You have to see it to believe it but oil finished (and bare) quarter-sawn WRC paddles do dent easily, but unless the wood fibers are actually cut, even large dents often swell back to normal after letting the paddle soak.
On several occasions I have had GPs with deep dents that "healed" perfectly. Now you can't even tell where the original dent was.
That's another reason I prefer oil and soft finishes on solid WRC GPs.
To facilitate this, I will put a wet rag on the damaged area for a few days.
You can make an unfinished WRC paddle tougher by taking a metal rod and "burnishing the surface". Pro baseball players used to do the same thing to their wood bats with a piece of smooth bone to harden the surface.
Touring Kayak Paddles
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