Paddle Height

     A paddle can be too short, but not too long. With that in mind, why not flout the rule that one's paddle should only be chin height. My rule is paddle_length=my_height. It is a myth that your hands will be too far apart. Grip where you like and follow all the good paddling form. The advantages of a long paddle:

1. Less turbulence and more efficiency.
2. Enhanced and easy control due to leverage and reach.
3. Potential for more power if you have power to give.

     Whether you sweep, pry, jay or push off, a longer paddle offers a mechanical advantage. You can more efficiently supply the same power at a leisurely pace. You can still lilly dip if you want. Try a long paddle and the ones the outdoor stores sell will feel like toys.

     This paddle took five hours to carve from a $15 cherry plank, and while it is not art, it has lasted hundreds of hours and counting. I tip the blade with epoxy and glass so it is good on rivers.