So the paddle is shaped like half an hourglass, right? You're asking if you should include the "pinched" part of the blade in the "blade length" or "shaft length"? The answer is the pinched part of the blade is considered in the blade length, not the shaft length, even though the pinched part is skinny and semi rounded. The shaft length is measured from the glue joint at the top of the blade. Its easy to see where the joint is when its in your hands.
As said above the ideal length has the blade burried but very little or none of the shaft in the water
Kayak & Canoe Outriggers
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