Dragon Boat Paddle Sizing and Matrix
A good way to start based on height and experience level.
Paddle Length Selection Chart (Size matrix below)
Factors Affecting Length
1. Arm and Body Length
2. Water Type
3. Position in the boat
· If you REGULARLY sit in a particular bench you should adjust for the water height at that bench, for example if you are always the lead stroke or you always are in bench 7 then use the following adjustment factors if you do NOT sit in the same bench regularly or move around do not make the adjustment
· Bench 1 subtract 1 to 2 inches from matrix size
· Bench 2 and 3 subtract 1 inch from matrix size
· Bench 4, no adjustment
· Bench 5,6,7 add 1 inch from matrix size
· Bench 8 no adjustment
· Bench 9 and 10 subtract 0.5 to 1 inch size
Again – ONLY make these adjustments if you sit in one of these benches regularly
4. Crew Composition
· If your boat is not full for most practices you may need a longer PRACTICE paddle, but a shorter RACING paddle.
· If your crew is heavier than average you may need a shorter paddle, subtract 0.5 to 1 inch)
· If you crew is lighter than average (i.e. Junior), add 0.5 to 1 inch
5. Stroke Rate
· If your crew uses a fast stroke rate and you have trouble keeping up (more than 75 strokes per minute) subtract 1 inch
· If your crew uses a slow stroke rate (less than 60 strokes per minute) and you feel you are not getting enough power add 0.5 inches
7. Personal Preference
· Intermediate to advanced paddlers of average height use paddles that may vary from the matrix size indicated. Tere are many shorter paddlers who prefer longer paddles and taller paddlers with shorter paddles. The data for the expert paddlers is very solid, which may indicate that it can take many years to develop into the right size paddle.
8. Try before you Buy
· The best method for selecting a paddle size is to try a paddle of that length during practice. Find someone with a longer and shorter paddle than the one you are using and ask to switch for a few minutes. If possible, have your coach evaluate your stroke with your normal paddle and then with the size you prefer.
· If you are not sure what size to purchase go with the longer of the two. A paddle can usually be shortened but not lengthened.
· Ask the company selling you the paddle what their return policy is. A reputable company will take back the wrong sized paddle if there is no visible wear or damage to the paddle.