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Old 07-05-2011   #1
Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 7
Paddle size question

Hey guys, first time posting here.

I just picked up a Dagger Nomad 8.5 for $450. The guy included a full carbon Werner paddle with the bent shaft and a skirt. I measured the paddle and it seems to come out to 185cm (or there about). Am I measuring it incorrectly or something? I'm just measuring end to end. Browsing online I only see paddles in the mid 190s to 200cm range for whitewater. I haven't tried the paddle in the boat yet. Should I even try it or is it definitely too short to use? I'm 6'2" by the way. Kind of clueless as I have no prior experience.


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Old 07-05-2011   #2
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
Nice snag. All that for $450 is a great deal....I believe they do measure paddles from end to end, and 185 seems pretty short. I am only 5'6" and use a 192cm. Is it really worn down? With heavy use the fiberglass blades can wear down possibly taking off as much as 3-4cm on each end (however, I don't think this is a problem with the carbon fiber).

I would get out in a pool or easy class I-II water and paddle around a little. Try and roll with that new paddle and then make a decision if you want to keep it or not.

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Old 07-05-2011   #3
Flying_Spaghetti_Monster's Avatar
Farmington, Utah
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 707
That is a little short. I bought a Werner Sho-Gun, and being 6'4" I went with a 203cm paddle, but if I had it to do over again I think I would go shorter 200cm at the most. Now here is a question. I have heard that for creeking you want to go about 2cm shorter than you normally would is this true or just a preference?
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Old 07-06-2011   #4
Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 7
Thanks for the replies. Ill probably use this until I can get something longer. It's a shame because it's a nice paddle.
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Old 07-06-2011   #5
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 831
Yep, too short, especially for you (being so tall) but you got a smokin' deal so that's OK. Some shortie will buy it... maybe put it on Craig's list or take it to a boat swap.

Have fun up in AK... I was an army brat at Fort Richardson next door to you. Fun times. You should probably start shopping for a dry suit for safety's sake.
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Old 07-06-2011   #6
Glen Vegas, Florida
Paddling Since: 92
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 338
I am sure your measuring it wrong. How tall was the previous owner, that maybe a good clue to the length. Unless the previous owner was shaped like a bowling ball, I doubt they were under 5 feet tall and paddling an 8.5.

If is too small you can probably find someone to trade for a similar paddle in a different size.
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Old 07-06-2011   #7
Casper, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 22
I can't believe no one has jumped on this one yet!!!!
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Old 07-06-2011   #8
Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 7
Funny thing is I purchased a dry suit before I purchased this dagger. No way I'm trying to get wet in the water up here. I put my feet in a river last month and couldn't take it for more than a minute. This place is pretty awesome though, especially in the good months. Although it would be nice to have a larger whitewater community, seems to be mostly sea kayakers up here.

I'm measuring end to end. Does the bent shaft affect overall length? Maybe if it was straight it would come out to a longer length.

Previous owner was 6'1" I believe. I had to move the foot blocks forward a notch and it fit perfect. Maybe he just didnt know about paddle lengths?
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Old 07-07-2011   #9
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 569
I have an alternate theory on the paddle length: the distance of your arms. I'm 6', but have monkey arms. By height, I should be rocking a 197 or larger, but that feels impossibly long. My 194 feels long when in use, and I like the feeling of the 191. If I'm in the playboat, I'll go down to one of my 188s.

BTW - it is also a commentary on the addictiveness of kayaking that I own four paddles and four boats, only half of which get used.

Nurr - When you are trimming out that boat, pay a lot of attention to the hip and knee areas. These are your primary control points. Use the footblocks to set the tension, and the backband to finetune it. You should be comfortable for about 30 minutes at a stretch. If your feet are going numb, check the hip pad. It is likely to be pinching on the hip, so slide it backwards in the boat a bit before reducing its size.
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Old 07-07-2011   #10
Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 7
This boat actually didn't come with hip pads. Is there a good set up available out there? I see some have Velcro bags that attach to the seat and you put the foam in that way. I'd like adjustability in the system because I know I'll be moving it around quite a bit.

Any suggestions as far as new hip pads?

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