A paddle can be too short, but not too long. With that in mind, why not flout the rule that one's paddle should only be chin height. My rule is paddle_length=my_height. It is a myth that your hands will be too far apart. Grip where you like and follow all the good paddling form. The advantages of a long paddle:1. Less turbulence and more efficiency.
Whether you sweep, pry, jay or push off, a longer paddle offers a mechanical advantage. You can more efficiently supply the same power at a leisurely pace. You can still lilly dip if you want. Try a long paddle and the ones the outdoor stores sell will feel like toys.
This paddle took five hours to carve from a $15 cherry plank, and while it is not art, it has lasted hundreds of hours and counting. I tip the blade with epoxy and glass so it is good on rivers.