and my first question is are you holding the paddle vertically? Or is the paddle across your lap sometimes. Also are you grasping the paddle shaft with your lower hand some eight inches above where shaft and paddle meet..or right at that intersection.
Clearly your seat is too high. You should be able to rest your butt against the seat if kneeling (even if you never want to kneel). That at least gives you the highest possible seat that you would ever want to use.
That your feet wave in the area does nothing for your bracing ability.
First lower the seat. At that point you can think of what paddle length is appropriate. I usually kneel, am a little taller than you and use a 54 inch paddle. The only length that matters is shaft length and through experience, I know I need a 33.5 inch long shaft.
When doing a j stroke both hands are over the side of the boat and above the gunwales..to get a good forward stroke. A side benefit is no knuckle bashing.
Paddler's Truck Rack
Touring Kayak Paddles
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