Calling all IK'ers! Paddle length questions. - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #1
 
Heaven, Wisconsin
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 17
Calling all IK'ers! Paddle length questions.

I have been paddling a Tomcat Tandem in Class IV without gear with a 194cm Werner Powerhouse with no issues. I plan on doing two fully loaded multi-days this summer/fall on the Middle Fork Salmon. I have been told that a longer paddle is more advantageous but don't want to buy without advice on ideal length. I am 5'11" and plan on a heavy boat.

I ask this because I have a Powerhouse with a broken shaft (blades are pristine) that I can send in to get a new, longer shaft installed.

To the IK'ers: What is your paddle length vs. personal height, and should I creep up in the 210cm+ Club? Let me know your paddle lengths! In this case, Size matters to me!

Thanks!

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #2
Jared
 
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Dundee, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 690
I like short oars and short paddles. I've done better with a 194 and I think the short paddle has saved me shoulder injuries over the years. (1500 or so miles in duckies) I'm pretty large too, I haven't ever felt like the shorter paddle has been a hinderance. IK's aren't very fast, and I am a 300 lb guy, so I really try and read the water and use currents to my advantage. I feel like I am doing a good job at a big rapid if I have taken the least amount of strokes to go where I wanted to go. If I really need to dig in, I'd rather take more easier strokes than have the extra leverage on my upper body. That said, a lighter person could pack an IK full of gear and still be pushing less weight than I do on a day trip, so take my experience for what it's worth. My normal sized IK paddling wife has always had a 194 also.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #3
 
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,449
Paddle length depends on a lot of things. Your body's trunk length, arm length etc. Size of your IK's tubes and how high your seat is off the water (some IK's have inflatable seats) etc. My thoughts are paddle shaft length mainly depends on how high off the water you set along with sleeve length of your arms and paddle stroke style.

Blade area may well be a consideration. Some like small blades for less stress on shoulders but faster stroke stroke rate needed for power. Coming from a kayak creeking back ground, I like larger blades than the average IK paddle blade I see in the market.

Bottom line, borrow paddles and test till you find one that fits you, your boat and style. Use the so called recommended lengths as a starting point but that is all they are.

Good advice from Learch !
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #4
 
Enfield, New Hampshire
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 357
paddle length

I am about the height of the OP, and I also have a single tomcat. When I got this I initially had a 194 cm paddle wich I found too short as I had to constantly lean forwards to get enough paddle into the water and this was tireing. I modified it to 208 cms but still was not happy. I then got a cheap 220 cm paddle and am much happier using it. When and if this breaks for any reason I will get a good quality 220 paddle. I feel a 230 cm is about the max you would need on a Tomcat.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #5
 
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMM View Post
I then got a cheap 220 cm paddle and am much happier using it. When and if this breaks for any reason I will get a good quality 220 paddle.
+1 I moved from 200cm slowly up to 220, and I think 220 is about perfect for most situations. 230 feels big to me.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #6
 
Florence, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 191
I'm using a 220 cm in my Tomcat. Bought used with a 230 cm thrown in. Used both and the 230 holds up the shed wall. Used the 220 with my SE and it seemed about right. I'm 5'10". Seems most paddles for IK's tend to run around the 220 cm range. Can't imagine a much shorter paddle would work well but honestly haven't tried it.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #7
 
Enfield, New Hampshire
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Nov 2009
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I also have another smaller IK thats about 32-33 inches wide, and I use the 208 cms paddle I mentioned in my above post for this especially if I am surfing a lot. I do find the 220cm paddle a little awkward for this.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #8
 
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Up North, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,334
pretty much always rolling with my old school blue and white werner single piece 220cm

I don't like anything longer, even with an outfitter II.

I don't like anything shorter than 200 for a single Ik, and always use my 220 for double IK

6'0", 205 lbs of meat

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #9
 
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Cave Creek, Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2013
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I think I use a 200 cm Powerhouse in my old Lynx 1. I am 6'. It makes me lean forward a little, but I like that position for whitewater. I do hit the side tube from time to time, but only at the end of a long day of paddling.


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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #10
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Boise, Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InflatableSteve View Post
I think I use a 200 cm Powerhouse in my old Lynx 1. I am 6'. It makes me lean forward a little, but I like that position for whitewater. I do hit the side tube from time to time, but only at the end of a long day of paddling.


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same here! small ik small paddle. big ik bigger paddle.
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