Paddles come in a variety of lengths, blade size, blade shapes and of course weight. There are 4 primary types of paddles; wing, flat blade, canoe and dragon boating paddles.

It is generally recommended you start off with a shorter paddle of between 205-214 depending on strength and the craft chosen.

wing-teardrop wing-teardropwing-teardrop3

Teardrop paddles are the most popular paddles for competitive flat water racing and of late ski racers. These generally range in length from 205-220cm. These paddles require a stroke rate of between 70-90 strokes per minute to be most efficient. The angle of entry of the blade needs to be precise for the paddler to have a strong power phase. Technique/precise blade placement is key to generating optimal and sustainable power.

Depending on the paddle brand/model chosen will determine how “forgiving” they are with regards to technique. It’s therefore recommended if you are going to chose a tear drop paddle that you have some professional coaching in order to develop good technique.

Recommended use: K1, K2, K4, TK1, TK2, surf ski’s.

Popular Examples: Meek B, Braca IV, Jantex Gamma.

wing-parallelimage description

The parallel edge blade paddles have a different power profile than the teardrop paddle. Your able to generate power most of the way through the stoke. It’s often refereed to as being a more stable paddle¬† in the water¬†(especially with poor technique) and may be better suited to sea conditions or those who prefer a long but slower strokes.

Recommended use: K1, K2, K4, TK1, TK2, surf ski’s

Popular Examples: Meek G, and Braca V.


These are common with recreational paddlers as they are easy to use, and cheap. You can have a slow stroke rate – they are heavier but more durable. They are generally long i.e. over 220cm.

Recommended use: Recreational craft.


These are a flat blade due to the array of stroke types a slalom paddler needs in his/her arsenal in order to negotiate the rapids. The paddle is used to steer the boat.

Recommended use: Slalom only


Big single sided blades designed for canoeing in C1/C2 kayaks. These are also required if paddling a canoe. The paddle is used to steer the boat.

A rough guide is as follows

Gender Discipline Strength/experience Starting length
Male sprint/marathon kayak average/beginner 210-214cm
Male sprint/marathon kayak strong/experienced 215-217cm
Male Touring/ski average/beginner 205cm-207cm
Male Touring/ski strong/experienced 207cm-214cm
Female sprint/marathon kayak average/beginner 209-212cm
Female sprint/marathon kayak strong/experienced 212-214cm
Female Touring/ski average/beginner 205cm-207cm
Female Touring/ski strong/experienced 207cm-212cm
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