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Author Topic: Resource: What length should my SUP paddle be?  (Read 738 times)

sflinux

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Resource: What length should my SUP paddle be?
« on: September 22, 2021, 08:05:55 AM »
I am in the market for a paddle.  Over the years I have been going shorter.  This has helped my shoulder, but at the expense of my lower back.  Now I ask myself the question, do I continue to go shorter for more performance?  Or do I go longer to spare my back?  I ask myself the question, where am I in relative paddle length to my height, compared to other riders?  I came across this great resource by BlackProjectSup.
https://blackprojectsup.com/sup-paddles/how_to_choose_and_customize_your_sup_paddle/what-length-should-my-sup-paddle-be/

They break down discipline, rider height, and volume of board (which affects how high you are above the waterline).
The data reaffirmed where I have landed on my own with paddle length.
Thought others might find this chart useful.
p.s.  Also I would like to thank Supthecreek for his valuable input.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2021, 08:07:28 AM by sflinux »
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Luc Benac

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Re: Resource: What length should my SUP paddle be?
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2021, 10:30:49 AM »
These are a lot too long for me.
I ended between 73" and 74" with boards that are not very high on the water. Obviously I prefer 73" on bigger conditions and 74" on flatter. I found that I needed the extra inch as I am not hinging as I should and the extra reach worked faster.
I am 6' - 172 lbs.
Sunova Allwater 14'x25.5"
Sunova Torpedo 14'x27" 286L
Naish Nalu 11'4" x 30" 180L
Sunova Steeze 10' x 31" 150L
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Dusk Patrol

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Re: Resource: What length should my SUP paddle be?
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2021, 11:05:00 AM »
interesting... I have stayed with longer lengths based on what feels right... using a 78" where the Black Project grid suggests shorter at 74".   

I'll shorten an adjustable and give it a try... see what happens after the 'feels wrong' stage.
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Bulky

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Re: Resource: What length should my SUP paddle be?
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2021, 04:15:25 PM »
I laughed when I saw your question because one could do a very interesting archive search on this discussion.  Used to be WAY long...and then it got shorter...and who knows where we're at now.

As even the first responses here have shown, some of this is individual based on how one paddles and what board one is on, how many fish are in the water and how many carbs you had 3 hours before you got to the beach.  In my case, the table works out pretty well--I'm 6' or 6'1 and my current paddle is 78".  Up until last spring it was significantly longer and then I started working with Candice Appleby and, after watching my stroke she immediately told me to cut 4" off my paddle.  Did that and it changed things--a bit later I took another inch off to get to where I am.  But that's still significantly longer than Luc, so again, kind of individual.

One thing I have noticed since cutting the paddle down is that I haven't had occasional shoulder pain in the last 6mos.  Wasn't ever anything severe, but it would kind of come and go.  None since I changed my paddle length.

So for now, my answer is 78"...until it's not.  ;-)
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Luc Benac

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Re: Resource: What length should my SUP paddle be?
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2021, 11:51:51 PM »
Yes I found that it did good to my shoulders in general. Lower back is still OK. It pretty much took me years to get down as I started at 78" or even 79" and reduced very gradually. It almost went hand in hand with improvement in my stroke year after year. For more than 15km paddle, I would stick with 74" and could do 75" as speed is not the main aspect there.
Sunova Allwater 14'x25.5"
Sunova Torpedo 14'x27" 286L
Naish Nalu 11'4" x 30" 180L
Sunova Steeze 10' x 31" 150L
 *Salish 460 & 500, Viento 520

Night Wing

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Re: Resource: What length should my SUP paddle be?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2021, 04:24:19 AM »
Since I live over 100 miles from the upper Texas coast where I go sup surfing, I do a lot of flat water paddling with my 11'1" One World and my two 10'5" Duke sups because the subdivision where I live has two private lakes which are about 100 yards from my home.

Since I'm a small framed guy skeletal wise, 5'8" (68") tall and I weigh (at this time) 148 pounds, I like to use a woman's paddle because of the smaller diameter shaft made for a woman's hands and the paddle I use is an adjustable length paddle. The paddle is a two piece Naish 75 and the model name for the paddle is the Alana.

Because I do a lot of flat water paddling, I have found I like the length of the paddle set at 72 1/2" with me paddling in a modified surf stance. This length "feels" right for me with my two surgically repaired right and left shoulders without any discomfort.

When it comes to sup surfing, the height of the waves along with the speed of the waves and the type of waves I encounter will determine what paddle length I will use for that sup surfing session. This is why I like an adjustable length paddle.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2021, 04:26:54 AM by Night Wing »
Blue Planet Duke: 10'5" x 32" x 4.5" @ 190 Liters (2 Dukes)
Sup Sports Hammer: 8'11" x 31" x 4" @ 140 Liters
SUP Sports One World: 11'1" x 30" x 4.5" @ 173 Liters
CJ Nelson Parallax: 9'3" x 23 1/2" x 3 3/16" @ 78.8 Liters (prone surfing longboard)

 


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