Your wife may prefer a smaller blade, if she is a weaker paddler.
I'm a guy, but not immensely strong and prefer the blade size of the Epic Relaxed Tour of the Swift Wind Swift, which are relatively small blades. The Werner Athena, Onno Feather and Bending Branches Evening or Twilight paddles also have relatively small blades.
For you, the average size blade on common models like the Werner Comanno, Swift Mid Swift, etc. might work fine for you, but you'd also likely be fine with the smaller bladed paddles listed previously, if you're paddling tandem and want to have the same stroke cadence as your partner.
Adjustable length is very much appreciated, if you can afford it.
Lighter weight definitely matters - especially in the Epic paddles: My full carbon Relaxed Tour is much more pleasing to use than my hybrid Relaxed Tour of the same size.
Paddles that have too large of a blade or are too long or too heavy will adversely effect your paddling experience.
1 Canoe/Kayak Trailer
YakCatcher Rod Holder
Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles
Classic Freestanding Rack
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