When choosing a Sit On Top you have to decide what features you want and then compromise on which boat matches your requirements the closest. Some things to consider are your physical size, carrying capacity, hull weight, equipment storage, speed, stability, tracking, availability, and price. You also have to consider the water you normally paddle, how dry you want/need to be, getting the boat to the water, and storing the boat at home.
The only kayaks I have experience with are the Malibu X-Factor, the OK Drifter, and the OK Prowler 13. I'm 6'5" around 250 lbs and the X-Factor matches my needs pretty well. It is very stable, has a carrying capacity of 600 lbs, and its speed and tracking suit me.
I paddled an OK Drifter before I bought my X-Factor. It was stable and paddled well but I got a wet rear and the tankwell design is pretty poor. I have since bought a used Drifter from another OGF member to use as a back up but I haven't had it on the water yet.
I also demo'ed an OK Prowler13 in a swimming pool at BPS last year. I couldn't tell much about it paddling only 40' or so but it did not seem as stable as my two boats. The P13 is probably the most popular SOT sold and the people that own them love them.
If possible, paddle as many different boats as you can. That can be difficult in Ohio due to the limited number of dealers.
Here are a couple of websites with reviews of different boats:
thanks k g i was yak fishing .com,ve been on the kfs site a few times lots of info there another site yak fishing .com but i think it was out of calif.so there info was a lot of ocean talk so not much help there i,ll keep looking there,s suppose to be a place in cleve that just opened with yaks for erie so i,ll have to do a seach to get more info on them,thanks.........
if the kayak is stable in ocean surf, then it will definitely be stable in a lake or river out here.
I know for a fact - I'm from socal and can definitely vouch for the power of the waves/ocean in socal waters. A lot of kayakers out there fish dana point because that area has a sheltered boat launch area.