak paddles

The main difference between solo kayak paddles and tandem kayak paddles is their length. Solo kayak paddles are shorter than tandem kayak paddles, measuring anywhere from 210-230cm in length. This is because solo
kayaks are narrower than tandem kayaks, so the paddle needs to be shorter in order to fit inside the cockpit.

Solo canoe paddles are also shorter than tandem canoe paddles, but they tend to be even shorter than solo kayak paddle – measuring around 200-220cm in length. This is because solo canoes are even narrower than solo kayaks, so the paddle needs to be even shorter in order to fit inside the cockpit.

Whitewater kayak paddles are usually somewhere in between the other two types of paddle in terms of length – measuring around 220-230cm. However, they can sometimes be longer or shorter depending on the specific model of whitewaterkayak being used.

There are a few considerations you should make when figuring out the ideal length for your own personal kayak paddle, including your height, arm span, and kayak width. Once you have these measurements, you can use a sizing chart to determine the appropriate size paddle for you.

Before settling on a size and buying one, it is, however, always advisable to try on a few different ones because what one person finds comfortable may not be so for another with different physical characteristics.

Accoutrements & Repair

Along with Solo Kayak Paddles themselves, there are a tonne of accessories and maintenance products available on the market made especially for them, including shafts, which can be either fixed (one piece) or telescoping (two or more pieces), are what connect the paddle's blade to the grip. Wearing straight shaft paddling gloves on your hands while using one will increase comfort and grip.

Size Medium/Small Paddle Leash:

Used to keep your paddle attached to your boat so that it won't float away if you lose control of it while navigating class II or III rapids.

Safety & Sizing

Some crucial considerations you should bear in mind when selecting a solo kayak paddle include Size: As was previously mentioned, a crucial consideration when choosing manufacturers is to have every customer measure their height and wingspan. Arm span measurements and width are taken to obtain an accurate estimate; discussions are based on how often people will spend time considering the number.

Ideal height-to-weight ratio

Everybody is built differently and has their own distinct set of proportions, so certain heights will correspond to certain weights, etc.
According to experts, the average person should use a paddle that is between 7 and 9 feet long. Although this is a general recommendation based on industry standards, note that these only optimal scenarios Results can change.