Bought a new kayak for the first time back in April and thought I'd treat myself to a better than aluminum quality paddle.
Since I'm 6'1" and I bought a fairly wide kayak, a Wilderness Systems Pungo 140, I bought a 230cm Manta Ray Hybrid blade. What an improvement over the "includes a free paddle" style! I love the Posi-Lock system, having all those options in feathering gave me the chance to really try out almost every degree before I found just the right amount of feather for most circumstances for me (0 degree, straight as can be).
As I put more miles on the paddle and got used to it, I found out a couple of things. First, I don't need a 230cm paddle (not their fault). I find a high angle to be the most comfortable when just cruising along. Second, the hybrid blade has a fair amount of bend to it. As I paddled I could feel the tips fluttering in the water and robbing me of propulsion. I guess this means that I've outgrown it.
Currently I'm in the market for something MUCH stiffer. A friend let me check out his Ty Warp 215-225 cm full carbon paddle and while I wasn't a fan of the extra weight, I LOVED the lack of flutter while paddling.
At the moment I'm torn between a Werner Cyprus or an Eddyline Mid-Swift in Carbon. Guess I need to check the reviews.
I've had mine for a few months now and it is perfect at what it's designed for: a comfortable, safe entry level+ kayak designed for day trips or camping trips of 1-5 days on lakes or rivers. I found that up to 10 miles at a pop are no problem at all. The boat is so stable you can fish or even stand up (if your balance is good enough) while on the water easily. The cockpit is huge so bringing your dog out paddling is no problem too (yes, I've seen it done).
Where it wasn't designed to go: small creeks with numerous switchbacks will have you frustrated because this boat LOVES to go straight! Open water paddling clearly wasn't a planned activity by WS for this boat, you can get a skirt for it, but at 28" wide trying to roll it should be an Olympic Event.
Stay inland though and even larger rivers are a joy. I had the unexpected pleasure of "surfing" mine up the Hudson when the tide was coming in and riding the incoming swells felt fantastic! You'll love all of the storage space if you plan on camping a couple of days too.
This kayak is built to travel long distances. Loads of storage at over 16 feet in length with a large, comfortable cockpit. I'm 6'1" and over 250 lbs. (working on losing extra weight gained after an injury to my spine pretty much keeps me off my feet) yet I found myself wondering how best to fill up the extra space I have for storage while paddling. It's pretty easy to hang things off the rim of the cockpit (apologies to any experienced paddlers out there who might be cringing).
It's also built for someone who's a more experienced paddler than I. The round bottom allows big waves to roll unhindered underneath the boat, but at my beginner skill level with nerve damage in my lower back it gets exhausting. However, I'm sure the average or better paddler who doesn't have to use a walker on land to get around would probably find this boat pure joy for day trips or long excursions.