Invest in a great paddle. I don't care if you paddle Greenland style, or Euro. If you like carbon or wood. This is your connection to the water, make it a good one. I like my paddles light, so for me it is carbon, I also don't like bent shaft paddles. I use the Werner Kalliste (carbon/carbon) and I think it is about the best paddle ever made - I would like to try a Werner Camano, I have a very old one, and would love to try it out again. It may be my next paddle. I see too many people who end up spending more than they thought they would on boat/rack/gear and skimp on their paddle. It is like buying a ferrari and putting cheap tires on it.