In the apocalyptic rubble that masquerades as my garage, I recently found a 54" Old Town beavertail paddle that I haven't used in 30 years. It's a one piece construction of unknown wood, though I dimly recall it could be spruce.
I took it out for a paddle the other day and, though it initially was a favorite of mine in my pre-Galtian era, I now recall why I haven't used it in 30 years.
WHAT A PONDEROUS AND NEANDERTHAL CLUB!!!
It is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo HEAVY. Especially the swing weight of the thick blade, which accounts for almost half the paddle's length and probably 2/3 of it's weight.
Aerial recoveries were unrelenting agony, and the only stroke I could tolerate was a palm rolled Indian stroke with a completely in-water return. The blade shape actually lends itself nicely to palm rolls and manueverability and to vertical forward slices, even with it's blunt thickness. The pull phase of the stroke also felt pretty good, both functionally and aesthetically.
But the weight and imbalance were simply intolerable after 10 minutes, and I reached in desperation for my ZRE carbon bent.
I'm not sure a one-piece beavertail of that length could be made thin enough to have both tolerable weight, balance and sufficient strength. No wonder the voyageurs and native paddlers often made their long bladed paddles much narrower than a beavertail (such as quills) -- swing weight reduction, in my opinion.
Now, a carbon beavertail with a razor thin blade might be a very nice paddle, but I don't know that such a thing exists. There is such a paucity of lightweight, non-racing, carbon paddle blade shapes for flatwater canoeing.