I took my first Kayaking class last Sunday through Colorado Whitewater. The two instructors were great and they put the 5 of us through our paces. The first part of the course was on equipment, safety and kayak fit. The must have items for kayaking are boat, skirt, paddle, helmet and personal floating device. As I would later learn a nose plug is a strong nice to have. I also saw folks using rash guard shirts and bicycling gloves.
Once we were in the water, the main objective was wet exit. This is required when you flip over and cannot flip back over. There is actually a sequence to this. First bend at the waist and get your head close to the boat to avoid injury. Second signal your buddies that something is wrong by tapping on the side of the boat. Third sweep your fists across the side of the boat. Finally pop the skirt and exit the boat.
Controlling a kayak is actually a lot of fun. They are very nimble when compared to canoes and rafts. They are also relatively light, maybe slightly heavier than a stand up paddle board.
I have never delved too much into water sports. We used to take canoe trips with the Boy Scouts. I have also been rafting once and it was a lot of fun. I have wanted to try kayaking because it looks fun and seems like a great way to enjoy the rivers and lakes around Colorado.