My wife and I have decided to get ourselves Kayaks for Christmas, although the purchase itself isn't going to be made before now and then (I want to research thoroughly). We've kayaked before, mostly in Ontario on lake water in a 14' tandem kayak that was older, and less maneuverable than we would like.
We do NOT want to buy beginner kayaks. We want to purchase kayaks that we can grow into. I'm not necessarily planning on doing rolls, or hitting class 4 rapids, but I don't want a basic short tour kayak.
We went to a local outdoor store here (not interested in going to a chain store), and they're very knowledgeable about kayaks (they hold classes and open sessions as well). We told them what we desired to do, and of course they were familiar with all of the waters we would be hitting, etc,. Since it was the offseason, they didn't have a ton of boats sitting around, but I did get to sit in a Dagger Axis 12, and Delysk Nifty 430. These were the boats they recommended for what we wanted (that they had in stock). I LOVED the tighter cockpit of the 430 compared to the Axis.
I came home to do some more research (I got a thorough explanation on site about advantages and disadvantages from everything to hull length, to high vs. low back seats. However, I can't find much online concerning Delsyk kayaks, and their website isn't the most informational.
A buddy of mine bought one a year ago from the same store. His is a Necky, I believe the Manitou 13. He seems to like it, and the reviews online are outstanding (including this site).
However, I'm open to any and all suggestions. With that being said, it's probably best that I present what we're looking for, type of water, our age/size as well.
My wife and I are 28. I'm 5'11", she's 5'2" We will be riding local streams and creeks as well as the Susquehanna river. We also plan to hit Rose Valley lake (one of the few local smooth waters around) as well as a lake we visit in Ontario. No class 4 rapids, drops, extreme stuff, though.
My wife's biggest priority is tracking and comfort.
I'm the same, but also want a boat that has some performance and edge stability to it.
We would like to spend around no more than $1100 or so for each Kayak.
Also feel free to weight in on recommendations on things like high vs. low back seats, and drop skeg vs. no drop skeg in our situation.