Before starting Rutu I researched Eastern White cedar and Baltek balsa strips. The cedar with a bi-directional E-glass encapsulation worked out a good bit heavier than the Baltek and a bit stiffer. Cedar was a good bit less expensive but then I cured and cut my own strips which was more work than the actual layup
. It was also a lot better for impact resistance and more rot
resistant should the membrane be breached.
I think it depends on what you are after. If the priority is performance and a ready made product with less regard for cost, Baltek balsa would be the choice. For a stiffer hull
at a slightly lower cost white cedar seems to be better. Western red might work out about the same cost as Baltek.