Builders' Forum Archives
Re: paddle length
Posted by LeeG on May 12, 2005
one of the factors paddle length charts leave out is the height of the from the water which is different than paddler height. A shorter person will benefit from a higher mounted seat as long as it doesn't affect stability as it will allow them to connect to the water without raising their arms as high or requiring a longer paddle to reach the water. A long paddle in the arms of a shorter person because the boat is wide may not be as optimum as raising the seat an inch and not increasing the paddle length. If a long paddle is used for a shorter person with less hp it's worth looking at a lighter paddle or paddle with a smaller blade.
In low energy,calm environments you'll find a wide range of paddle lengths,,the more stressful the environment and higher hp the paddle lengths start clustering together in a narrow range. This is a round about way of saying it's not too critical for regular use. My experience building and paddling a MillCreek13 is that a 225-235cm paddle worked fine for me. I think most folks would be happy with 230-240cm. Putting the blade in the right place makes a bigger difference than if the paddle is 230 or 250com but putting a long heavy 250cm paddle in the arms of a shorter weaker person doesn't make as much sense as raising the seat for the shorter person (esp. in a high coaming stable rec. kayak)and getting them a small blade on a light 230cm paddle.
In Response to: Will Paddles be available by Jon T on May 12, 2005