Werner Kayak Paddle Sizing Guides

Selecting the right paddle length and blade design is an important and highly individual decision. Your paddle is the most active piece of equipment used while kayaking and having the right fit can mean the difference between a good paddling experience and a great one. Although there are several factors that may affect your paddle length selection, your paddling style is an important factor and a great place to begin. Decades of experience has shown that most touring kayakers will use several different paddling styles during a single outing, but will use one style more often than another. With this in mind we offer a few simple guidelines.

A 230cm paddle is the most popular length for average height paddlers who use a relaxed style of paddling and whose strokes are at a low angle in relation to the surface of the water. This style is very common and used during recreational outings and most touring environments. The Kalliste, Athena, Camano, and Little Dipper blades are designed to enhance this paddling style.

If you enjoy paddling more aggressively and like to use a variety of different strokes, we recommend shorter lengths of 210cm to 220cm and generally a stouter blade design. A shorter length paddle is easier to use when a faster cadence is desired and puts less stress on the upper arm during certain stroke techniques. We also recommend shorter lengths if you paddle a boat with very little keel. The shorter length paddle will have less of a sweep stroke effect, reducing the tendency to zig-zag your boat. The Ikelos, Corryvrecken and Shuna offer stouter blades and are designed to perform best with shorter length paddles.

You may want to adjust your paddle length by 5 or 10 cm if you are petite, above average height, use a double kayak, inflatable kayak, or have an exceptionally narrow or exceptionally wide kayak.


Werner Player Bent Shaft

Werner Construction & Design

Choosing the right paddle length is an important decision that may greatly enhance your individual performance. The trend we’ve experienced over the past few years is toward using shorter paddle lengths. A shorter paddle allows for the high stroke rate used during whitewater paddling and is especially useful when playboating. Based on our experience we recommend the lengths shown below as a guideline for selecting a whitewater paddle length.

Whitewater Kayak Paddle
Paddle Length
Under 5’2"
188cm - 194 cm
5’0" - 5’8"
191cm - 197cm
Over 5’6"
194cm - 200 cm


Werner Bandit Canoe Paddle

Choosing a canoe paddle length is a fairly straight forward formula. Sit in a chair and measure from your chair seat to your nose. Add this number to the height of your canoe seat, then add the length of the paddle blade. An even simpler formulas is this, 56 to 58 inch lengths fits 80% of all whitewater canoeist. If you are in a open canoe with a taller seat or have a long torso you may want to consider a longer length 60 to 62 inch paddle. Paddlers with shorter torsos may prefer a 52 or 54 inch paddle.