I went back to the lake this morning with my old paddle, and sure enough, hit the rolls pretty well on both sides.
Paddle evolution has been interesting for me. When I first built the Cape Charles I had only paddled a kayak once, to demo the Cape Charles. Having no idea what paddle I'd like, I built the one in Chris's book. After it broke, I built a stronger, shorter one. Then I saw an article in Woodenboat about how to design a symettrical paddle, and built several of those. I experimented first with overall length, and then with blade design. This current old favorite is the culmination of that series.
Then I went to Port Townsend last year, and tried all the paddles. The one I liked best was more like a greenland blade, only it carried the full width further up toward the loom. After several of those I settled on a length and width I liked.
But now I have trouble rolling with it, it doesnt offer the beef that the bigger blade has. I'm a little confused. Should I keep trying to adapt to the paddle I like to paddle with, or go back to a more european style? I could modify the old one, make it a little shorter maybe a little narrower, and put a ferrule in it and use it unfeathered until I get better at rolling. Then go back... Or I could build a lighter european style.
Has anybody else had this trouble?