Help choose a kayak

Hello, new to the forum. Have canoed up to class three rivers for years but never been in a kayak. Looking to purchase one for whitewater and spend around a thousand to twelve hundred. Length is really the part I’m unsure about. I am 5’11, 180 pounds. I’ve been looking at the Dagger Nomad, Axiom and Katana and the Liquid Logic KP10 and XP9. Unfortunately, trying one on before I buy really isn’t an option. I don’t mind spending the money upfront and growing into the boat.

After reading and searching this forum it seems 10 foot and up boats are the most prevalent. Can anyone comment on length? I understand the correlation between length, speed and maneuverability but not sure what the best fit is for me and the type rivers I will be on. I plan to use this boat on rivers that are rarely pushing class three and eventually use it on strong class three maybe pushing class four as my skills improve.

Kindest Regards,

You may want to start with reading an article from a past California Kayaker Magazine on different types of boats. Issue #10.
Can be downloaded for free from Article starts on page 6, but page 8 has the meat of what you will want to know. There are 3 tyes of white water kayaks talked about there, and depending on what types of rivers you plan to run and how you plan to use the boat will vary the type of boat you go for.

Many start with used boats for first boats, and you may want to do the same. If you buy for a reasonable price, you can then use the boat and decide if it is for you, and if not, resell for what you bought it. If you buy new, and end up reselling because it isn’t the right boat, you lose at least 1/3rd of what you paid in the resell even if it is only lightly used.