How to Size a Canoe or Kayak Paddle from Home

3-minute read

Sometimes it’s easier or just plain necessary to buy a paddle online instead of in a retail store. If that’s your situation, we have a few easy tips to size a canoe or kayak paddle from home.

man on his fishing kayak on a river

(photo courtesy of Brandon Mayes)

Size a Kayak Fishing Paddle from Home

There are a couple key questions to ask when sizing a paddle for kayak fishing:

  1. How wide is my fishing kayak?
  2. Does it have an adjustable-height seat?

Kayaks designed for fishing are wide and stable, suitable for carrying lots of gear and weight. You’ll need to know the width of your kayak as a starting point. If you don’t have a kayak yet, manufacturers will have the specs on their website, including measurements.

Then the taller you are, the longer you’ll want your paddle to be. This chart is helpful:

kayak fishing paddle size chart

If your kayak has an adjustable-height seat, you’ll definitely want an adjustable-length paddle. That way one paddle will serve all your needs, no matter what height you set your seat.

Bending Branches’ adjustable-length kayak fishing paddles feature the Versa-Lok ferrule system, which gives you up to 15 cm of variable. All of our kayak fishing paddles are available with this ferrule option except the Angler Drift.

Read: Our Versa-LokTM Ferrule System gives you Ultimate Kayak Paddle Performance

Size a Recreational Kayak Paddle from Home

As with a kayak fishing paddle, a recreational kayak paddle is also sized based on the width of your kayak. Your height is a consideration, too, as you can see from the same chart below:

rec kayak paddle sizing chart

A few of our recreational kayak paddles feature the Versa-Lok ferrule, too. That’s especially handy when several people of different heights will share one paddle or if you have more than two or more kayaks with different widths.

Size a Canoe Paddle from Home

There are many subtleties—and opinions—regarding the best canoe paddle length. For our purposes here we’ll give you the most general rule of thumb.

The easiest way to measure yourself or a family member for a canoe paddle is to sit on a hard chair. Take a tape measure and measure from the seat of the chair to your nose (that’s your torso size). Then follow the guidelines on this chart below:

canoe paddle sizing chart

Notice the suggested length of the paddle depends on the type of shaft you want. A straight shaft paddle will be about 4 inches longer than a bent shaft paddle for you.

Read: Bent vs. Straight Shaft Canoe Paddles

Whatever the reason for shopping from home, now you can be confident that the sizing is right for the type of paddle you choose, whether it’s for canoeing, kayak fishing or recreational kayaking.

Let our friendly Customer Service team help you choose your new paddle today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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