SUP Paddle Length
The general convention for determining the correct paddle size is to take the rider’s height and add 9-10 inches. If you’re 5’11” ideally you should get a paddle about 80-81 inches, or 6 feet 8 or 9 inches. This is the recommendation for the average user. Make sure you’re measuring the total length of the paddle from the tip of the paddle to the very outer edge of the grip/handle. Now this is an ideal, not a mandatory. You can really get along fine with just about any paddle if you ride periodically so it’s not a big deal if you share a paddle among a couple family members. While it’s ideal to have the exact correct length paddle for everybody in the family that can get expensive when you’re dropping $300 on each paddle.
Specialty SUP Use Considerations:
SUPs primarily used for surfing
If you’re going to use your stand up paddle board primarily for surfing, you should go a little shorter than this 9-10 inch add-on to your height. Something closer to 6-7 inches taller than your height would be ideal.
Ideal SUP paddle length for racing
On the other side of the spectrum is the SUP rider who primarily uses their stand up paddle board for racing. In this case, it’s best to go a little longer than the 9-10 inch add-on to your height. The best recommendation for racers is to get a paddle that’s about 12 inches taller than the rider.