Learnt to Kayak and couldnt swim, so make sure you have a decent life jacket, most sports centres with a swimming pool have learn to lessons.
Remember when paddling down stream its easy, and you need to paddle back against the river flow, so easy to go to far.
Also you need a permit to kayak on the canals and some rivers.And dont forget soem canals are shallow or full of rubbish to easily trap you .
Great for arms and shoulders, and great at night ,surprising what wildlife you see.
Had a slalom one, a river racer with a rudder you controlled with your feet from inside the boat, and an open sea one called a poly pippin a large almost indestructable one.