STEP 1: DETERMINE THE DIMENSIONS OF YOUR KAYAK.
STEP 2: PADDLER TORSO SIZE AND LEVEL OF FITNESS.
Torso length is a critical factor in sizing a kayak paddle. Here’s a simple and accurate way to measure your torso. Sit up straight, don’t slouch, on a flat chair. Measure the distance from the surface of the chair between your legs to your nose. Next, follow this chart.
When you’re in the field, an easy way to see whether you have the right length paddle is to hold out a paddle horizontally with your elbows bent at a 90 degree angle. If your hands are about two-thirds of the way between the center of the shaft and the shoulder of the blade (the point where the blade meets the shaft), you have the right length of paddle. Again, always take stroke angle and boat width into consideration. Your level of fitness is also important.
More athletic paddlers generally want a shorter paddle with a wider blade for the extra horsepower that it provides.
Heavier or taller paddlers generally prefer a longer paddle with a wide blade to move their weight efficiently.
Smaller paddlers, those who are not into speed or those with wrist or shoulder issues typically choose blades with less surface area; those that want more power and desire a bigger bite on the water go for larger blades.
Information provided by Aquabound