I use the race face freeride pads for mountain biking (same as the older roach branded pads) but got a newer set of the NRS pads for boating, mainly because velcro really starts to suck over time in the water, as all of us have probably noticed as drytops wear out. As far as paddling goes, those raceface ones are actually pretty good. The only other issue is that the sleeve profile is a lot smaller than say the NRS boating-specific pad, which means when I put the raceface ones over my drytop, they were way too tight (they are meant to be work under a jersey or on bare skin, not over layers).
personally, I really like the newer NRS ones. good protection and stay in place as good as anything. they have slipped a little in big beatdowns, but not too bad. The lacrosse types seem to work well for people too, but they seem a little bulky.