Are you looking for a new SUP paddle and wondering what paddle length is right for you? There are a few things you should consider when sizing your paddle. A good starting point is to get a paddle approximately 6-8 inches taller than you for general paddling. To gauge what length is good for you, stand on a flat surface with the blade of the paddle on the ground and one hand holding the paddle around the shaft. Reach your other arm over your head and when you can comfortably reach your hand over the T of the paddle shaft, with a slight bend to your arm, you have the correct paddle length.
If you are trying to set the proper height of your adjustable paddle, release the locking mechanism on the paddle. Take one hand and extend it straight over your head, with your fingers pointing up. With the other hand, take the T of the paddle shaft and adjust it until it reaches your wrist. Take your hand and fold it over the T of the paddle shaft. Carefully lock the adjustment mechanism in place, being careful not to change the height of the paddle in the process.
You want a paddle that is long enough that you don’t have to bend over much, but not so long that it is hard to move from side to side. You want your paddle to be both comfortable for you and efficient.
It is important to remember that there are many theories on the best way to size your paddle. The optimal paddle length varies for each person, depending on your height, arm length, your board’s height off the water, your activity and your strength. For touring and racing, you will want your paddle to be a bit longer than usual for a more powerful stroke, and for surfing, you will want your paddle to be slightly shorter for maneuverability. The wrong paddle length can also lead to injury to your shoulder or back. So, if you have concerns about what length paddle is best for you, consider an adjustable length paddle, and don’t be afraid to adjust the paddle after a couple paddling sessions to make sure you have the correct length. Remember that you can stop in or give us a call at Sun Sports+ anytime with questions too! We love to help our customers find the right setup so that they can enjoy the water!