Having the proper length of paddle is necessary as it will make you more comfortable, allow you to generate more power and give you more control with each stroke.
Listed below are three very basic methods that you can use to tell if your paddle is the right length for you. However, just like a hockey stick, some people may like their paddle a little bit longer or shorter than the recommended length.
As you get into more technical or specific paddling (white water, river, etc.), the paddle, blade types and lengths will change.
Stand with the paddle (blade down) in front of you. The top of the paddle should be up to your nose.
Kneel or sit with your butt about 6” off of the ground. Hold the paddle upside down. The blade of the paddle should start at your nose.
Sit on the ground and hold the paddle upside down. The blade of the paddle should start at your eyes.