I learned on a straight key because everyone told me I should go that route. I never felt satisfied with my sending via a straight key. I knew the code and could copy well, but a straight key requires a different kind of dexterity than a paddle and I lack it. A year or so later I moved to a paddle. The transition definitely took time and some getting used to. Now I love the paddle and think I'd have been better off if I'd started off with it.