Ideal SUP Paddle Length

Many SUP enthusiasts, at some point, will ask if there’s indeed an ideal length for SUP Paddles. If you’re a novice, you may be informed that a paddle that is 6 inches to 8 inches higher than your head is ideal. This is the standard recommendation for beginners. However, as one gets familiar and confident with the sport, the thirst for a more challenging SUP paddle length pours in.

You’d feel the need to push your limits and can’t wait to have a paddle that lets you progress more and more. So, does paddle length actually matter when there are still other pertinent factors to consider? These equally important factors include your SUP board, SUP fin, size of your blade, its angle and how much concave should there be as well as shaft flexibility.

In stand-up paddleboard racing, it’s tested that a paddle that has the exact length relative to your height will produce more efficient strokes.

If you want to try out something different and mix up your technique, you may shorten your overall SUP paddle length.

Here’s how you do it:

It will generally depend on your SUP paddle and the way it’s been assembled. Get a heat gun then soften the two-part epoxy that keeps the handle bound to the paddle shaft. This will allow for the handle to loosen and let you cut the shaft and re-attach the handle. There are YouTube videos that teach you how to assemble SUP paddles.

Take note that once you cut your paddle there’s no reversing it to the original length so it’s best to try out several lengths on an adjustable SUP paddle first so you’ll be sure of your preference.

First, cut shaft down to head height then re-attach handle. You’ll have to get used to the shortened height so remember to shorten it in increments.

You’ll learn to adapt to the shorter paddle in time and when this happens, lower your overall paddle height to about mouse/nose height or six inches below the top of your head. Always keep in mind to drop your arms when you paddle for stronger stroke.

Enjoy SUP paddling!