Yes. If you plan on doing a lot of trips for more than just an hour, it does make a difference. I am a professional kayak guide and do about 20 miles of paddling a day. The light weight of the carbon fiber is a huge difference in the fatigue of paddling. I have tried all types of paddles and when asked by clients I always suggest investing in a good paddle. Too many people just invest in a good kayak and buy the cheapest paddle they can buy. The paddle is your motor. Bending Branches makes a nice carbon fiber paddle with wood blades. Weight is about 22 oz., I have been using this paddle for 2 years and love it.