Defying popular belief that traditional paddles are just for show and really not suitable for rougher waters, I have been using Vanstix (Aleut paddles) for small surf fun for some time now.
Vanilla carving it with a Vanstix
Surfing with a traditional paddle: works for me...
Adventuretess with a 'Greg Schwarz' hollow core GP
here I am using a Black Stick by Greg Schwarz