A common question I get is how to choose your paddle length.

Here’s a fool proof method of determing paddle length:

– Extend your arm straight above your head, then flatten your hand.
– Your paddle handle should tuck snuggly into your palm (blade on ground).
– A few inches longer is ok, but shorter may will lead to back issues and less control and power.

Many paddle companies say the paddle should be 8″ – 12″ above your head. This is actually a bit short and will affect your forward speed, directional control, and bracing in rough water.

Some say a shorter paddle is better for surfing. Personally I prefer a longer blade for power and speed in getting out through the break.

A few tips to prevent arm and wrist fatigue while paddling:

– Use a very light grip on your paddle with both hands. (unless you’re creekin or surfing big stuff).

– A narrow width blade will have less torque on your shoulders. I use the Werner Nitro for everything and can feel the difference on my shoulders.

– Use your torso in your forward stroke and for turning. This will take stress off your armsa and shoulders.

Salmon Bay Paddle SUP Tips

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