For me the key benefits are from keeping the head looking straight and not zig zagging, lifting with the elbow high out of the water, keeping the elbow bent, pulling back strongly on the initial part of the stroke.Whatever may be true on the wave speed equations discussed above, here is a fact I observed for myself this evening:
I watched a few of Rob's videos, and then paddled out at crappy Topanga, on a lower volumed board than what I normally ride, and caught more waves in a shorter amount of time than what would normally have occurred.
Just a few simple tips - not over reaching, pushing BACK, not DOWN, focusing on staying horizontal - made a huge difference. I caught more waves than I expected, and got into them earlier than expected (so much so that I repeatedly found myself surprised, "Oh! I already caught this!")
Clearly, Rob is onto something with his approach to paddling. I noticed a difference with just a superficial study of his material. Now I am keen to learn more, and may just have to sign up for one of his online courses. Results speak.
Sorry to sort of hijack the thread here, but this is a game changer for me (and I've been surfing far longer than I'd care to admit...)