I bought the cherry model, definitly lighter, for my son. It is a pleasure to use, I was surprised at the flex, but it felt fine. It was quieter than the plastic paddles we have (the kind outfitters give you), and it felt like I wasn't working as hard to keep up with my son in the bow when i was using the Nashwaak and he was using the whitewater style. Just like they warn you, it isn't made for scraping on the bottom, so use it in deeper water. It is worth the price. Check out the web site
. It has good information and is interesting reading.