The three main kayak locations to experience various environments are the sea, river and lakes.
Rivers come in many forms. They can be calm and flat, rough, fast, slow, narrow, wide, deep, shallow and many combinations of these. As a general rule, sit on top kayaks are excellent for slower, calm rivers and canals. If you want to get into white water kayaking, you are better off getting in touch with a local kayak club who can usually offer some training and advice. Whatever type of river you are on, you should remember that water changes its characteristics constantly, both on top and underneath the surface, so always wear a kayaking helmet, buoyancy aid (PFD) and use a paddle leash.
Lakes usually mean you will be travelling some distance, so a kayak with good glide and comfort will be important. Remember you will quite often be further away from dry land than when kayaking on either the sea or a river. It may look calm and peaceful, but you could be far away from effective help, so always wear a buoyancy aid (PFD) and use a paddle leash.
There is a very important difference between sheltered, inshore sea kayaking and going out beyond sheltered water. Kayaking in sheltered waters is a great way to gain experience and have lots of fun. Sit OnTop kayaks are far better suited to inshore waters than offshore. Kayaking offshore should not be undertaken without specific training, local knowledge and the right equipment. Again always wear a buoyancy aid (PFD) and use a paddle leash.