I second the congrats on all counts Adrian! It's great news.
The reduced windage of a Greenland padlle is a proven fact. Met somewhat by an offset paddle - something I can do occasionally.
As an example of the right paddle making all the difference, last weekend we stashed my lightweight as a backup. After about 10 minutes of paddling with Pete's large diameter club type paddle, I had to pull mine out of storage in the back of Pete's yak.
What a difference, I then porceeded to enjoy myself.
Stomache crunches strengthen the abs & back - preparing you for that first paddle.