When determining paddle length, the kayak width is the limiting factor for recreational kayaking. The sizing chart below should ensure you aren't hitting your knuckles on the hull as you paddle. For sleeker touring/sea kayaks ones paddling style and physical size plays more heavily.
||24" to 28"
||Recommended Paddle Length
|5'5" - 5'11"
In a sit-on-top kayak, if the seat is raised 6" or higher above the base, add 10cm in length.
An easy way to measure in the field is to hold a paddle horizontally in your hands with your elbows slightly inside a 90 degree angle (most paddles are ovalized in the area they should be gripped). Your hands should be about two-thirds of the way between the center of the shaft and the shoulder of the blade. Again, always take stroke angle and boat width into consideration, and demo the paddle whenever possible.