Sawyer does make a a composite oar and it is the best I have rowed with. Cataracts would be my second choice. The new Sawyer with the dyna-lite blade is the one you want. Nothing probably rows like a great set wood oars but for longevity and durability the Sawyer is the best.
What exactly is your reason to make the "big step" Wood oars are much easer on the oarsman and usualy last a long time, that being said I row a pair of Sawyer MX-G oars with Dyna-lite blades. The reason I like them is that they have little to no flex and when you need to turn or stop a boat In big white water (clas 4 or more) they transfer all the power I have to the water and right now. Wood oars in the big stuff feel like spegitti noodles to me. That's just a personal preference I have. the draw back to composit oars is that if you take a big rock hit on the shaft It can compromise the strength of the shaft. Looking on the good side you only need to buy a new shaft at that point because you already have a blade that can be changed form shaft to shaft. If you do want to go with composits over wood I would recomend the MXS-G over the MX-G they are a little smaller in diameter and do flex a good amount. The flex is still less than wood but way more than the thicker version.
RR- Are you getting rid of the Alumawelds? I just added Cataract Counterbalance handles to an old pair, and they are sooo easy to row with. It was tough getting the old wooden handles out, but the Cat handles were a perfect fit; just a little epoxy and you're done.
I have used them all over the years. Wood, Composite and Carlisle (aluminum). And there are wood/composites, too.
Wood is beautiful, it flexes well and ash oars are very durable. Probably only a rock snag in class 3-4 water will break it. But wood is the heaviest choice. If you can balance them in the oarlocks, you might notice little diff, but that is sometimes hard without the grips overlapping, thereby causing bloody knuckle syndrome (counter weights might be considered). And they're one piece, so if you break the blade, you're in for a whole new oar. Also, you've got the wood maintenance factor if you want to keep them beautiful.
I 'graduated' from wood to Cataracts several years back. Cataracts offer removable HD plastic blades/graphite shaft. I also have a pair of Sawyer wood blade+grips/graphite shafts. Take your pick, but the Sawyer choice is a little spendier. They are lighter, probably as tough as wood and have a nice flex. The blades (and grips on Sawyers) are separate from the shaft. The Catarcts come in very cool colors. About the only downside is the price. Shop around, but I have bought from CascadeOutfitters.com in Boise.
All I'll say about Carlisle oars is: they're cheapest choice and make an ok spare. I broke several hundreds of dollars worth of them in class 3-4 before going wood.
I have pair of 9' Cataracts for my DB and I use 10' Sawyers for my 17' oar raft.