Choosing the most appropriate blade size for your paddle is an important, yet simple task facing all paddlers. The options can be daunting at first and it often takes an experienced paddler to provide guidance. My friend Jim Terrell, the founder of Quickblade Paddles, spends a fair amount of time pondering each and every aspect of paddling. Jim has a never ending drive to help others paddle to the best of their ability and over the course of his career he developed an easy to use formula for determining how to choose your most appropriate blade size.
Like Jim Terrell, his formula is straight forward enough for even the most mathematically challenged paddlers (I am firmly in this category.) to quickly determine their most appropriate blade size in square inches. The formula is as follows:
Take your weight in pounds, multiply it by .25 and add 45. If I were a mathematician I might write it out something like this:
Weight x .25 + 45 = Blade Size
I tested the formula out using my own weight and arrived right in the ballpark of my current blade size. I use an 81 sq/in Quickblade V-Drive, thus the formula is right on point.
150 x .25 + 45 = 82.5
Your personal preference can also be a factor in determining your blade size. For an explanation on the effects of what a larger or smaller blade may feel like I recommend taking a look at the accompanying video to listen to Jim Terrell’s concise explanation. Quickblade Paddles has assembled an impressive publicly available video library on paddle nomenclature and techniques. If you cannot find the answer to your question(s) don’t be a fraud to reach out and ask. You never know, you could be the inspiration for a future Quickblade video or SUP Examiner “How To” article!