Forums > Stand Up Paddle General

paddle length.

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Created by broadman 7 months ago, 10 Feb 2020
broadman
153 posts
10 Feb 2020 11:24AM
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It would be interesting to hear others opinion on this. For my self at 1.750 tall my paddle is 1.8. I can definitely see the advantage if your racing or down wind for a longer paddle but I don't do either, so this is purely for in the surf. I have buggered a shoulder which is taking for ever to heal. Problem being lifting my shoulder above 90 % to my standing position. 90% and below its fine so I cut my paddle down to 50 mm more than my height. Works a treat . I no longer have a paddle that goes way a above my head on a stroke, my arm only goes out to 90% and I still have plenty of paddle in the water for paddling out. Not only for paddling out but surfing in as well you don't have that extra length to lift over the board and that reach for the handle again, as you can sometimes be throwing the paddle from side to side 3, 4, or more times on a wave. Took a couple of surfs to get used to it but i'd never have a longer paddle than this again for surfing of course.

colas
3959 posts
10 Feb 2020 3:14PM
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Yes, for surfing there is no question, you should start with a paddle at your height, then maybe get down in size depending on how aggressive you want your surfing to be.

Having your hand above your shoulder will destroy it on the long run, and this is true for all of us.

Tardy
3667 posts
10 Feb 2020 3:57PM
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head high for me broad man ..for surfing that is .

Rossall
WA, 573 posts
10 Feb 2020 4:07PM
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I have shortened mine to eye height for surfing only. Seems to help me keep a low center of gravity when paddling in.

DHUSOUTH
WA, 111 posts
10 Feb 2020 4:49PM
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Broadman

Im 10 months into a shoulder issue which is now about 85% fixed
I adjusted my paddles to approx. 50mm above my head height and changed to a flexible paddle or not so stiff
I have no pain and its now much better to surf and paddle with
Shorts strokes and hands below my shoulder works for me

stubear
36 posts
10 Feb 2020 4:55PM
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I'm 6'4" which equates to 76". I run an 83" paddle for distance and downwind, but in the surf I run my adjustable at eye height which works out to be around 74". I kind of got onto it by chance when my locking mechanism snapped. I ran it duct taped for a while at a random length that felt secure. Loved it and have since fixed the locking mechanism and stuck with the shorter length. Being taller I find it definitely makes me drop my centre and helps generate power when paddling for waves.

broadman
153 posts
10 Feb 2020 5:59PM
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Great. Thanks for the feed back. Sounds like shortening the paddle was a good option. The shaft is quite flexible but as a mate pointed out I hadn't addressed the paddle size. I'm not sure what it is so I might go and measure against a paddle in a shop to see about what size blade it is. What blade size are you using. I'm on a 10ft x 30 Deep.

supthecreek
2040 posts
10 Feb 2020 10:36PM
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5'10 tall
102 kg

surfing SUPs between 8'11 and 9'6.... plus my 12'er in surf and flat

I use fixed length Sunova Carbon Paddle
7 1/2" wide - 82 sq inches, shaft with a slight flex
1" above head

same paddle for surf or flatwater

I'll never go back to 8" wide and 85 sq inches... the narrower blade is smooth and effective.

OkiWild
52 posts
12 Feb 2020 8:19AM
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Most of my surfing involves a paddle of over a kilometer just to get to the break, so I leave my paddles at a comfortable length to paddle while standing up straight. Maybe 3-4" taller than me. If I need a lower gear when paddling into a wave, and low stance, I just choke up on the paddle. Also something I brought from sea kayaking is using the smaller blade. Most of my paddles have a narrow 78" blade, which is so much better on the joints and muscles :-)

BigZ
64 posts
12 Feb 2020 10:50AM
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Select to expand quote
broadman said..
It would be interesting to hear others opinion on this. For my self at 1.750 tall my paddle is 1.8. I can definitely see the advantage if your racing or down wind for a longer paddle but I don't do either, so this is purely for in the surf. I have buggered a shoulder which is taking for ever to heal. Problem being lifting my shoulder above 90 % to my standing position. 90% and below its fine so I cut my paddle down to 50 mm more than my height. Works a treat . I no longer have a paddle that goes way a above my head on a stroke, my arm only goes out to 90% and I still have plenty of paddle in the water for paddling out. Not only for paddling out but surfing in as well you don't have that extra length to lift over the board and that reach for the handle again, as you can sometimes be throwing the paddle from side to side 3, 4, or more times on a wave. Took a couple of surfs to get used to it but i'd never have a longer paddle than this again for surfing of course.


I have two paddles to complement my two most often used boards. I am 6'4/110kg. When I am on my longboard, which is 139L, I use a 76" paddle. When I am on my other SUP, which is 130L, I am on 74" paddle. The smaller board sinks a little bit more so I maintain (and don't hurt) similar movements of my shoulders. Being "old'n'broken" striking a balance to protect shoulders and back are of outmost importance :).

wazza66
QLD, 503 posts
12 Feb 2020 4:15PM
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I have a 90% frozen shoulder which at best represents a low hitler salute from a smashed shoulder joint after high siding a motorbike when i was younger and more fearless.
I cut all of my paddles down to eyebrow height as i only sup surf. This has cut down the amount of pressure on my shoulder joint and greatly reduced pain in the surf. You also don't need a long paddle in the surf as it can throw off your balance and helps reduce your swing factor when changing sides when paddling. Just keep gradually cutting the shaft shorter until you are happy with the height.
Waiting for a new replacement shoulder joint soon.

broadman
153 posts
12 Feb 2020 2:35PM
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Select to expand quote
wazza66 said..
I have a 90% frozen shoulder which at best represents a low hitler salute from a smashed shoulder joint after high siding a motorbike when i was younger and more fearless.
I cut all of my paddles down to eyebrow height as i only sup surf. This has cut down the amount of pressure on my shoulder joint and greatly reduced pain in the surf. You also don't need a long paddle in the surf as it can throw off your balance and helps reduce your swing factor when changing sides when paddling. Just keep gradually cutting the shaft shorter until you are happy with the height.
Waiting for a new replacement shoulder joint soon.


Makes my shoulder problem sound like a scratch. Good luck when you get your new one. I've got down to head height and feels quite comfortable. I have an old dung paddle which I might cut down a little further. cheers

LastSupper
VIC, 228 posts
12 Feb 2020 10:27PM
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After paddling flatwater with different paddles for a couplle of years and was only doing it for a degree of fitness i got into the surfing part of sup ! Ive been an intermediate surfer for 40+ years oneday i borrowed my partners fanatic carbon 72 and did that change the game it wasjust short of my head height now using a kai nalu 74 at eyebrow height and that has been a great moove ! sometimes the lower bak feels it but way less stress on the shoulders! It makes getting onto waves easier and as an extended fin the release is so forgiving !

Nugdam
QLD, 492 posts
15 Feb 2020 6:45AM
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So I'm sitting around 185cm and my paddle is 195cm cm overall. From what I'm reading I could knock off another 7.5cm and take a bit of pressure off my shoulders.

I might have to experiment with my spare paddle.



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"paddle length." started by broadman