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FFIM • View topic - How to determine canoe paddle length?

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PostPosted: January 1st, 2020, 6:14 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: July 21st, 2011, 9:30 pm
Posts: 940
Location: Brunswick
I'm in the market for a good canoe paddle and I'm having a hard time finding consistent information on how to determine length. I'm 6'4" and with the various formulas I found I came up with lengths between 56 and 67 inches.

Anyone know what would work best?

Peter

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PostPosted: January 1st, 2020, 7:14 pm 
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One that reaches the water.
When we were younger I believe I was taught that armpit to floor was proper.

Ron

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PostPosted: January 1st, 2020, 7:19 pm 
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Location: Near the tying bench
Chara,

Try this:

https://bendingbranches.com/canoe-paddle-sizing-guide

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PostPosted: January 1st, 2020, 9:00 pm 
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Location: Brunswick

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PostPosted: January 2nd, 2020, 6:28 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: August 7th, 2004, 12:00 am
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Location: Plymouth, ME
I had no idea there even was a formula for picking a paddle. However, I know that I’ve had paddles that were long and dug deep but were a continual source of frustration when I wanted to stow them in the canoe fairly quickly (like when a riser appears within my range).


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PostPosted: January 4th, 2020, 10:55 am 
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Joined: July 21st, 2018, 12:34 pm
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Location: Ellsworth
A good rule of thumb is to set the paddle on the toe of your shoes and have the grip come up to your mouth or nose. We use this as a technique because ideally when paddling flat water you want your upper hand to be at the same level as your face for the most efficient stroke. If you are looking for a whitewater paddle there are other factors to consider depending on your preferred paddling style.

Without a paddle present I would measure how high off the ground your nose is then subtract 2 inches for your toe height. If you are 6'4" and an experienced stern or solo paddler then you probably want about 60" paddle length. If you are planning on paddling in the bow then about 58" is a better bet.


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PostPosted: January 4th, 2020, 11:54 am 
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FFIMer

Joined: May 12th, 2003, 12:00 am
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Location: Hampton, NH/Eustis
I'm 6'6" and use a 56" paddle comfortably from the stern. Tried longer ones and did not like them.


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PostPosted: January 4th, 2020, 12:11 pm 
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FFIM-aholic

Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 1357
Location: Fairfield, ME
In moving water, I often pole my canoe. Because of that I seldom paddle for any great length of time.

On still water, because of water depth, it's not often I pole, I mostly paddle and often find myself standing during an evening or morning calm or looking for rises.

After sizing my paddle for proper sitdown paddling I found it much too short for using when standing in my canoe on a pond hoping to make a few strokes and get a little closer to a rising fish. So, I started searching for a paddle that would reach the water while I was standing.

The end result is I have a paddle that is long. I don't have it right handy to measure but if I stand it upside down beside me over half the blade is above my shoulder. Having a long paddle such as that hasn't been a problem when regular sitdown paddling and it really saves my back and shoulders when I'm standing.

I know, I know "Didn't your Mother ever teach you not to stand in a canoe?"


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PostPosted: January 4th, 2020, 1:48 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: August 7th, 2004, 12:00 am
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Location: Plymouth, ME
Mike: I’m guessing you’re standing solo most of the time. I find that when paddling with a partner, we have to take turns standing since balance can be squirrely in a canoe.


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PostPosted: January 4th, 2020, 6:36 pm 
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FFIM-aholic

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Location: Fairfield, ME
Yeah, you're right mostly solo and if not alternating. Also, if the pond has a ramp or a short distance to the water there's a good chance I'm in my Old Town Guide, 20-footer. Pretty stable.


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PostPosted: January 8th, 2020, 11:44 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: December 3rd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 469
Location: Bowdoinham
When sitting in the canoe (or kneeling, which is more sable), extend your top hand straight out from your shoulder. With the paddles vertical the blade should be buried in the water. The paddle length will vary depending on the shape of the the blade.

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