Even with a top notch shop you may not reach the top notch person on a call. The shop may cater more to lower level paddlers making questions such as good rock gardening boats tough for them. They may tend to advice purchasing only the brands they happen to carry. They may give overly conservative advise not knowing you and not wanting liability. None of this means you shouldn't ask your shop questions, but it does mean you may want to compare that advice with other sources.
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