I started kayaking in early 2001 when I lived in St Louis. There I met several people from the MWA. This is a great bunch of people. I highly reccomind their spring whitewater clinic on the Saint Francis River in souther missouri.
I bought my first kayak, a Wavesport Forplay. This is actually a hard boat to use. It takes alot of control, but I chose it because it's a suitable design to surf in the ocean with. Also, it just fits. That's the most important part, how your kayak fits. here's a pic of someone elses forplay. My boat had red accents instead of blue.
I sold my Forplay to pay for the engagement ring. I now own a used Dagger Animas, which is a big boat, but made of the newer lighter plastic. It's a lovely greenish color. I also picked up a new harmony skirt on ebay.