Paddle length for Wood Duck or Mill Creek?

Dear Wood Duckers or Mill Creekers,

You sit low down and you have a beamy boat: 29" for MC-13; 33" for MC-16; 30" for WD-12+14.

What length paddle do you use? Is a 240 cm (8 feet) paddle long enough or do you keep hitting on the boat?

The CLC paddle guide ( says 240 cm for all kayaks with a beam of "24-in. and up" yet 30 is quite a bit more than 24. REI says 250 cm for low angle paddling with beams over 32" ( 250 cm is only 5 cm longer on each side of the boat.

I am prepared to make myself a custom sized paddle if that is warranted.

What height are you and what length paddle do you wish you had?

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RE: Paddle length for Wood Duck or Mill Creek?


I have no experience in the boats you mention but I have owned a plastic tandem for 8 years that is very similar to the wood duck tandem. My kayak is 13' 6" long and has a beam of 30.5 inches. I am six feet tall and use the paddles that came with the kayak, they are 230cm paddles and I have never had any trouble. A store like REI will let you return a paddle if you do not like the length. If you do not have an REI in your area, LLBean has a 60 dollar paddle available in 220, 230, and 240 CM. If it does not work for you they will allow a return, if you use their credit card return shipping is free.



RE: Paddle length for Wood Duck or Mill Creek?

   I'm 6'1" and I have a MC 16.5. I use a 240cm paddle and have had no problems hitting the sides. I'll be curious to hear what you think later on.

RE: Paddle length for Wood Duck or Mill Creek?

I am a bit shorter but also found a 230 cm paddle to be long enough for the 30"+ plastic SOT that I used to have.

If you are going to spend the time/money to build a high quality kayak like a WD or MC, recommend that you go ahead and make the investment in a high quality paddle.  The cheap paddles from box stores are heavy and will tire you quickly even if you are paddling a great kayak.  The lighter paddle will be far less tiring and will enable you to have a more vertical stroke which is more powerfull.

We have both the Werner Kalliste and Epic Relaxed Touring paddles, and like both.  The full carbon Epic paddles are a bit lighter but are more expensive.  They also are adjustable in length so you can vary your stroke (horizontal or vertical) depending upon conditions.


RE: Paddle length for Wood Duck or Mill Creek?

   The paddle is a personal item to be fitted to the individual. I'm 5'11'' with a reach that makes a 230cm greenland paddle the most confortable. I'm a high angle paddler with boats normally 24" beam or less.  Now I have some boats with 32" to 36" beams. I use a canoe paddle with those. 

In my canoe kayak club there are some canoe solo paddlers that use double ended canoe paddles (no spoon) that measure 9' long. 

I suggest that you need a spare paddle anyway. Get a $100 two piece plastic blade, fiberglass or aluminum shaft paddle of a length you think might work then adjust on the second paddle. Serious paddlers often carry the spare on board.  There are cheaper 1st paddles but they mostly can't take the power and/or are inefficent.  

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