I know that I literally just bought the first set of kayaks for Cathy and myself, but I have found it to be incredibly interesting researching reviews and information about other kayaks and the sport/hobby in general.
I know I'm jumping the gun quite a bit, but I've already picked out the "next" set of kayaks for us. Well, I've definitely picked out the next one for Cathy, and I've got the next one for myself narrowed down to 3 different models.
For Cathy I will be getting her a Stearns Spree. From the information over on Paddlesheep's blog, it seems like it will be an excellent craft for her. Small and easy to paddle, but good quality and good tracking characteristics.
For myself I've got it narrowed down to the Stearns Spree 2, the Stearns Cordova, or the Advanced Elements Expedition. Right now I'm leaning towards the Spree 2. I've read that it's a good boat for being paddled solo even though it's technically a tandem. It's got good weight capacity and is a good size. The Cordova I worry might not carry the things I would want my next boat to carry. It's capacity is 50lbs lower than the Spree 2. I've also been told that despite it's different type of floor, it still doesn't track all that well. I've also been told it's not exactly the best value for it's cost, although I believe it's cost has come down considerably since some owners purchased it. The AE Expedition looks like a great boat, but it's at the top of the length window that I'm looking at. I've read that with an inflatable it's not generally a good idea to go with anything over 13', and the Expedition is right at that. I also don't like the bungies on it...they seem too far forward. It also lacks the removable spray skirt option that the Spree 2 and the Cordova have, as far as I can tell. So for now the Spree 2 is the one I'll be interested in...that is, unless I win my $2 million in Vegas next month...then I'm going for the Innova Sunny!!!!
The best parts about having the Spree 2 at the top of my list of boats right now are that it's also the least expensive of the lot...by a margin of over $50. Which is a good thing. It's also the same boat as what Cathy will have, albeit the larger one. So we will have matching kayaks in slightly different sizes and maybe different colors.
But this is all getting way too far ahead of myself. I need to learn the basics more and more with my TK-1...and I need to get Cathy out on the water once before she can determine if she is really even interested in this sport.
But it's still fun for me to research...