The following method will give you a good place to start from. Holding your arms out to the sides, measure your full armspan,from
fingertip to fingertip. Next, measure the distance from your elbow out to your fingers. Add the two measurements together
and this length should give you a good indication of your maximum paddle length.
For those paddling a wider kayak, say 24" and above, you may go slightly longer. It is rare that I build paddles beyond
225 cm in length. Many people may wish to go a little shorter however, especially if using a more high angle stroke. Email
me for more details and with any questions. 90% of my paddles come in between 210cm and 220cm, usually around the 213-218
Joe builds his paddles to be between 3.25 and 3.5" in width at the widest point. For those with very small hands,
you will want to go even narrower. You should be able to comfortably hold the paddle in your hand from the widest point. For
those of you with large hands, you still should not normally go over the 3.5" maximum. By special request, any size width
can be special ordered.
Joe builds his looms between 1.25 and sometimes as much as 1.5 inches thick. For width, from 1" to 1.25". Smaller
hands may require smaller looms but you will lose a bit of strength.
For the length of the loom before it starts tapering out for the blades, stand with your arms hanging down at your sides
completely relaxed. Bend your elbows 90 degrees, knuckles facing up, maintining the same width between your hands. Form
a circle with your thumb and forefinger on each hand. This is the distance for a custom loom length. I normally build
looms in the range of 18" to 21", mostly on the shorter end of that range.
Paddle Size Conversion
Some people tend to prefer inches as a means of measurement whereas other prefer
centimeters. Here is a quick list of conversions from inches to centimeters. My paddles for kayaking will be measured in centimeters
whereas my canoe paddles will be in inches. Inches are rounded off to the nearest half inch.
200 cm = 79.0"
205 cm = 80.5"
210 cm = 82.5"
215 cm = 84.5"
220 cm = 86.5"
225 cm = 88.5"
230 cm = 90.0