I am debating between two kayaks: Emotion Bliss and Dagger Zydeco.
I have joined a paddling club and want to get a better kayak than the aruba 8 I have been playing with recently. My experience prior to moving here has been in a Perception Swifty. The members in this club suggest that I purchase a kayak longer than 12' so that I can keep up with them on longer trips. In reviewing the longer kayaks, I find that they are generally heavier. To be honest, I was leaning towards the Necky Vector SOT 14 but after playing around with a 50lb bag of dog food, have decided to go as light as possible as my back is not in super good shape.
Both the Zydeco and Bliss have fairly good ratings but the Bliss is noted to give a bit more speed because of it's shape. It is built for the smaller paddler. I am 5' tall and I weigh 155. By the time I get the kayak, this number will be closer to 145. I want to play with the "big dogs" on their day long excursions and I have a certain amount of pride and don't want to be the slowest person on the lake either.
I think a kayak that is as light and small as possible yet fast (an oxymoron I know) is what I need. I need to be able to load and unload on my own too.
I was also looking at the Ellie Sound and straight but there are lots and lots of people out there who are warning me that Pelican is not doing good things with these.
If you were me and you wanted to be as fast as possible yet still hang with the bird watchers sometimes, what would you pick?
Thanks in advance!!