It depends on how serious you get into kayaking. I go with one group from the outdoor meetup group which is an online meetup group and most are casual kayakers that go on creeks and small lakes. Most are in plastic kayaks of about 14 foot in length. If that's your intended type of kayaking then a used 14 footer would work ok. Assuming your of average size. Come spring time look at Craigslist for used kayaks. Should be able to pick one up for about 400 to 600. Get one that has sealed front and rear compartments so it cant sink if tipped over. Take at least a beginner kayak safety class if possible.
I don't believe a rank beginner can really tell if one kayak is better or not as they just don't have any experience to draw any real conclusions other than if they fit inside it. If you get more serious about kayaking you will need to buy another kayak anyway. At that point you will have some basic skills to really know what to look for while paddling. Just don't buy one of those kayaks that have zero floatation that sink if tipped over. Dont forget you need a paddle and PFD which sometimes sellers on craigslist include.
Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles
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