What Length Paddle Should I Use for Paddleboarding?

How to Determine the Right SUP Paddle Length for You:

The general rule of thumb for paddle length is 8-10 inches taller than the paddler’s height. While standing, place the paddle tip on the ground and simply measure its height against yours.

Why Sport-Specific Gear is Important

There are paddles designed specifically for paddleboarding. They have an angled face that is wider than other kayak or canoe paddles that are designed to push more water with less effort. This can make a big difference – especially if you plan on spending an hour or more on the water at one time.

Even though you could use any old paddle for pushing water, a paddleboard paddle will enable you to go longer distances faster without lagging behind your group or getting frustrated. This is a big reason for investing in gear specifically for the sport. I can attest from personal experience.

Why Paddle Length is Important

SUP paddle length is something else that you should pay attention to. Using the right length of paddle will help prevent back pain and make it easier and more fun to paddle.

A common problem occurs when newbies get a package deal that includes a too-short paddle that causes them to hunch over when they paddle. Even if you get a good deal on a package, it’s smart to invest in a paddle that fits you – you can still save yourself a bunch of money anyway.

If you find it uncomfortable every time you go out on your board, you are likely to stop using it – and then you’ve just succeeded at wasting a bunch of money. Don’t do that!

Adjustable SUP Paddles

One way to avoid the size problem right at the start is to buy an adjustable paddle vs a paddle that is one set size. Another advantage to having an adjustable paddle is that multiple people can use it – even if they are different heights. Furthermore, if you ever sell your gear, you are not limited to customers of a certain height.


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