Choosing the Right Kayak Paddle

Depending on what type of paddling you are going to do, choosing the right paddle is almost as important as getting the right kayak. The right or wrong paddle can make all the difference when you get onto the water. Too short and you will be bashing against the sides of the kayak, too long and you may end up zig-zagging and using additional energery.

Generally in Hong Kong we focus on recreational touring kayaking rather than whitewater or lakes. Taking this into consideration we will concentrate on this category. ALso, if you are in a longer, sleeker performance kayak we will assume you know what paddle you need anyway.

The table below is a rough guide on what paddle length you will need depending on the width and height of your kayak.

Kayak WidthUnder 23″23″ to 27.75″28″ to 32″Over 32″
Paddler HeightRecommended Paddle Length
Under 5′200 cm210 cm220 cm230 cm
5′ to 5’6″210 cm220 cm230 cm240 cm
5’7″ to 6′220 cm220 cm230 cm240 cm
Over 6′220 cm230 cm240 cm250 cm

A Quick Solution For The Right Paddle Length

A quick way to determine a good paddle length is to stand next to it and put your hand over the blade. An ideal paddle should be tall enough to allow only the first finger joints to go over it.

A Note on Inflatable Kayak Paddles

Inflatable kayaks tend to be a bit wider and higher than ones made of tougher materials. This means that it is reccomended that you choose a slightly longer paddle than usual.

Check out our selection of kayak paddles here.

Another source to match your paddle with your kayak is from Palm Equipment, go to their website and check it out: