First off I suspect that many that consider starting kayaking DO talk to folks in a kayak or other sporting good store. Which store they go to relates both to what is available and how well they advertise since, after all, these are new paddlers that don't yet know where best to go. So they may end up in a big box store for lack of knowing kayak specialty shops even exist.
But these shops are often NOT the best place to ask the question because invariably the answer would be that the best kayak for the customer just happens to be one of the ones in the shop and we know that can't always be true.
The real best answer to to talk to shops, clubs and online resources and compare what they say to who you are and what you want to get out of the sport. Limiting yourself to one source is bound to get a biased answer.
Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles
Touring Kayak Paddles
Wall Mount Boat Racks
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