High-end paddles are tough, for with price increase- so increases the expectations. Ive been a gear queek longer than Ive been in the biz. I started buying gear for my college kayak club way back in the day. Paddles are a tough nut to crack, and the hardest by far in the WW world. Most paddle companies dont make a high-end whitewater paddle. Its not a money maker, and it might not be enough to keep the lights on.
For a lot of reasons: Almost all paddles break. If you dont want to break your paddle, buy a Norse. Super heavy-duty fiberglass shaft, massive blades with steel at the edges, 10 lbs of glass, and cheap. Cant break it (bend yes, break no.), but they paddle like poop. The higher the end materials the more fragile it is, and to make it stronger youd have to make it thicker- this adds both cost and weight. Again, if someone thinks its carbon it better be light. The more custom you make it, the more labor intensive it will be. That comes out of your pocket. Plus, if people drop big coin on this
to them its bullet proof, till they prove you wrong. Then it only takes one bad review, from some random weekend warrior snow surfing in Kansas. And, you name is tarnished forever.
Now enough of the negative and on to the perfect paddle. 1) Wood shaft (not the blades- too much impact), 2) neutral bend (AT is very nice. Werner is nice too, but if you really want it to be better flip the Werner upside down- I think Werner made a mistake and wont fess up- try if and tell me if Im joking. Its a 100 times better upside down), 3) 30 degree offset- great for everything (I like it others like less, and others like more) Remember you can set the trend- Waterstick did., 4) Keep the price under $300. Beginner paddles have a market, stay focused you cant make everyone happy. Start with making the people who buy your paddles happy. 5) A nice kinetic blade shape, not too thick not too thin. 6) The blades should be buoyant and crisp at the edge (some dense ridged rubber would be nice, some thing better than rope and better than exposed cut edge). 7) Modular construction would be the best for both custom off-sets, future blades, and warranty and service.
Good luck and have fun.
I love to dance, but who needs the music- It throws me off.