Best choice for a beginner? A few specific options...

Looking to get into WW with a little flatwater mixed in. Looking for a used boat to learn…will be going to a ww paddling school next spring. There are a few boats available locally that seem to be reasonably priced. I’m 5’11, 170 lbs. Here are the current choices:

LL Jefe - $350
Dagger Crossfire - $300
Perception Dancer XT - $250

Thoughts or suggestions? Ideally I would like to find a LL Remix 9 for a reasonable price, but that is a little tougher to find.

For whitewater kayaks both the Crossfire and the Dancer are relatively efficient and would be less painful to paddle on flat water than many others. Either would be much faster on flat water than the LL Remix 9. I have no experience with the LL Jefe.

The Dagger Crossfire and the Dancer XT are really best suited to paddlers of pretty different weight ranges but at your weight, you could probably use either being toward the upper end of the ideal weight range for the Crossfire and the lower end for the Dancer XT.

I would probably go with the one that seemed to fit better. Pay particular attention to the ease with which you can exit the cockpit. I believe the Crossfire had two different cockpit sizes. The mold was redesigned at some point to give it a slightly bigger cockpit.

Those older boats had smaller cockpits than more modern ones so you would need to have a spray skirt that fit.

At one time the Crossfire was my favorite whitewater kayak and it still rates in the top 3 for me. But the cockpit was a bit small for me even though at the time I was paddling it I was almost precisely your height and weight. Sitting flat on the seat, I could only raise one knee up out of the cockpit and I felt that to be just a bit too confining. The boat has enough speed for upstream ferries in very strong current as well as attainments, and it bow surfs longer waves like a dream. It is also the easiest kayak to roll that I have ever owned.