The Best Sizing Paddle Method for your Adjustable SUP Paddle

We're answering your big question, "What length should my paddle board be?". We're going over paddle adjustment methods and giving you our recommendation that is quick and easy so you can get on the water as soon as possible.

Key Highlights

  1. Understanding the Importance of Paddle Size: The right paddle length improves balance, posture, and performance while preventing injuries.
  2. Common Sizing Methods Reviewed: Various approaches include paddle length as a fraction of your board size, aligning with your eye level, and adjusting based on your height or activity type.
  3. The Foolproof Glide Method: Recommends an adjustable paddle size that's 8-12 inches taller than the rider, with specific adjustments for surfing, touring, and racing for a tailored SUP experience.
  4. Activity-Based Sizing Recommendations:
    • Surfing: 6”-8” taller than the rider for agility and balance.
    • Touring: 8”-10” taller than the rider for a balance of power and maneuverability.
    • Racing: 10”-12” taller than the rider for maximum stroke power.
  5. Choosing Your SUP Paddle: Consider the primary style of paddleboarding you'll engage in to select the most suitable paddle length.

Finding the right-sized adjustable SUP paddle can feel like a huge waste of time, but when you discover that there is such a thing as, "the best adjustable SUP paddle" it will completely change your paddling experience, so let’s go through the particulars, and then we'll tell you what we believe is the right way.

What length should my SUP Paddle be?

SUP Paddle Sizing Methods

There are many different approaches to sizing your paddle. The most common are:

  • Your paddle length should be 3/4 the size of your stand up paddle board.
  • Place your paddle on the ground with the handle down, you should be eye-to-eye with the meeting the attachment points of the paddle’s blade and shaft.
  • A short paddle works best for lazy river days and a long paddle will give you a better workout.

Some believe your height is the key while others believe your paddle should always be six inches longer than you.

All of these options will work, but at Glide we rely on the rule of thumb outlined below. We are confident that this method will give you the most fulfilling SUP experience imaginable.

SUP Paddle Sizing Chart


The "Fool Proof" Method

It’s extremely important to get the right-sized adjustable paddle because if it’s too long, it can be difficult to handle; too short, and you can compromise posture and balance or even lead to an elbow or shoulder injury.

As a general rule of thumb, the ideal paddle is approximately 8-12 inches taller than the rider, though the different types of paddle boarding (whether it's an inflatable paddle board or rigid) will vary in their “perfect lengths,” (taller for more powerful strokes on flat water, shorter a lower center of gravity and greater balance when surfing).

The following is a list of the best SUP paddle lengths:

· Surfing: 6”-8” taller than the rider. Allows for quicker turns, easier handling, and better balance when on the water.

· Touring: 8”-10” taller than the rider. Taller than surfing, shorter than racing. Gives a mixture of power and maneuverability.

· Racing: 10”-12” taller than the rider. This length will give you those powerful strokes needed to get you to the finish line first.

What Length Should My Paddle Be?

As you can see there are optimum paddle lengths depending on what kind of riding you will do.

Before spending money on a specific size fixed-length paddle ask yourself: What style of riding will I do most often?

If you might only paddle surf once or twice a year then don’t buy a paddle meant specifically for paddling into waves. Your SUP paddle sizing should be based on how you most often enjoy the sport!

Here at Glide, we offer adjustable carbon fiber paddles that are guaranteed for all skill levels to get to where you need to go no matter what method you try out!


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