I tried out my newly carved storm/spare paddle last night. Blade dim. 3-1/2" x 32" with the inside last 6" tapering to 10" long loom (the blade shape is mostly rectangular) . Blade crosscut shape is standard diamond 5/8" thick in center to 3/16" at blade edge with the same thickness continuing all the way to blade ends.
This is very different from my standard paddle which has a blade shape that is widest at the end and then tapers evenly along its length down to loom diameter....a lot less blade area than the new one.
I had not used the sliding technique before and it took more effort and I couldn't maintain a consistant stroke for long (practice). When I did get in the groove it seemed like I was able to hold about the same speed but corrective strokes weren't as smooth (more practice). Rolling was very easy and smooth with the greater blade area, I hadn't done very well with a non-extended sweep roll using my standard paddle, it was easy with the new one and the c to c was cake. Makes me want to start building a new full length paddle...why not!
My question on foreward stroke technique is whether the non-loom hand grabs the end of the blade like a canoe paddle or stays on the face grabbing the width of the blade? I had moderate success both ways but it felt a little better if I did not use the canoe paddle position.