Kayak Paddle Size by type and height (size charts included)

In this kayak paddle size guide, we have a well-researched perfect paddle fit sizes chart to help you select the best paddle and improve your paddling experience. Indeed, there are a variety of kayak paddles for both high-angle paddling and low-angle paddling. The style of paddling will influence the type of paddle to purchase. Lol, which type of kayaking do you practice? 

Looking for the correct Outdoor Shoes size for Kayaking

What are Kayak Paddles? 

A kayak paddle is used to propel a kayak in the right direction while riding in the water. It can be made from carbon fiber, fiberglass, wood, or metal rod. Kayaks paddles are longer and have blades on each side. You handle the middle of the shaft to use the paddle to propel the kayak in the opposite direction of the applied force. 

Kayak paddles are either; 

1. Feathered Paddles

2. Un-feathered Paddles

Kayak paddles are not attached to the boat and therefore they are required to be light to handle. The paddle weight ranges from 22 ounces (620 grams) to 32 ounces (910 grams). The lighter the kayak paddle the more expensive it is. Aluminum paddles (with aluminum paddle shaft) and plastic paddles are relatively cheap compared to carbon fiber paddles or fiberglass paddles. People with taller hands use longer paddle diameter shaft while people with shorter hands use smaller diameter shaft. 

Why is a good Kayak Paddle Size Important? 

1. Ensures comfort 

Ideally, anyone will like to enjoy his or her kayak trip. However, if the kayak paddle size is longer than you can handle you will strain to lift it and if too short will cause the rider’s hands too sore and cause back pain due to forward-leaning. 

2. Ensure easy control 

When using the right size of the kayak paddle you will easily control the usage of the paddle. 

3. Ease of usability

For angling beginners, a lighter kayak paddle will ensure a perfect sailing experience. 

Kayak Paddle Size Chart 

Below is a sizing chart for adult performance, recreational, and touring paddlers with the kayak width, paddler height, and recommended paddle length in feet-inch and centimeters. 

KAYAK WIDTHUNDER 58.42 cm or 23″58.82 cm TO 70.49 cm  23″ TO 27.75″ 71.12 cm TO 81.28 cm  28″ TO 32″OVER 81.28 cm  OVER 32″ 
PADDLER HEIGHTRecommended Paddle Length 
UNDER 152.4 cm UNDER 5′200 cm  78.74 inches 210 cm  82.68 inches 220 cm 86.6 inches 230 cm 90.6 inches  
152.4 cm TO 167.64 cm  5′ TO 5’6″210 cm  82.68 inches220 cm  86.6 inches 230 cm  90.6 inches 240 cm  94.49 inches 
170.18 cm TO 182.9 cm  5’7″ TO 6′220 cm  86.6 inches220 cm  86.6 inches230 cm  90.6 inches240 cm  94.49 inches 
OVER 182.9 cm OVER 6′220 cm  86.6 inches 230 cm  90.6 inches 240 cm  94.49 inches 250 cm  98.42 inches  

Below is a sizing table for the adult whitepaper paddle. 

UNDER 5’2” UNDER 157.48 cm 192 cm 75.6 inches 
5’2” – 5’7” 157.48 cm – 170.18 cm 194 cm 76.4 inches
5’8” – 5’11” 172.72 cm – 180.34 cm 196 cm 77.2 inches
6’0” – 6’3” 182.88 cm –  190.5 cm 198 cm 77.95 inches
Over 6’3” Over 190.5 cm 200 cm 78.7 inches 

How to Choose the Right Kayak Paddle Size?

A kayak paddler will stick with the same paddle the whole day when kayaking. In this sense, choosing the right kayak paddle size is your first obligation. 

Firstly, you need the correct kayak paddle length measured against the paddler height. The major factors to consider when choosing the correct paddle lengths factor. 

1. Paddler height 

2. Kayak width 

3. Type of kayaking

Rightfully so, think of a situation where you choose the incorrect paddle length? 

The best Kayak Paddle Size for you 

Choosing the best kayak paddle size for you can’t be a simple task, but this doesn’t have to baffle you. 

When choosing the best size, you need to take into consideration your paddling lifestyle. Kayak paddle sizing differs depending on the intended use. For example, touring paddle, whitewater paddling, recreational paddling,  or performance paddling requires different paddle lengths, paddle angle, and paddle width. For a better paddling experience, choose either performance kayak paddles, touring kayak paddles, recreational paddles, and whitewater paddles with the right dimensions. See our kayak paddle sizing charts above.

Recreational Kayak 

Has an approximate width of 26 inches to 30 inches and is the boat 6-12 feet long.

Performance Kayak 

Has an approximate width of 19 inches to 22 inches and the boat is 15 – 18 feet long. 

Touring Kayak 

Has an approximate width of 22 inches and 25 inches and the boat is 12 – 15 feet long. 

Whitepaper Kayak 

The boat is 7 – 11 feet long. 

Kayak Paddle Sizing explained

The best size for a Kayak Paddle explained by BendingBranchesTV


To wrap up, let us have a brief explanation of the different types of kayak paddle blade materials and shaft materials. There isn’t a direct relationship between the materials used to make a kayak paddle and its size but it is important for you to learn about the different types of materials. The type of material used to make paddle blades include fiberglass, plastic, carbon fiber, or wood. The two common options for making the shaft paddle are fiberglass and aluminum while carbon is used for expensive high-end paddle models. The different materials bring about the difference in weight, durability, and pricing. 

If you are uncertain which kayak paddle suits you best (shorter paddle or longer paddle), then you need to consult the local paddling expert to help you choose the perfect fit gear. Inquire from the local paddling shop if you can test the paddles before making a purchase. 

If you enjoyed reading this guide, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

Picture in this post by Kalen Emsley on Unsplash

Related Outdoor Hobbies Size Charts

Hobby Size Chart, Sports Size Chart, Topics