The short answer: Please submit your sizing form and I'll recommend a size for you.
A slightly longer, and very general answer:
- 5'3" to 5'6 tall, paddling a typical Brit boat, 84 inches long with a 19.5 inch loom
- 5'6" to 5'10" tall, paddling a Brit boat, 86"x20"
- 5'10" to 6'1" tall, paddling a Brit boat, 88"x21"
The rest of the story:
In my opinionated opinion, the widely published traditional anthropometric sizing guidelines are often misleading. For example, one popular way to determine the length of your paddle is the armspan plus a cubit. For me, that's 92-93 inches, but I know from experience that an 87-88 inch paddle is best for me. Another popular way to determine overall length is to stand the paddle vertically next to you, and you are supposed to choose a paddle you can barely curl your fingers over the top of. This is very subjective and also depends on the flexibility of your shoulder. A common way to measure the proper length of the loom is to hold your arms out comfortably, imagine you're paddling comfortably, then measure between your thumbs (or middle fingers, whatever). This one usually produces some widely variable whoppers!
A paddle is properly sized to the combination of paddler, kayak, and intended use. To that end, experience has taught me that today's paddlers often prefer a different size than popular guidelines would suggest.
Experience has also taught me that I, Tom Moen, 6 feet tall, size 40 regular, can comfortably use a paddle length anywhere from 84 inches to 90 inches, and a loom from 19 to 22 inches. That's a HUGE range, and I think it highlights the basic utility the Greenland-style paddle design. It also highlights that proper technique is key. However, in that huge range, there is still a sweet spot I prefer for me and my go-to kayak, Rebecca. For me its a paddle in the 87-88 inch range and a 20.5 or 21 inch loom, unless its stormy, where an 86 incher is better, but I'm splitting hairs here. And that's my point. There is no perfect paddle, or paddle size, just as there's no perfect boat for all situations. The best we can do is approximate, but that's going to be pretty good because of the forgiving nature of Greenland paddles.
So, without further ado, please include the following information when contacting me about sizing. I will get back to you ASAP with my recommendation:
- Your height.
- Hand size. Glove size is ideal, or measure from the tip of your middle finger to the base of your palm.
- Shoulder width. For men the best measurement is your suit jacket size. This tells me about your shoulders AND general torso length. For women and men who can't provide this info, the next best thing for me is a photo or simply a description of whether you have slim, average or broad shoulders in relation to you height. It works!
- What kayak you paddle.
- How often do you paddle?
- Intended use. What conditions do you paddle in? Flat water, current, surf, etc. Its also useful to know how long your trips typically are.