Werner IS the shit.
I am also an open boater and a SUPer and enjoy the diversity of paddles available for those markets but I have to say that kayaking whitewater is different, I have used the same Werner (194cm sidekick) for about 8 years and would only change if I lost it. And even then I would just go get a powerhouse or a sherpa. I think you could make a comparison to drysuits: why are there only two or three real brands of drysuits (Kokatat, Stohlquist and NRS) when there are so many types of skiing jackets? I think that clutch gear is binary: its either good or its not and the tolerance for mediocrity is nil for whitewater aficionados.
I would love a wooden paddle, but I'd never take it on class V. All that being said, I've never tried a European paddlle so maybe we're all missing out!
"Paddle silently, boof loudly"