I think the best wood canoe paddle would be a cherry ottertail that was hand carved by someone with a good eye.
However, I have another thing in mind. What is the best wooden canoe paddle, if someone wanted ZRE-like performance without the look of carbon fiber?
I have a Grey Owl Marathon which they no longer make. I also really like the Whiskeyjack, though I only tried it once. Anyone know of a better one?
I'm willing to consider all wood, or paddles that are almost all wood, with perhaps synthetic edging or 'glass blade coverings or maybe even a bit of carbon reinforcement woven onto the blade.