How to Choose Low Angle Vs. High Angle Paddle

A beautiful day on the water or a dismal one on the water might all depend on your paddling technique. The second most essential item you require is a paddle. To choose the perfect paddle for your paddling style, search for a paddle that offers excellent comfort and performance.

Selecting a high angle vs low angle kayak paddle is one of the main distinctions. We discover that most individuals need to be aware of the various paddles and techniques for touring and leisure boats. So, which is more advantageous for you—low-angle paddles vs high-angle paddles? All paddling technique & angle has benefits and drawbacks that may favor one over the other.

I’ll explain the variations between low angle vs. high angle paddles in this article to assist you in picking the best one for you.

High Angle Kayak Paddle 

Photo by jovan barretto

High-angle kayak paddles can be used to produce paddling strokes that have the shaft of the paddle vertical. When using this kind of paddle, the kayaker often has to exert much more energy & movement.

When you paddle at a high angle, your upper hand is elevated to a position that is between your shoulder & your eyes, which results in more vertical strokes. Near the edges of the kayak, the paddle’s blade bursts through the water’s surface, causing you to go ahead more forcefully.

You may go more quickly and cover a greater distance with less time with high-angle paddles since they are made to allow for shorter, quicker strokes.

High-angle blades are ideal for kayakers who:

  • Anglers, in particular, frequently haul a large amount of gear.
  • Love to packraft vs kayak whitewater.
  • Adore kayak surfing or other forms of forceful paddling.
  • Big individuals that desire a sturdy paddle.

Low Angle Paddle Kayak

A 20–30° angle is more horizontal for a low-angle kayak stroke. For leisurely paddling and extended hours on the water. Since the kayak is going more slowly, the paddling technique isn’t as crucial as it is when using the high-angle approach.

Kayak blades with a low angle are made to make each stroke more effective and effortless. Compared to high-angle paddles, low-angle paddles have blades that are narrower & occasionally longer. This makes it easier as well as less stressful to drag the blades throughout the water for a long time.

    Low-angle blades are ideal for kayakers who:

    • Enjoy a more laid-back paddling method
    • Who enjoy being on the sea for several hours or days.
    • People would like to make paddling comfortable for their bodies.

    Paddles with Low or High Angles – What’s the Difference?

    Photo by Rachel Claire

    Paddles for high-angle kayaking & low-angle kayaking differ in a few key ways. We will review some of them.

    Blade Shape

    In order to offer additional assistance to paddlers who desire to move faster, high-angle paddle kayaks have a broader & shorter blades. They are made to handle more strenuous float excursions and produce high-performance paddling strikes by moving a lot of water.

    Paddles for kayaks with low angles feature longer, thinner blades than those with high angles. With each stroke, the paddle will glide over the water more effortlessly thanks to their blade designs, which are intended to provide you with both comfort and efficiency.

    Length of Shaft

    In order to produce high-angle strokes, high-angle kayaks paddle are essential. Low-angle paddles are longer. High-angle paddles come in lengths ranging from 205 cm to 220 cm, depending on your height and the breadth of your boat.

    This shorter paddle shaft offers high-angle paddles kayak a greater flow and rhythm of action. If you paddle vertically, you may experiment with more complex maneuvers including low brace spins, bow, and stern rudders, or crossbow strokes.

    Due to their longer shaft, low-angle paddles are made to be simple to use when paddling at a low angle. Depending on the breadth of your boat and your height, they may be anywhere between 220 – 250 centimeters long.

    Since low-angle paddle kayaks are longer, the way the active blade moves through the water may cause your kayak to wiggle somewhat. Accordingly, your forward motion will be a little less direct than it would be if you were using high-angle paddles.

    Disadvantages – Low Angle vs. High Angle Paddle Kayak

    The choice between a low-angle paddle or a high-angle paddle may have certain drawbacks, as with most things. You may make better purchase judgments if you are aware of the drawbacks associated with each paddle style.

    Low Angle Kayak Paddles – Drawbacks

    If your low-angle kayak paddle isn’t the appropriate length, it might scrape the side of your kayak with each stroke, forcing you to paddle zigzag.

    Kayak Paddles with a High Angle – Drawbacks

    Kayak Paddles
    Photo by Manik Mandal

    If you don’t have exceptional physical conditions and can handle the effort, they are not appropriate for lengthy aquatic expeditions.

    You will notice fatigue much more soon since they may put a great deal of strain & effort on your joints &  muscles.

    How to Choose the Correct Paddle Length

    In addition to knowing what to search for when buying a kayak, a novice faces the issue of knowing which paddle length is ideal. The most effective length for a specific paddler is debated a little, but the range of options is limited & widely used in the paddling world. Various considerations, including body height, boat size, and preferred paddle stroke, are used to determine the ideal kayaking paddle length.

    The two primary factors you must consider to determine the precise length of kayak paddle you want are your height and the breadth of your kayak, regardless of whether you choose a high-angle vs low-angle kayak paddle.

    You’ll need a kayak paddle that is the perfect length for you based on the height & boat width.

    Choosing the Right Kayak Paddle Size

    Photo by  Pixabay

    High Angle Kayak Paddle

    Use this chart to figure out the perfect paddle length for you depending on your height or the width of the sea kayak or touring kayak.

    Low Angle Kayak Paddle

    if you have a traveling, angling, or recreational kayak & intend to paddle at a low angle you should follow the right-size of paddle length chart.

    Kayak Paddle Size Chart Based on Torso Height:

    Overall height is a useful method for determining the right dimension for a kayak paddle, but it’s not necessarily the greatest or most precise choice. Because of how various people’s proportions and sitting heights can vary, even those who are the same height.

    Some people carry greater height in their upper body—their torso—while others can carry the majority of it in their lower body.

    This is why, when sitting in a kayak & paddling, it is more important to consider your torso height when determining the length of the paddle you require.

    The height of the torso could also be measured using a measuring tape. Move down the back beginning at the top of the torso, which would be the bony protrusion at the base of the neck where the slope of the shoulders joins. If you’re not sure where to put your tape, you can stoop forward and feel for this bone. To the bottom of the torso, that is the top of the hip bone, the tape should extend from this bony area.

    Here is a sizing chart that you may use to determine the ideal high angle vs low angle kayak paddle length based on the height of the torso.

    Recommended reading: How hard is paddle boarding in 2022


    Q1. How Should a Kayak Paddle Be Chosen?

    It’s quite easy to determine the perfect fit (length) of a paddle. Wider boats result from longer paddles. Additionally, your height matters, especially if the boat is narrower: Longer paddles are required for taller paddlers.

    Q2. What Size Paddle Do You Need for a Sit-On-Top Kayak?

    Q1. How Should a Kayak Paddle Be Chosen?
    It’s quite easy to determine the perfect fit (length) of a paddle. Wider boats result from longer paddles. Additionally, your height matters, especially if the boat is narrower: Longer paddles are required for taller paddlers.

    Q3. How Long Paddle Ought to Be?

    The standard practice is to multiply the rider’s height by 9–10 inches to get the suitable paddle size. Get a paddle that is around 80-81 inches long, and ft 8 or 9 inches, if you are 5’11”. 

    Q4. What Effect Do Kayak Paddles Have?

    Long and slim blades are ideal for low-angle paddling. This is a laid-back design that will keep you comfortable for numerous hours on the lake. When you’re paddling quickly or dragging goods on your kayak, shorter, broader blades are intended for high-angle paddling.

    Q5. Is Kayak Paddle Length Important?

    A properly sized kayak paddle may make a huge impact while you’re out on the water. The most current and precise source of information on our paddle sizes is our online sizing guide. Buying a paddle that is too short will result in you banging the hands on the kayak’s sides, regardless of the brand and model.


    Low Angle Vs. High-Angle: Paddle high-angle paddle is the ideal choice for individuals people who wish to paddle quickly. Paddling with the low-angle paddle will be ideal for beginners & people who desire quiet calm relaxation when kayaking to prevent overexertion.

    Keep your paddling technique simple. Keep in mind that your intended usage of the kayak, paddling style, level of endurance, or the paddling activity you want to participate in should all be taken into consideration when choosing a paddle and a style of paddling. 

    You’ll save time, effort, and money if you know what you need. Now that we’ve resolved that, go out on the lake and have fun!

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