-- Last Updated: Feb-04-14 4:21 PM EST --
Is your concern regarding straight shaft Zaveral paddles that they are not symmetrically shaped to allow palm rolling and free exchange of the power face with the back face, or that having a bit of a rib on one side of the blade will interfere with the slice of the paddle through the water during sculling, in-water recoveries, and such? If you are not necessarily looking for a symmetrical paddle, I find that having a flattened rib on the back face side of the blade need not necessarily render in water slicing of the paddle awkward. I have both a Werner Bandit and a ZRE Power Curve paddle constructed that way and they both slice just fine IMO. But I have never used one of the other straight shaft Zav paddles, so I can't comment there.
Of course, a paddle with any degree of bend or elbow in the shaft will have a dedicated power face and back face. I know some paddlers who really feel that a bent shaft with an angle of 6-8 degrees offers an excellent compromise between forward stroke efficiency and overall stroke maneuverability and flexibility, especially if they alternate kneeling and sitting.
If you are looking for a symmetrical straight blade paddle the options are more limited than they are for bent shafts. I have heard pretty good things about the Wenonah Blacklight Straight which comes with a T grip. The Wenonah site currently shows this paddle only available in up to 54" overall length but some vendors show it available in up to 56" length:
Grey Owl used to import a very nice carbon version of their Freestyle model paddle. I don't think it has been available for some years but if you can get by with a 54" paddle, this vendor claims to still have one:
This vendor has carbon fiber, foam core straight shaft version of Grey Owl's Raven paddle available with either T grip or palm grip in 54 and 56" length, and T grip in 58" length (scroll down to see):
It is not really a carbon paddle since it has a laminated wood shaft and a cedar core blade, and as a result it is considerably heavier than a carbon, foam core paddle, but a lot of people really seem to like the Mitchell Surreal and it comes in up to 63" length:
Canoe / Kayak Anchors
The Kayak Wing
Pull-Up Strap Handle Kit
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