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Paddle Wizards - How to estimate your correct paddle size

BRAČA-SPORT paddles are available in fixed length or adjustable with 5cm or 10cm range depending on the model. The length of paddle you require will vary according to three main factors; the width/thickness of the craft you intend to paddle, whether you are paddling as a racer, for fitness or touring and your height. If this is your first paddle, an adjustable shaft is reccomended as this will allow you adjustment in length as well as the ability to adjust your paddle feather angle until you find what is comfortable for you.

Kayak Paddle Wizard

Suggested Blade Volumes:

600 - 690cm2 recommended for junior paddlers.

660 - 735cm2 recommended for sea kayak paddlers 

705 - 735cm2 most popular size for downwind ocean ski paddlers

735 - 770cm2 suggested for marathon race paddlers

775 - 840cm2 suggested for sprint race paddlers

1) Determine the length of your paddlers box as follows:

a) Grip a paddle (or broomstick), with elbows at right angles, shaft horizontal, resting on head, and measure from elbow to elbow outer edges behind the back (see photo on right).

b) Add 120cm to this length to get your sample paddle length.

For a junior paddler, add 110cm rather than 120cm.

2) Check suitability for your leg and torso ratio:

Measure  your standing height to inside your curved fingers with your arm raised with your shoulders relaxed (photo 2 on right) Add this to your figure from step one and divide your answer by two. This new figure can be set as the mid-point for your paddle adjustment range.

eg 215cm would mean a paddle 210-220cm length or 212 -217cm for a 5cm range paddle.

3) Other considerations:

a) Does your paddle need to be used across multiple craft eg sea kayak and ocean racing ski?

b) Do your usage involve a relaxed or aggessive paddle stroke? eg sea kayak touring vs downwind racing. 

How to calculate paddle length
How long should my paddle be?

SUP Paddle Wizard

Simply add 15cm to your height in cm. We recommend for beginning/leisure  paddlers to get an adjustable shaft with this calculation as the middle value in the paddle adjustment. This will allow you to adjust above and below this point by 2 cm to allow for different boards/conditions. 
eg: A paddler of 180cm would require a 195cm paddle.  If they purchase an adjustable paddle it would go from 193cm to 197cm. 

Kneeling Canoe Paddle Wizard

For kneeling canoe (C1) your paddle length should equal the distance from the ground to your eyebrow level when standing up straight. 

Seated Canoe/Outrigger & Dragon Boat Paddle Wizard

The recommended starting point for these disciplines is for the paddle to reach your armpit when standing up straight with your shoulders relaxed. This method however does not take into account the ratio between your wing span and torso length which is a vital consideration for paddling in a sitting position. Instead in a seated on a bench or level surface, raise your arm in a straight upwards positon by your ear. Have a friend measure the distance from the bench to the middle of your palm. This will give a more accurate paddle length.  For dragon boaters in particular however, we do recemmend an adjustable shaft as this will allow you to cater for your position in the boat; bow and stern paddlers may be working over a higher gunwhale than those seated in the middle of the boat. For Dragon Boat, the maximum length allowed for competition use is 51 inches. For adjustable shaft paddles this means the longest paddle we can make for you is a 49-51cm paddle. For Outrigger and Canoe disciplines, a fixed shaft is recommended to avoid the clamp interfering with the motion of your hand swap while underway. If you paddle in an OC6, add an inch to the measurement calculated above as the boat will sit higher in the water. If on the other hand you paddle an OC2 then subtract an inch from the measurement above as you will be seated lower in the craft to aid stability and are therefore closer to the water. Paddlers moving between a number of outrigger craft may be best served by an adjustable shaft paddle.  

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