It seems it's all about finding the sweet spot for each person. For a robot paddler keeping the blade in front and only moving it say a foot or two but very fast may be ideal. But human muscles have limits on cadence. Some of the limits I think geneticallly unique to each person but you can train to move those limits a bit. Often this means using a very short cadence for short bursts but finding something more moderate for the long haul. Cyclist deal with this same question a lot.
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