Question on sizing of a Surf SUP paddle, I have heard go shorter than your racing paddle. How short?
Also is it better to keep switching the paddle when turning on a Surf SUP or keep in your favorite hand and twist your body around?
For all of our SUP Surf questions we turn to Chuck Glynn. Here is his answer:
For the paddle sizing yes it is correct to go shorter for the surf paddles then race paddles. however there really is no definitive answer for the length of a SUP surf paddle. There is a big variation in what top surfers use.
I have found that shorter boards require shorter paddles because they turn tighter. The shorter the paddle and board the tighter the turn. If your paddle is too long, you will not be able to turn properly on a shorter SUP board without choking up on the paddle shaft. Choking up on the paddle, as you can imaging, is an awkward thing to do while surfing. Another benefit of the shorter paddle is that it naturally keeps you lower in your stance for stability while you paddle to keep your blade in the water.
So far, I am sure that is an answer that is about as good as useless to you so here is what I use. Maybe you can extrapolate it to your situation. A surf paddle will be about head high to 4 inches over head. For example, my SUP race paddle is 78″. My surf SUP paddle for my 9′ board likes a paddle that is 74″ long. Finally, my 7’10” SUP surf board likes a 70″ paddle.
Getting to the second part of your question about paddle switching while surfing on a SUP, that all depends on what you are doing. Depending on what type of turn you may want the paddle on your “wave” side or you ay want to switch it to the “out side” to wrap a big turn around the paddle….
Chuck left it there. We are going to add that you can also refer to Chuck’s video