You'll need to paddle some boats to get an idea of what you like.
Ask your BCU/ACA snob friends if you can test their boats.
The difference between a rough water park and play boat, versus a get you from point A to point B through rough water boat, is significant.
For the former I like something like a P&H Delphin or Aries. For the latter I'd prefer something much different, like a Valley Aquanaut.
Both are very predictable and capable in very rough water, but one makes miles and carries stuff better, while the other maneuvers and surfs a bit better.
Touring Kayak Paddles
Deck Rigging Gear
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