Author Topic: Paddle length with a foil?  (Read 1166 times)


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Paddle length with a foil?
« on: November 02, 2017, 06:57:07 PM »
I was wondering what the opinion is on paddle length with a foil? GoFoil FAQ says "You can use a longer paddle but it is not absolutely  necessary. Kai Lenny in his videos so far is using his regular length paddles." Do you find that your current length paddle is sufficient enough or would you prefer a longer paddle?


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Re: Paddle length with a foil?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2017, 10:42:39 AM »
My foil paddle is about 2 inches longer then my usual sup surf paddle.  I went with a adjustable handle on my Ke Nalu paddle so that I could experiment with different lengths.
L41 SIMSUP S4 - 7'4" x 30 1/4" x 4 1/2" 112L
L41 SIMSUP S5 - 7'6" x 27 1/2" x 4 3/16" 106L
L41 SIMSUP S4 - 7'8" x 31"x 4 1/2" 122L - Modded w/ a King's TUT Tuttle box and using a King's foil.
L41 SIMSUP S4 - 7'10" x 30 1/4" x 4 1/2" 120L
Starboard Whopper - 10' x 34" x 4 1/3" 171L - w/ FCS GL-1 fins


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Re: Paddle length with a foil?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2019, 11:35:05 AM »
Team foilers,
I have been foiling with the same paddle I use for standup surfing. Roughly 73 inches. I saw the video of Derek H pumping back out with what looks like a longer paddle. Much easier for him to take a stroke on the bottom of the pump bell(if that makes sense).

So I tried my longer paddle ( roughly 78 Inches ) and here are my thoughts.
- the strokes during the pump were easier to achieve. less bending which would in my head create more center of gravity over the stringer as you are not bending over to get a paddle in the water as much.
- Catching waves with the longer paddle always has, and still drove me nuts. So much so that I switched back to my shorter paddle.

So although I felt the benefits of the longer shaft during pump paddles, the rest of the time I felt like I could not drive the paddling into my core as much as the shorter paddle. With the shorter paddle I can exert more direct force, quicker against the water.

felt like a mechanical advantage decrease with the longer paddle.

« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 12:07:19 PM by red_tx »


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Re: Paddle length with a foil?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2019, 12:59:20 PM »
Its personal preference and you get use it once you decide which length you paddle. My race paddle is 2 inches more and my surf paddle is 2 inches less and I  only notice a minor reach issue but its fine on either paddle lenght. What's important is how foil and derek and those legends are exceptional  8)


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Re: Paddle length with a foil?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2019, 12:59:35 PM »
I never found a need to lengthen my paddle(s) that I used for SUPing to foil with...which is still just head-high.

When flying I'm not paddling, and only use/need it on occasion at height as a kind of feeler-gauge if I'm getting the idea that I might be reaching that critical too high/high enough zone, and don't particularly want to breach the wing.

Since my turning is never done from max height, and I'm typically flying downwards from height to gain speed into the turn, to then fly back around, up, and out of the completed I find that the SUP length paddle is long enough to plant in the water since I'm already bending/squatting at lot to lower my COG into the turn anyway shortening the distance I then have something to push against to accelerate, and fly the board/foil on the way out and around as I stand/push back up.

Obviously when paddling around and/or for a wave, the board is on the water pretty much exactly like my SUPs were, so added length then is not necessary, and once I get enough speed where I'm getting on foil to start flying...I'm usually pumping more then paddling my that time, so no need for additional length at that time either.

Me: 6'1"/200...6'0" Chelu Foil Boards...9'6" Bob Pearson "Laird Noserider"...9'6" Costa Azul Wide Body...14' Lahui Kai "Manta"...8'0" WaveStorm for when proning urges still hit, and 7'3" Chuck Glynn foil board backup.


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Re: Paddle length with a foil?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2019, 03:39:16 PM »
I also use the same size paddle for foiling as for SUP surfing, a little less than head high for me.
I tried a longer paddle for foiling but it made it harder to catch waves and did not really help when pumping.  I was actually more likely to hit my foil with the blade when pumping/ stoking with a longer paddle.
Robert Stehlik
Blue Planet Surf Shop, Honolulu
Hawaii's SUP HQ


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