Kayak Paddle Size Chart |How To Choose A Kayak Paddle

Paddles are the essential part of kayaking. For safe paddling you definitely need a best kayak paddle for yourself. There are different types of strokes you may face when paddling or kayaking so it is better to cover these strokes when you have a paddle. To choose a kayak paddle you should have a kayak paddle size chart.

Some basic points for you while choosing a kayak paddle for yourself are as follows.

Length: choose a paddle that fits your kayak size ex according to kayak height and size.

Price And Material: Good material demands good price. Safe paddling low weight material improves flexibility.

Shaft Choice: choose the perfect size and shape of your blade as it improves the effectiveness of your paddle in the water .

Shaft Choice: To have a feathered blade and bent shaft ensure your paddles performance. 

Paddle Length

This is a comparatively easy task to choose the right size paddle for you. Try to buy a paddle as long as your kayak is wider. It mostly depends on height when you are tall and have a narrow boat. A taller paddler needs a longer paddle. 

Paddle Size Chart

Paddler height Boat width 
Under “23“23 to “28 “28 to “32 Over “32
Under 5′ tall210cm220cm230cm240cm
5′ to 5’6″ tall215cm220cm230cm240cm
5’6″ to 6′ tall220cm220cm230cm250cm
Over 6′ tall220cm230cm240cm250cm

Tweener sizes

Sometimes a person can fall into two sizes. If you are one of them it is recommended to take a shorter one. A short paddle will provide a comfortable travel distance. A longer paddle will be perfect if you have a smaller waist. 

High And Low Angle paddles

Each paddle is designed for specific paddling at either high and low angles. Each way of paddling has a different paddle size chart. A slightly tilted shaft. While you paddling on flat water, you will apply a low angle paddle as this is for comfortable and relaxed kayaking.  A recreational kayak also prefers a low angle paddle. 

High angle shaft is a more titled shaft that enables a paddler to paddle speedy. This is near the path of the boat blade. This way will tire you if you don’t have enough practice and experienced skill. For high angle a shorter paddle with a wider blade is perfect.

Tip: Above we mentioned a low angle paddle size chart. 


best kayak paddles

Blade Materials

It is suitable to buy a lightweight paddle as it will reduce your fatigue. How? So when you raise your paddle above your shaft you will definitely get tired. But if your paddle is light weight it will increase your fatigue as well. 

Plastic is one of the generic terms. There are different types of materials such as polymer, polypropylene, fiberglass or nylon etc. these are all good in quality and price. 

Nylon Blades/ Plastic

Plastic paddles are better for recreational kayaking. Plastic is flexible that not only prevents it from snap into pieces but also increases efficiency of your stroke in the water. Keeping it in the sun can cause the kayak to crack.

Fiberglass Blades 

The kayaks made with fiberglass blades are more durable and flexible than plastic. These kayaks have low prices but feature amazing functionality. Choosing the rigid fiberglass material will increase efficiency and will not break in the middle of the way. 

Carbon Fiber Blades

If you prefer good performance without worrying about money, then let’s choose carbon fiber blades. Carbon fiber is really ultralight, and extremely strong to transfer energy rapidly.          

Shaft Materials

how to paddle a kayak

Plastic shafts are used rarely. Aluminum shafts are budget friendly and durable and used widely. The aluminum shaft is getting both cold or hot. Stow your shaft in the shade when they become hot and wear gloves when you use them in a cold atmosphere.

Fiberglass or carbon shafts are lightweight as compared to aluminum and plastic. They are stronger and durable and excellent in performance. Connecting one of these two materials with composite blade material will offer you a lightweight paddling. Price matters in order to have a good performance.

Blade Design 

Asymmetrical dihedral blade designs are used mostly. These types of blades are comparatively shorter and narrow on one side. This type of shape angles it and enables a surface more uniform in the water. 

A dihedral blade enables a peddle to flow freely. The water flowing on the both halves of the blades. This will allow you to move straight very quickly.  Narrow blades are very convenient for multi day or full day tours. They are not only handy but also lighter and comfortable for long distances.

Wider blades are mostly used for kayaking surfers as they enable themselves to perform powerful maneuvers.

Shaft Design 

Straight Shaft Or Bent Shaft 

  1. Decrease discomfort or fatigue
  2. More handy more comfortable 

Two Pieces Or Four Pieces 

  1. Can break for easier storage 
  2. Shorter sections
  3. Perfect for portable kayak 
  4. Good to paddle on plane 

Small Diameter Shaft 

  1. Less fatigue
  2. Perfect for the person who can’t touch index finger and thumb together


kayaking a paddle

There are two types of blades matched or feathers and both are aligned with each other. Feathered blades are offset at right angles. They are causing wind resistance on the blade at the surface. Every shaft enables you to rotate to be feathered or matched. You can even adjust the amount of feathering at any angle you desire.

Note: The terms “right-hand control” and “left-hand control” refer to which hand rotates the shaft during a feathered stroke. Most paddles let you set it up either way.

Do I need a ferrule that can feather? What exactly does that imply?

How To Properly Use Kayak Paddle

Final Verdict

So this is the basic paddle size chart we have reviewed. You can read to know the basics when you wanna buy your first paddle for kayak.

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