Paddle length?

3 years 1 month ago #28865 by GrumpySmurf
Paddle length? was created by GrumpySmurf
Hi, I'm new here and is a beginner. My only kayak experiences were with wide fishing and recreational ones. I do SUP regularly.

Yesterday, I bought a used Spirit PRS 570, which came with a 210cm fiberglass & plastic Spirit paddle. As I'm only 163cm tall (5'4"), the paddle is thought to be too long for me. If I put the paddle next to me, my finger tips won't even touch the top.

I was advised that I should be able to curl my fingers over the top blade?

But looking around online, it looks like a 210cm paddle is usually considered short and is recommended?

So, what is it? should I stick with the 210cm or do I need a 194cm paddle?

Also, could I remove the blade on this paddle and shorten the shaft and the re-glue the blades back?

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3 years 1 month ago #28866 by robin.mousley
Replied by robin.mousley on topic Paddle length?
Howzit Grumpy!

Here's a good guide:

Epic Kayaks Paddle Wizard



Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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3 years 1 month ago #28868 by Ranga
Replied by Ranga on topic Paddle length?
As for your paddle and your extended hand being the standard paddle length gauge, utter rubbish. That went out when wing paddles arrived about 20 years ago, maybe longer. Not sure where people get this stuff from?
Likewise what other people use is no indication of what you should use.
As Rob mentioned a good starting point is Greg Barton`s paddle wizard.
Just a note some people actually change their length whilst paddling, starting long and finishing shorter as they get tired. A lot of people change length for different types of paddling like flat water sprinting or open ocean with wind.

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3 years 1 month ago #28877 by WingSuit
Replied by WingSuit on topic Paddle length?
You will eventually need an adjustable. for now, measure your wingspan and use that as your height on the Epic chart. if your legs are short but your arms are long, like me, go longer with the paddle. i am only 5'6" but my wingspan is 5'9". you can also measure sitting height and do a web search to correlate that to height. also, as a beginner with a wider ski, slightly longer will be ok. your stroke won't be as vertical at first.

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3 years 1 month ago #28891 by Watto
Replied by Watto on topic Paddle length?
Same with me Wingsuit, I'm 180cm with armspan 185cm. Epic Paddle Wizard gives me 213 cm paddle length which exactly what I use on flat water or moderate downwinder though anything 20 knots upwards 210 cm works perfectly for me.

My advice though is pure and simple, works every time. Listen to the gurus, read up on all you can find but ultimately - suck and see for yourself! You have to find out what works for you. Go out on a big day on 215 cm - Jesus won't do that again! Legs over the side back down to 213 cm, how does that go etc? Some downwinds here in Perth if not blowing favourably may be to head out into it for a km or so then turn north/north east. I've done this some big days going out with 213 cm and just does not work for me, can't get the rating I need to manage the waves.

Or days where you go out on 210 then turn and change to 213 or whatever. And hey, depends what you're paddling too - I paddle a Gara 2 so you have a bit of work to do.

Depends also on your strength and fitness at the time. I was struggling with my Gara 2 6 months ago but hadn't been paddling much. Now training for Mauritius and Avon Descent after that I'm paddling up to 75 kms a week with 35 km long single paddles. On long river paddles though I could pull more than a 213 I don't - suits me because of distances I'm doing (not racing that) and because don't want to unduly stress anything.

So, it depends. Just work out what works for you and be prepared to make little changes along the way. Bit like the bike. Might be halfway through a ride you stop to adjust your seat say up and forward a bit then go - yes! just right.

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3 years 1 month ago #28906 by Jef58
Replied by Jef58 on topic Paddle length?
For comparison sake, I am the same height as the OP and settled in at 207 for my base setting. I paddle in flatter to choppy water and really haven't adjusted the length and it seems ok.

The recreational (non-wing) paddles I had were always a lot longer and never paid that much attention to them. I did use the Epic Wizard before buying my first wing paddle @205-215. The 210 really isn't that far out of line to fool or modify it. I'm sure you will end up getting another paddle soon, so that is where you can get the shorter one that has adjustability.

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1 year 8 months ago #33013 by sski
Replied by sski on topic Paddle length?
if I need a 210 wouldn't it be smarter to buy the 200-210 to save$100 by just extending the shaft at the collar? Or does that weaken it?

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1 year 8 months ago - 1 year 8 months ago #33041 by SpaceSputnik
Replied by SpaceSputnik on topic Paddle length?
I am 5'6" and started off with a 210-220 Epic club mid-wing paddle that came with the boat. I was told that I should be at 207 but it's ok to stick with that paddle for the time being.
Later in a season I sold it to a taller friend and bought 205-215, exact same paddle. It did make a sizeable difference. Not just these 3 cm that I lost but also an option to use it at 205, which I do quite often and like it. I bet you if I had the old paddle back I'd feel as if I am paddling with a curtain rail from my living room. These few cm matter a great deal, not just in terms being closer to what Epic Paddle Wizard says but also what may work better for you given a particular scenario, such as warm up vs steady cruising, calm vs choppy, etc. I go between 205 and 207 all the time in a course of a single outing.

Current: Epic 18x Sport, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Think Evo II, Epic V7

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