-- Last Updated: Jan-07-13 7:18 PM EST --
While the foxworx chart is one of many different commonly used measurement methods, the optimum paddle length can depend on a lot more than that one measurement. Height above water line is what counts, and even that is not necessarily proportional depending on paddling style (racing or recreational), experience, favorite stroke, height of mounted seat, canoe load, and probably many other factors.
When I train for racing as bowman in one particular expedition voyageur canoe, I like to use a 54 inch bent shaft. In the stern, where the seat is higher and different strokes are called for, a 56 inch is better. Load the canoe with gear for multi-day races and I'll go with 52/54. In a different smaller voyageur canoe we use for training or short distance races, an inch or two shorter paddle is better.
In a larger tandem canoe I'll opt for a 53 or 52 inch paddle, 51 inch in a smaller tandem. In a Rapidfire with high seat I single blade with either a 50, 49, or 48 inch, depending on load and water conditions.