Tuktu Paddles | How to measure for a Paddle


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Measuring for a Greenland Paddle
These are some guideline for measuring yourself for a Greenland paddle. This is a starting place for your first Greenland paddle, with experience you may find that variations upon these measurement work well for your personal paddling style.

Determining the Correct Length

loom The length of a Traditional paddle is determined by standing up straight and extending your hand up over your head. Your finger tips should just be able to wrap over the top of the paddle.  With experience you may find that a longer or shorter paddle is best for your boat and body. I like to go about 1-2" longer when making a touring paddle for myself.   Measure from the ground to the end joint in your middle finger when your hand is extended over your head to determine length.   You will find there is geometry to the relationship between your body size, boat beam and paddle length that may come into play if your body indicates a very long or short paddle. I will make what ever size you want however I recommend that a Greenland paddle be no shorter than 82" and not longer than 92".

Loom Width

shoulders The loom width of a Traditional paddle generally ranges from 17-21". To determine loom width stand up straight with your arms at your side. Keeping you elbows relaxed and down, raise your fore arms to 90 degrees so that your hands are out in front of you. Make the "ok" sign with each hand as though you were holding a paddle horizontally in front of you. Then, have someone measure the distance between the between the outside of each of your first fingers.

Blade Width
bladesThe blade width should be small enough for you to grasp easily but not so small as to become ineffective as a paddle. The range is generally 3" to 3.5". Below 3" the effectiveness of the paddle is diminishes quickly. Above 3.5” the paddle feels cumbersome in the water and you start to loose the qualities that define a Greenland paddle.

With all this said, if you have a boat with a wide beam you may wish to add an inch or so to the length. If you are doing a lot of touring you may also wish to increase the length. Some paddlers like to increase the length and decrease the width for touring.

Loom Diameter
Loom diameter can vary a bit and remain functional and with in safe tolerances. I make a few loom sizes ranging from L 1 5/8" x 1 1/4", M 1 1/2"x 1 1/4", and S 1 1/2"x 1 1/8". other sizes are available but these sizes are comfortable standards. If you would like a round loom rather than an oval as described above I can do that for you. Some paddle makers ask for hand/finger measurements. Over many years I have found that these measurements do not predict a good fit or a comfortable fit any better than knowing your own relative hand size. If your hands are larger or small than average that is enough information to estimate a loom size that will fit you.

For more information about loom shape see the image below.

Please Keep In Mind
Please keep in mind- There are many myths about measuring for a paddle. You will hear about using all kinds of body measurements to come up with the right size. In the end most of these measuring methods come up with about the same size you will get using the method(s) given here. If you have a favorite sizing method, please use it. The method shown here is the easiest method I have heard of to get started. This method and every other one I have ever heard of works great if your 5' 8" tall. The farther from that average height you are the less accurate all methods become. For example if about 1/2, your height is in your leg, (lets say just for easy math) then, a 5' person's paddle should be 12" shorter than a 6' person should. However, if they are both seated in a boat the difference in their height to the should will only be 6" not 12". People under the average height may want to add a bit people above may want to subtract a bit.

Measuring for a Storm Paddle: Length and Loom
Different people use different methods to measure for a storm paddle. I recommend 6’ as the maximum length for a storm paddle. However, a storm paddle is generally a spare or secondary paddle and spends a lot of time on your deck.  I recommend that you measure your boat to see what paddle length will fit nicely on the deck before ordering as storm paddle. There is no sense in having a spare that you can’t take with you. The storm paddle loom should be 6" or about 1 to 1.5 fist widths.

Measuring for a Single Blade Kayak Paddle
Coming Soon

Measuring for a Canoe Paddle
Coming Soon

Measuring for a Paddle Board Paddle
Coming Soon

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