Sport Phillip Marine Chandlery Supplies
Paddle & Oar Sizes

Paddle & Oar Size 



There is no hard and fast rule for choosing the right overall paddle length, because it is partly a matter of personal preference and paddling style.
  • General touring paddles are roughly 7' to 8' long (210 to 240cm)
  • Rough guideline for paddler height: under 5' 4" use a 215-220cm paddle; 5' 4" to 6' 220-230cm; and over 6' 230-250cm
  • The beamier the kayak, the longer the paddle: Paddlers in big folding double or inflatable kayaks often like long paddles close to 250cm. Whitewater boaters prefer shorter paddles (205cm) for strength, more vertical paddling style, maneuverability and quickness.
  • Longer paddles apply more leverage to each stroke but require more effort. Shorter paddles require less leverage but allow a rapid cadence and smooth acceleration. Most kayak racers use paddles of 220cm or less with a high-cadence, vertical stroke that also works well for recreational paddlers in more demanding conditions.


If your oars are too long or hard to pull, they may not clear the water on the backstroke. Oars that are too short won’t dig into the water or allow the rower adequate leverage. Narrow-beam boats and low-freeboard boats require shorter oars.

1/2 beam (distance between rowlocks) x 3 + 6" = oar length
3'4" 3'8" 4' 4'4" 4'8" 5'

5 1/2' 6' 6 1/2' 7' 7 1/2' 8'
Low freeboard boats may use shorter oars.


Sport Phillip Marine services the boating, yachting & fishing needs of the Mornington Peninsula from Frankston, Daveys Bay, Mt. Eliza, Mornington, Mt. Martha, Safety Beach, Martha Cove, Dromana, Rosebud, Rye, Blairgowrie, Sorrento and Portsea on Port Phillip Bay to Yaringa, Warneet, Somers, Hastings, and Flinders on Westernport Bay.

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