SUP Paddle: Correct Length for Stand Up Paddling

by Pramith

A SUP paddle is an important factor for success in stand up paddling or stand up paddling. SUP is a popular water sport among young and old. The length of the paddle is decisive for whether it is also fun on the board or unnecessarily strenuous to keep upright.

SUP paddle: The right length is crucial

The right paddle length is just as important as the right technique when SUP – for fun but also a pain-free posture. If you want to prevent tension, then you should choose a length that suits you.

  • Beforehand, you should think about how you will use your SUP board. There are differences in the length of the paddle for leisurely tours, for competitions or for SUP surfing.
  • In addition to body size, your health condition, fitness and body weight also play a role.
  • Many SUP paddles are adjustable in length. This means that you can still vary a little and adjust the right paddle length after you have bought it.

With this formula you can find out the correct length

Depending on the type of SUP you choose, a different approach to paddle length can be taken. There are different calculations for touring, surfing and competitions.

  • For touring, add around 25 centimetres to your height. If you are 1.75 metres tall, then the paddle should be 2 metres. This rule applies to normal to heavy weight people and hobby paddlers.
  • For particularly fit and active people and SUP athletes who compete or race for time, the paddle may be longer. You can add about 30 centimetres to your height. At 1.75 metres, the paddle is therefore 2.05 metres long
  • SUP surfers should use shorter paddles. Here, it is sufficient if the paddle is 15 centimetres longer than you are. If you are 1.75 metres tall, the paddle will therefore be 1.9 metres long.

Finding the right paddle length: Alternative methods

If you don’t have a metre rule handy, you can find out the correct length of your SUP paddle in other ways.

  • According to Laird Hamilton: Place the paddle in front of you and put your hand on the handle. If it rests loosely and you can hold the paddle upright without effort, then the length is correct.
  • For connoisseurs: Place the paddle upside down, i.e. on the handle. If the connection between shaft and paddle blade is at your eye level, then the length is ideal for touring and racing. If the connection is more at chin height, then the paddle is suitable for surfing.
  • If you have back pain or other ailments, you can adjust your paddle in seven-centimetre increments to find the perfect length. Then fine-tuning can also be done in one-centimetre increments until it no longer pinches.

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