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Find Your Paddle Length

Proper paddle length can make a world of difference in the enjoyment you get out of your canoe and can even prevent injuries.  While teaching canoeing I constantly emphasize to my students that the top hand should never be higher than eye level.  Any higher and injuries can occur, but with a properly sized paddle your paddling position will not put undue stress on body parts and thus reduce or even eliminate the chance of injury.  Over the years many methods have been used to work out the proper length of canoe paddle that a person should use.  These methods will have you inspecting the various angles that your elbows and arms make.  Paddle blades come in all shapes and sizes, some are long and narrow and others are short and wide.  For this reason the overall length of the paddle is not a good indicator.  The measurement that is of importance is the length of the shaft, from the end of the top grip to the throat, where the blade meets the shaft.  To find the approximate shaft length sit on a hard surface, sit up straight, and measure from the surface, that you are sitting, to your eyebrows.  This will be approximately the length of shaft that will best suit you.  With that said, there will be some room for variation here.  Ultimately, factors such as seat placement within the canoe, torso length, and style of paddling (solo, tandem, Canadian) will influence the final length.  If you are a solo paddler or looking for a white water paddle then add 2 or 3 inches to the previous measurement.  This will allow a solo paddler a further reach in order to steer at the ends of the boat and the white water paddler will benefit from greater leverage.

When ordering find the length of the shaft by following the proceedure described above then add the length of the blade. Choose the overall length that is closest to your measurments.



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Find Your Paddle Length Home Mark Lafontaine
Paddle Care About Saskatoon, SK
Shipping Paddles Email: mark@maskwapaddles.ca
    Ph: 306-955-4587

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