Peter, the short answer is that this is why we end up with lots of paddles.
I don't understand your goal. If your goal is to have a strong blade in shallow rocky streams, then I don't think a carbon FW paddle is where you should be looking. I'd be looking for a strong wood paddle blade.
I settled on two ZRE's for weight reasons, especially on whatever remaining wilderness trips I may have in me. Since I might encounter WW or rocky streams on a wilderness trip, I got my straight ZRE with the WW blade as Harold Deal did. It's a little stronger and heavier than the regular medium ZRE blade.
However, if I knew in advance on a day trip that I was going on a shallow, rocky stream, I would not subject my expensive carbon paddles to that. I would use an old beater wood FW paddle or one of my wooden Mitchell WW paddles, none of which have broken in 30 years.
I wouldn't be put off by the offset blade in the ZRE, but the asymmetrical grip would be a more serious concern to me. In that connection, I will email you with a suggestion.
I't not clear to me why you think the Sunburst blade would have benefits over the Expresso blade in the rocks. I recall the Sunburst blade being wood.
Gedi Convertible Helmet
Touring Kayak Paddles
Canoe Pack Liner
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