Posted by: bartc on Dec-22-12 12:42 AM (EST)
The assumption I started with was yours: "...whether that is a feeling that will go away ...with time...." But it didn't feel that way at all. I'm sort of in line with the Kayak Academy's recommendations regarding intermediate paddlers choosing a sea kayak, when it comes to that. If you can't feel comfortable on flat water sitting still without holding the paddle, it might not keep you in the seat to want to paddle enough to learn.
I've been paddling kayaks now continuously for about 2 years. Had paddled canoes, various rowboats, and an occasional kayak many years before that. Past 2 years have included mostly slough paddling in SF Bay Area, but some lessons in sheltered ocean harbor. I am a strong paddler with lower intermediate level experience overall. I can usually keep up with or even lead the longer sea kayaks in the sloughs, but when the wind and tide kick up significantly, then the boat reaches its limits.
My goals were to learn to roll, learn to handle bay and some light ocean paddling. I would like to try more of that open water paddling as I gain experience, and take short day trips. No desire to do expeditions, kayak camping, heavy ocean crossings, racing, nor whitewater. Not sure about surfing or rock gardening; might try the former with lessons, latter is unlikely.
So it's pretty basically going up from rec kayaking to some serious stuff, but not gnarly stuff, for day tripping. And I will not get the opportunity to buy up again, so this purchase needs to fit most situations for years to come.