Choosing the right length paddle is pretty straightforward. Simply put, the wider the kayak, the longer the paddle. They have to clear the width of the boat for a clean stroke, and undersized paddles will make you lean over to do so. This upsets balance, and makes you work much harder than you should. In most situations, a 220- or 230-centimeter paddle is ideal, but you’ll need a longer paddle if you’re tall as there’s greater distance between you and the water.