I do trust the ability of ancient paddlers, but I don't necessarily trust us to understand what it is they intended. I'm still not convinced the ridge isn't a cambered back face.
Second, how can you "trust" inconsistent propositions. X and not-X cannot both be true propositions. If a minority of ancient paddle makers made paddles with ridges and a majority made paddles without ridges -- both groups depending for their lives on their paddles -- which design am I supposed to "trust". It doesn't work logically for me.
I'll await some empirical reports on slicing and rolling with the ridged paddles because there's more to the sport than a forward stroke.
Gedi Convertible Helmet
Touring Kayak Paddles
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