A quality rowing boat needs to have oars matched to the rower and to the boat. They are a vital part of a rowing boat's performance. The right set of oars can make the difference between enjoyable rowing and not so enjoyable rowing. Spoon Blade oars are a good choice for average and better strength rowers on a Whitehall or other models known for easy rowing.
Spoon Blades are dished to get a better bite in the water with less slipping. If a boat is an easy rowing one, this will transfer into more forward motion per stroke. Generally when Spoon blade oars are mated to beamier boats with curvacious water lines such as a boat primarily used for sailing or a heavily build chunky work boat, it's a bad marriage. When the oars are pulled on the rower is met with heavy resistance because the boat is not a type designed for easy rowing, so it doesn't want to move very easily or rapidly. That, coupled with the heavy bite of the spoon blades, translates into all that resistance. Spoon Blades are the oars we use and recommend for good rowing boats, such as the Whitehall.
Flat blades can be used with any boat meant for rowing. They work well with the before mentioned chunky boat, because they get less of a bite and slip in the water, allowing less resistance on the rower, but still allowing decent motion. There is some performance loss on a boat known for rowing performance, but are a good oar for less than average strength rowers.