NRS paddle guide. Funny how one of the best guides comes from a place that doesn't make paddles. They mention that shorter paddles are better for white water since you use a higher stroke rate. If the shorter paddle is easier to turn over and faster paddle stroke equals faster boat, then why would you ever want a longer paddle? I could just turn over the short paddle at a slower rate if I wanted to lily dip. I think it might work just as well as a longer paddle used at a slower rate.
I'm not certain the 196 to 200 cm paddles I use for surfing are actually better for maneuvers, but they do feel better when I'm slapping down a brace. So I'll try them out against my longer 213 cm Euro paddle and my 86 inch Greenland paddle made by Bill of Lumpy Paddles.
The Lumpy Paddle makes the last 10 miles of any day over 20 miles easier. I also notice that Greenland paddles reduce soreness felt the next day. They are a great help on multi-day trips.
So if you see me on the lake paddling my sea kayak with a white water paddle this spring, you'll know why I'm doing it. I'll start with a gps and do some sprints and try to find some actual kayak racers. They seem to know what paddles are fast.
http://www.lumpypaddles.com/. His paddles cost less than most recreational fiberglass and plastic ones and are as light as most carbon paddles and built custom sizes at no extra cost. They are definitely not rubbish.
I'd love to hear some feedback about how you came to pick the size paddle you have. So please leave a comment.