I remember reading a study somewhere (I'll try to locate it) stating that the material of the pole (or paddle) attracting the lightning is not that essential.
I paddle with a carbon paddle but I do not think switching to a wooden paddle during a thunder storm would make that much difference.
Lightning might strike a plastic paddle as well as a carbon paddle. The current will travel on the surface of the shaft and the shaft is most likely to be wet due to rain and salt water exposure making it conductive. If the electrical resistance in the paddle turns out to be too big then the lightning will simply take a different path (i.e. your hands holding the paddle).
URCHIN Portable Anchor
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