Some kayakers do carry their flares on the deck of their kayak, typically under the deck elastics just in front of the cockpit.
Wider kayaks are good for strong kayakers.
The length is very important to racers or touring kayakers.
Touring kayakers will like the lightness of the kayak, especially on long trips.
If you are physically fit and can row a kayak, see about joining a group of kayakers or take one out yourself.