ZRE includes in the blade length the skinny part of the paddle not just the fat part
I am thinking that the intent is to allow a really good vertical stroke close to the boat. Most likely the slender part of the blade allows clearance of the hull before the fat part of the blade has a chance to hit it.
Intended to be used for hit and switch and not slicing the philosophy seems to be that undue agitation from a round shape in the water is not a factor. But that may not be the way that you plan to use the paddle. Straight shafted paddles seem to go with kneeling paddlers who are also inwater recovery paddlers.
Recreational Kayak Paddle
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