I have always used wooden canoe paddles. I like the traditional paddles that are thicker in the middle and have some lift as compared to uniform thickness plastic paddles. Another thing about wooden paddles is that half an hour with a file and sander allows you to easily customise the shape of the grip and stem of the paddle.
My wifes hand is too small to comfortably grip the traditional canoe grip so I cut it way back up under and sanded it smooth so her thum can easily wrap around the grip. Next the stem was too big a round for her and had a slight ridge in its design to help you feel the direction of the blade, but it hurt her other hand so I sanded the stem until it was completely round and varnished it all.
No we have to get into the water.