Choosing the right paddle length you should use depends on many factors that are determined by your size, paddling style and type/size of boat.
The more you develop and fine-tune your paddling and experiment with different paddles, the easier it will be for you to determine what’s the best length for your paddle.
And if you are like most avid paddlers, you will soon have several in your arsenal from which to choose.
To not have to call your day short when you’re out on the water, use a 260cm kayak paddle when the situation calls for it or a shorter one in other conditions.
What Happens If You Use The Wrong Size Paddle?
When using a paddle that’s too short or too long, you’ll end up overexerting yourself and working harder than necessary to build up speed and keep the kayak on track. If the length isn’t right, your hands will tend to move along the shaft, resulting in the development of blisters.
Also, a too-short kayak paddle will be constantly banging against the side of your kayak. If you are out fishing then you will no doubt scare away the fish.
High Angle vs Low Angle
As you might guess, the high and low angles have to do with the angle your paddle enters the water.
High-angle paddling is more vertical. It’s easier with narrower kayaks and is used for speed. Whitewater kayakers and aggressive, fast kayakers use the high-angle strokes much of the time.
Low-angle paddling is more horizontal—about a 20-30º angle. It’s used for wider, recreational kayaks, and is great for more relaxed paddling. It’s less tiring than a high angle. And since the kayak is moving slower, the paddling technique isn’t quite as important.
To put this in simpler terms, a 260cm kayak paddle is only for low angle paddling as it would be way too long to dive deep with the blade in the water.
A 220 cm kayak paddle would be ok, but honestly, a 180 cm one would be better depending on your torso height.
Best 260 cm Kayak Paddle – Accent Paddles Ultimate Angler Adjustable Length
This great 260cm kayak paddle has the innovative feature of being adjustable as it can go anywhere from 240cm in size all the way up to a 260cm kayak paddle. It has dihedral blades that will be able to give you a smooth but powerful stroke.
Most of the paddle is made from carbon which makes it extremely light and easy to use and comes in two pieces so it’s very easy to store as well. You get a tight fit with its kingpin connection and this is a paddle that feels strong and agile in the water.
Best 220 Cm Kayak Paddle
Perfect for the beginner, this entry-level model incorporates many of the features usually found only on more advanced models.
The aluminum shaft, with a tight-fitting 2 piece snap-button ferrule, is controlled comfortably by black grips. The polypropylene blades will take a beating and come back for more.
It is great for either low angle or high angle paddling. Of course, this does depend on your torso height, but for the average height paddler, you can certainly use it both ways.
The lightweight, strong aluminum shaft has 3M Versafit over the oval grip area for comfortable, confident hand control and no blisters so you can stay on the water longer.
All of this for a price anyone can afford.
Best 230cm Kayak Paddle – AQUA BOUND Manta Ray Fiberglass Shaft
The Manta Ray Hybrid 230cm kayak paddle is built for high-angle paddlers, bigger boats, and paddlers looking for more power. With its all-carbon shaft and large, abXII fiberglass-reinforced blades, the Manta Ray Hybrid has a low swing weight and provides both comfort and power at a great price point.
In addition to a snug 3-hole snap-button ferrule (0° to 60°, L and R feathering angles), this 230cm kayak paddle also offers the Posi-Lok ferrule system which clicks into position firmly and securely. The Posi-Lok features strong, corrosion-free composite construction, convenient dual-button release, and infinite feathering angles.
Dihedral blades offer up over 20% more power per stroke with no extra effort. This means more time out on the water as you are less likely to get fatigued.
As you can see there is a perfect sized kayak paddle for you no matter your paddling style, height or size kayak. Choose from any of these three reviewed here according to your specifications and you have the ideal tool to enjoy your outings.
If you have any questions drop a line below and I will answer ASAP!