I think people give those small 9-10' rec kayaks a bad rap for one reason- inadequate floatation. And often begenners choose these for their first kayak. People often say that they are dangerous for ocean use. HOWEVER, if floatation through float bags were installed on these kayaks, they could become fun little surfing machines, and just as safe as a 17' sea kayak. I hate it when people bring them down because they can sink but hasnt anyone thought that this is a perfectly correctable thing?? The kayak itself is ussually well designed, and lots of fun. I think if some sort of bow and stern floatation just Came with the kayak stock, it would give them a much better rap. Because I notice that on long sea kayaks, they just break through the waves. But on these short little kayaks with flat hulls, they ride on top of waves and bounce around alot. They actually seem like more fun in rough water than expedition kayaks, and as long as floatation is added, its perfectly safe. Heck, padding could be added to the sides so they could be rolled- and they could become like miniature sea kayaks. because if small SOTs can surf, so can a 9' sit in with good floatation.
I'm not trying to bash them, I like to paddle them myself. I recall enjoying the use of an Old town otter.