Does your canoe paddle fit properly? Are you in the market for a new paddle and unsure what size to buy? Well we hope this will help you find that perfect paddle! There seems to be an ongoing debate with our staff on how to properly fit one for a paddle, so in the interest of staff unity, (and my sanity), I am including both methods!
The first method, “the chair method”, involves sitting in a chair and measuring the distance between the seat of the chair and eye level. Take that measurement from the seat of the chair to eye level and add 18 for a bent shaft and 24 for a straight shaft. Take that measurement and use that to measure the proper length for your shaft and grip of your paddle only, not the blade.
This method works best for the straight shaft paddle. Straight shafts work best for rivers (easy maneuvering) and for windy days on lakes.
The second method, “the kneeling/canoe seat method”, involves kneeling on the floor with your “rear end” 6″ off the floor. Hold the paddle upside down with the handle on the floor. When the paddle is in this position, the blade of the paddle should begin around nose and eye level.
* If you are measuring for a bent shaft paddle (best used on lakes) deduct 2″-4″ from this length.
If you have another method we would love to hear about it (and debate it’s merits)! We hope this helps you find that perfect paddle for years of paddling enjoyment!