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Getting started in kayaking can be a confusing endeavor. Many people are enamored with the idea of kayaking and decide they would like to pick it up as a hobby. They then go out to a sporting goods store and buy the first kayak and paddle they see in their price range, not paying any heed to the type of paddling they will be doing. This could pose all sorts of issues, especially if a recreational kayak is purchased and the person really needs a whitewater kayak.
When getting started in kayaking, it is best to seek the counsel of friends who already kayak. If you don't know any kayakers, go to places where you've seen people paddling and speak to them. Most people who are into kayaking are very friendly and eager to speak with people about this passion of theirs. Also, be sure to go to a store known for selling kayaks, not simply a sporting good store which happens to have a few kayaks in the back. Ask to speak with someone knowledgeable about kayaking and tell them you're looking into getting started in kayaking and need some guidance. Take the knowledge you glean from your friends, the kayakers you come into contact with, and kayak salespersons and determine which type of kayaking you want to get into.