How to size a SUP Paddle?

7 11 2009

 

When you get your first stand up paddle [SUP] board you’ll need a couple things to get out on the water.  The most important of which is your paddle.  SUP paddles come in a wide range of sizes so it can be confusing when deciding which length to get.  Here are a few ideas I’ve picked up online for sizing your first paddle:

  • for surf get a paddle 6″ – 8″ taller than you are
  • for flat water get a paddle 8″ – 10″ taller than you are
  • turn the paddle blade up and where the blade meets the shaft should be about eye height
  • raise your arm straight in the air.  Measure from the ground to your wrist.  That’s the length of paddle you need.
  • keep your paddle shaft long and secure the handle with electrical tape or shoe goo so it’s removable.  Use it and cut it down an inch or so at a time until you find the ideal length then epoxy it in.
  • buy an adjustable paddle like the C4 Stendy shown in the video above.  Use it  until you settle on a length  you like.

I think the best idea above is to get an adjustable paddle first.  This lets you figure out your preferred paddle length before you invest in a fixed length paddle.  Since you may want a longer of shorter second paddle depending what you mainly do – surf or flat water – the adjustable  can fill that role and be a backup paddle in case you break your main paddle.  You’ll also be able to lend your SUP to a friend and size them with the adjustable paddle so they can have a comfortable experience. The downside with this approach is that a decent adjustable paddle costs as much as a high quality fixed length paddle so you’ll have to spend twice the $$ the first time unless you know a friend or a SUP dealer who might lend or rent you an adjustable paddle.


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10 responses

11 11 2009
Joe

Hey Vic – what do you think about the Werner Nitro? You can get it in a 3 piece.

I’m thinking of getting one and a C4 iSup ATB for traveling and durability. I’ll spend most of my time on the Bow River in town.

11 11 2009
Joe

Hey Vic – what about the Werner Nitro 3 piece? That would be great for travel.
My plan is get a Nitro. I just have to decide betwen a ULI GX-2 or the C4 iSup ATB.

11 11 2009
thelazyrando

I think the Nitro is a nice blade…I’ve never used a 3 piece paddle so I’m not sure what that would be like, but for river use it should be fine and will pack quite well. I’ve got a C4 Stendy which is compact for a SUP paddle, but nowhere near as small as a 3 piece.

I think an inflatable SUP is a great idea for the Bow. I’ll probably invest in one next spring. I like the ULi 11′ SUP, but the 10’6″ C4 is also an interesting design.

11 11 2009
thelazyrando

BTW – if you get an inflatable SUP before end of March I’d love to check it out!

11 11 2009
Joe

Vik – I’ll definitely let you know if I get one before March. Warren at TheEasyRider in Edmonton is a C4 dealer so I’ll order it through him.

13 11 2009
flipper

hi all: i hate to barge in here but if you haven’t gotten your inflatables yet, i’m trying to sell my nearly brand new c4 10.6 cmac atb inflatable. i need the $ more than i need the board. if you want, email me for price, more info and lots of pix! floatee@gmail.com

13 11 2009
thelazyrando

How much do you want for it? Where is it located?

13 11 2009
Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards | SUP MAGIC

[…] How to size a SUP Paddle? « The Lazy Randonneur […]

19 01 2012
Darwin Web Design

I’ve just landed a 10’2″ 7S Uber Fish and am looking for a paddle.

I’ve got the choice of a fixed length 9.5 inch blade but it’s heavy, or an adjustable carbon fibre 9 inch blade. It’s $199 and $279 respectively.

What are the benefits of using a fixed length or carbon fibre?

20 01 2012
thelazyrando

DWD – sounds like the only advantage to the fixed paddle is price. The adjustable paddle is lighter, more expensive and can fit more people or different SUP missions [flat water vs. wave].

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