I don't have experience, but I know what I am aspiring to do. So I want to find someone that fits into what I want to do. Then I want to know "what they want for themselves, and the same exact ______ they own".
The problem is the newbie identifying realistically the type of paddler they might be, and the advice giver also recognizing the type of paddler they personally are, as well as recognizing and appreciating other types.
If I look at the thread about casual day touring on lakes and estuaries, I have no idea what to recommend. The OP is pointing a type of kayak out (based upon what - price point, looks nice, size, room, perceived performance or something else? - who knows?), so a person could recommend the best in that range of kayaks. But for casual day touring on lakes and estuaries, I would want an efficient sea kayak at around 4 knots. Someone else may want a surf ski. I think the most important information is the energy level that a person brings to whatever physical outdoor activities that they currently do, and then what about paddling turns them on. That really defines how and where they will end up enjoying paddling, more than where they think they might like to paddle defines the type of boat they will be happy with. To me, "What kind of things do you do for fun?" will end up much more informative than "Where do you plan to paddle?" Everyone around my area would answer that they think it would be fun to paddle in the ocean. But if their typical activities don't include physical exersion or outdoors in the elements or anything sounding like physical sports, it is incredibly unlikely that they are going to end up ocean paddlers. It sounds nice, but they just don't realize what it takes yet.
What type of paddler are you, what do you use, and what would you like to use, can be some pretty good information compiled from several people.
YakCatcher Rod Holder
Touring Kayak Paddles
Rescue / Throw Bags
2-3 Canoe/Kayak Trailer
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