I paddle surfski’s pretty much exclusively. If a surfski interests you I highly recommend finding one to try first. How you get along will depend on what your skill level is and/or your determination in learning to paddle the ski. Ski’s aren’t made to carry alot of stuff so I wouldn’t expect to go camping with one but you can add bungees here and there so you can carry fluid and even a lunch if you want (in a waterproof bag of course). For the novice paddler, even the stable ski’s can be very tippy. It will all depend on the individual. They can be very fast (much faster than sea kayaks and plastic sit on tops) but that also depends on the paddlers fitness, experience and stability. If you have some available to look at by all means do. You might like what you see. By the way, where do you live?
in Southern California
Flick a Bic
OK, bad joke - but Bic makes SOTs. I have a Bic Scapa I bought used recently. Haven’t paddled it much, but it’s nicely made, and seems well-behaved on the water. Haven’t been in ocean conditions yet, but it seems like it would be a good touring boat. Most who buy them apparently install Beckson hatches into the round seat-thingy on the front deck. There’s a big tank well behind the cockpit - BTW the seating area is extremely comfortable on this boat - check the p-net buyers guide for info.
You’re in a good location to check out ski’s. You might contact Ocean Paddlesports in the Newport Beach area. They hold demo days and would be able to give you excellent advice on surfski’s in general and answer any questions you have about the boats. I’ve been very happy with the service I’ve received from them.