Well I finally got my hands on a new paddle a Werner fullcarbon straight shaft called a Corryvrecken. ( A whilrlpool off the Scotish coast).
My first impression is this is great. I won't sing the praises of Werner paddles just yet. I'll wait and see if it stands up to the abuse I will no doubt hand out to it.
But I will say that having a paddle which is obviously well designed and manufactured makes for a great feeling in particular one that suits your style. My previous paddle has stood the test of time. I 've had it about a year now and it still looks as good as the day I bought it.
I paddle almost every weekend and would average I guess about 10 - 12 Kms aech day and this last year about 45 weekends. So that equals about 1000 kms.
The big difference is the shape of the new paddle. Yep the low weight certainly feels good but the new shape is what makes the big difference. My previous paddle was a low angle touring paddle and I always thought I was losing power when trying to accelerate and push into wind/waves. This new paddle (a high angle performance) gives me great acceleration and probably about an extra .5 - 1km difference in crusing speed. Mind you I did feel the extra effort required to push this. If your rotation technique fails you will really feel it in the arms and shoulders.
Any way time will tell. The only problem now is that I leave my wife behind and guess what yes I have to buy her one now.