When I finally get to sit in some options and test things out.
As far as playful vs touring, in my head I'm looking at it the way I approach snowboarding. Some like going fast. Some like trick courses and halfpipes. I like neither, I like going on intermediate runs or whatever level the group of people I'm with is at. I like enjoying the ride, and the moment I see a jump on the side of the trail I'm on it. Same goes if I see a quick run into the woods, or a place to explore. Therefore my board is neither hard for speed, or super soft for tricks. It's right down the middle. Plenty of speed, but handles beautifully the moment I want to have some fun.
That's what I want out of my first boat. I want to be able to travel with a pack of kayakers, as well as be able to take enough equipment for short camping trips. However, the moment I get the chance to play in some surf (once I learn enough skills of course) or some small ww patches, I want to know my boat can handle it and it'll be a great time. I don't want to get stuck with a boat that can do only one of those two thing beautifully. I want to find one that might not be the best at either, but as good a crossover as possible. We'll also see what my butt tells me once I sit in a couple of options.
Once again, thanks all for the superb feedback.
Paddler's Truck Rack
Rescue / Throw Bags
The Kayak Wing
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