Well, I am new to kayaks. In fact, my last experience was 20 years ago on a 20 mile camping trip in a tandem. I loved it but adulthood had other priorities and kayaking took a back seat.
Now in my 40's I am wanting to get back into something more adventurous. Owning a 19 ft bass boat puts me on the water quite a bit. But I still have a yearning to kayak.
I have narrowed it down to the Pro Angler in the 12 or 14 variety and another manufacturers model.
Here's the downside, there is a dealer 1.5 hours away. But after talking to them on the phone I get the sensation they aren't a top notch dealer as when I called them and asked if they had any in stock all I got was a simple "No". I asked if they would get any and I got a simple "No". No additional info was given or extra dialogue. Not the kind of dealer I want to give my hard earned money to. Especially when we are talking close to 3K.
The next closest dealer is 5 hours which to me is too far for a demo. So I'm somewhat committed to buy online.
My next dilemma is trying to call Hobie for support. Today I tried to call them and found when I pressed 1 for English, I couldn't understand what the recording said after that. For you folks who have called Hobie for customer service or product info, have you had the same problem?
Obviously since this is a Hobie forum there is a somewhat biased opinion in favor of these boats. Is the PA the way to go or should I look at some other models in a lower price range as a beginner?
Two things on your comments:
1) I am a bass tournament fisherman, a bass fishing guide, hold a Master Captain license, and have had many boats including high end bass boats for years. I too wanted to do something different so I purchased a Hobie Cat Pro Angler 12 and am very happy I did so. I am older and not as thin as I once was. I live in Central Florida and fish in big bass waters in heavy weeded areas where I can flip up big bass. I had not been is this type of a boat since I was much younger but I was determined to do so. I have owned the PA-12 for over nine months and even started to get comfortable with standing in the boat. That is something I never thought I would be able to do but I now do so regularly. You need to do a test ride. I would not go for a cheaper boat. The PA series is designed to fish and it sounds like that is what you want to do.
2) I am quite bothered about something else you said that Hobie does. You said you had to press 1 for English? I recently contacted the corporate headquarters for a large pharmaceutical company that is on every street corner in America. When I complained about the fact that the official language of the United States is English and that I refuse to press 1 to be able to speak in English, they totally agreed with me and are in the process of changing that requirement. I understand the need for people to have the ability to speak in another language so they can press 1 or any number that they need to press to do that. Hobie Cat, you are based in the United States and began in this country. When conducting business in the United States please do not require me to press 1 to conduct business in the official language of this country. I know I am not alone on this issue and have had many people comment on this offensive practice.