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How to choose a paddle

Choosing a paddle can be tricky, much about blade size and shaft length can be personal preference. However, as the sport progresses certain blade sizes and lengths are proving effective for certain purposes.
Generally you'll want a larger blade and longer shaft for distance/race paddling, whereas you'll want a smaller blade and shorter shaft for surfing.
Here's a general guide from Kialoa that will give you a good idea. Still, we often have demo paddles that you can try to get a good feel for what paddle size is good for you and your style of riding. If you are new to the sport, it's a good idea to choose an adjustable paddle or go a bit long as you can always shorten your paddle later on.

How to size your standup paddle

As a general guide for sizing your surf paddle add 8 inches to your overall height to determine the paddle length. Our chart is based on 8 inches. However, depending on the type of paddling you intend to do, it may vary. The reason we give a range is because of the differences in technique, boards and water conditions. While our data is anecdotal, it is based on the trends we see with our customers and team riders.

Surfing: 6-8"
Flatwater: 8-10"
Racing: 10-12"+
surf-paddle-chart

You can download a guide to how to cut your paddle shaft and install the T-handle here