How to measure a stand up paddle boarding paddleOnce you have selected the right SUP paddle, finding the right SUP paddle length is the next crucial step in enjoying your stand up paddle boarding. Like a race car needs good tyres, a paddler needs the right paddle at the right length to get the power down over time with maximum efficiency, comfort and for injury prevention.

This guide below, is just that, a guide, but it is a starting point for paddlers who aren’t sure of what they need. The chart only includes the paddlers height, it does not include things like arm length, board thickness, water conditions. If you find yourself on choppy waters all the time, you might be hunched over for better balance requiring a shorter paddle. If you’re on a displacement hull race board with recessed standing area, you’re lower to the water. If you’re on a glassy lake with a 6″ thick inflatable racing SUP, you’re standing tall and higher off the water.

Use the figures below as a place to start. My suggestion from personal experience is to get an adjustable paddle with the blade size you find comfortable and to paddle around in varying conditions and play with the adjustment. I did this after I moved to a new SUP surfing board and chopped off 5″ from my fixed carbon shaft. It feels a million times better!

Updated April, 2016.

Paddler height Paddle length (including handle, shaft & blade)
Feet/Inches Inches Racing Surfing Cruising
4′ 48″ 52″ 49″ 54″
4’1″ 49″ 53″ 50″ 55″
4’2″ 50″ 54″ 51″ 56″
4’3″ 51″ 55″ 52″ 57″
4’4″ 52″ 56″ 53″ 58″
4’5″ 53″ 57″ 54″ 59″
4’6″ 54″ 58″ 55″ 60″
4’7″ 55″ 59″ 56″ 61″
4’8″ 56″ 60″ 57″ 62″
4’9″ 57″ 61″ 58″ 63″
4’10” 58″ 62″ 59″ 64″
4’11” 59″ 63″ 60″ 65″
5′ 60″ 64″ 61″ 66″
5’1″ 61″ 65″ 62″ 67″
5’2″ 62″ 66″ 63″ 68″
5’3″ 63″ 67″ 64″ 69″
5’4″ 64″ 68″ 65″ 70″
5’5″ 65″ 69″ 66″ 71″
5’6″ 66″ 70″ 67″ 72″
5’7″ 67″ 72″ 69″ 74″
5’8″ 68″ 74″ 70″ 76″
5’9″ 69″ 75″ 71″ 77″
5’10” 70″ 76″ 72″ 78″
5’11” 71″ 77″ 73″ 79″
6′ 72″ 78″ 74″ 80″
6’1″ 73″ 79″ 75″ 81″
6’2″ 74″ 80″ 76″ 82″
6’3″ 75″ 81″ 77″ 83″
6’4″ 76″ 82″ 78″ 84″
6’5″ 77″ 83″ 79″ 85″
6’6″ 78″ 84″ 80″ 86″
6’7″ 79″ 86″ 82″ 88″
6’8″ 80″ 87″ 83″ 89″
6’9″ 81″ 88″ 84″ 90″
6’10” 82″ 89″ 85″ 91″
6’11” 83″ 90″ 86″ 92″
7′ 84″ 91″ 87″ 93″

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