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Correct Paddle Height / How To Find The Right Height For Your SUP Paddle

Have you ever wondered if your SUP paddle is too long or too short? You may be doing damage to your body if your paddle height is wrong.

In this How To ideo, we let you know the recommended SUP paddle height for riders of different abilities and across the varying SUP disciplines. Having the correct SUP paddle size is crucial to protecting your body from injury and also paddling with good technique. With the wrong paddle size, we can suffer from back pain or shoulder pain.

Recommended Paddle Heights:
Beginner paddlers / recreation paddling: 8″ above head height.
Long distance racing / downwinding / workout or fitness use: 6″ above head height.
Sprint Racing: Head height to 4″ above.
SUP Surfing: Eyebrow level to 2-4″ above head height.
SUP Foiling: 1-3″ above head height.

If you are riding a bigger board with more volume, you will be standing further away from the water surface so using a longer paddle will help your technique. Likewise, if you are riding a smaller SUP, then opting for a shorter paddle will be key.

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Dave B
Dave B
2 years ago

Useful tips. Another point you might want to discuss, which I have not searched for on here yet, is blade area? I found a larger blade area was giving me tennis elbow, when doing quick turns to paddle onto the wave, I was using the paddle lower down and sweeping and wasn’t keeping my arm straight. A combination of shortening the paddle and reducing blade area has helped. For surfing, I’ve gone about 6cm below head height. 183 to 177cm. Blade area around 550 sq cm. I’m an older paddler, 83kg, so not ultra powerful.

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