Need Help Deciding on Boat

CD Whistler
I own a CD Whistler (08 Model with the smaller cockpit that the new ones) and I love it. However a word of caution, it is a high volume boat. I am an inch and a half taller, and ten pounds heavier than the OP. The soft chines and shallow “V” make for shaky initial stability when lightly loaded. Secondary stability is very good, I find it difficult to tip over (and hard to roll back up) compared to other boats.

If you are a small person and a beginner, it might scare you for the first ten minutes.

by all accounts here
I’d take Marshall up on his offer, he always provides good and positive advice and doesn’t stop with “what not to get”. You’ll get more out of that visit than any consultation with EMS or REI.

Hey! Eddyline salesman here
You’re a little too big for the skylark. I’m 6’2" 160# and I have paddled it. It fits my body, but I feel a little heavy for it. You’re going to want to size up to a larger boat.

However, the journey and the Denali are both meant for big fat paddlers, and you’re not big or fat. Paddling either of these boats is going to feel very disconnected - I have sat paddled the Denali and felt like it was bigger than my studio apartment.

You’re going to want to look at the two performance boats, the fathom lv or the raven. These boats are a little more expensive than the skylark but make up for it with the features that come with a “real” sea kayak. Ideally, you’d want to go with the raven, but the fathom lv is a nice, slightly cheaper, if lower performing alternative.