Kayak Purchasing Questions

I’m looking to buy my first kayak but am lost in thousands of options. I’m looking for something for mainly recreational use, but I also want to be able to use it for light touring. Maybe a few overnight camping/paddling trips. I’m in IL, so I’ll mainly be in rivers, streams, and flat water, but I do plan to eventually venture out and paddle in other locations. I’m about 5’9" and 150 lbs, if that info helps. I recently had a great experience renting a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120, but I’m not sure if it will be able to completely suit my needs.

I’ve also looked at the Tsunami


The Pungo


And the Riot Edge 13


Still very open to suggestions. Thanks for any help!

At this stage in what will hopefully
be years of enjoyment, find one , by paddling it, that feels good and go for it.

I have had Tarpons for years and they are great boats if the weight isn’t an issue for you. Ultra stable, but not very fast.

I also have a Pungo 140. It is lighter and fast for it’s length among rec boats.

Both have the most comfortable seats of any kayak.WS makes a quality boat.

More importantly, buy the best paddle you can afford. Best meaning a good brand and light. IMO, no aluminum shafts. Preferably a fiberglass shaft with plastic blades on the low end.

Finally, although there never is a finally, get a comfortable PFD that is still comfortable when you sit in the boat

Happy hunting!

PS: A Tarpon will take you anywhere
you want to go and will not sink unless you leave the hatch open and swamp.I doubt it would sink then. I have taken mine down class 2 whiewater and into some ugly ocean. The latter not intentional but the boat handled it better than I did.