When I went to school 15' ment 15 feet, maybe things have changed. I started kayaking when white water boats were 13;9; I seem to remember this was the official salom length. I have some short boats that spin like a top, my long boat is more useful to when using waves to get places on big rivers; I have been called old school. Since my favorite boat is the 10 foot version of the Lettman Mark 5 I guess that's fair. If I could paddle 15 knots you would have seen me on the Olympics; or swing from the trees.