A shorter wider kayak will tend to have similar volume so going somewhat longer and narrower does not much effect weight. In fact it can go down. My 15' x 21" Easky 15 weighs 5 pounds LESS than his Conduit. And I've loaned it to several novices who did not find it scarey so that is really not an extreme design. And it is a much faster and more fun boat from the first stroke than my older wider yak.
But it is really going to be how HE feels in various models that will inform his decision, no matter what our own particular favorite kayaks sizes and styles are.
Canoe / Kayak Anchors
Deck Rigging Gear
The Kayak Wing
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