The short answer for this question: it is very dangerous to kayak if you cannot swim. There are plenty of instances where the boat flips over. Bob Jack writes, “What most new paddlers don’t know is there are many types of boats and the ease of paddling; ease of tipping varies wildly depending on the type. Some people will try kayaking once and decide they don’t like it because the kayak tipped and they got wet, maybe got embarrassed at what is referred to as a “wet exit” in kayak speak.” (Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5800256).
Falling just happens a lot while kayaking. So, you need to be careful while kayaking. There are different kinds of kayaking. “First there are general kayak categories such as white water and flat water. There are sub categories to each one of those such as recreational, sit-on-top, river rapid kayaks, sea kayaks, racing boats. There are plastic (roto mold) and fiberglass kayaks.”
Bob Jack writes, “Stay away from narrow kayaks at first, since these will be the easiest to flip. If you don’t know what is narrow or wide ask someone or read about what the manufacturer has to say about it. You are looking for words that say “stable” “beginner level,” “easy to paddle,” and “great first sea kayak.” review the width specification of various models to get a feel for the proper width. The more expensive fiberglass kayaks are usually more narrow and are designed for experienced kayaker.”
It is one of those cases where you really have to be honest with the salespeople and admit that you are not a particularly strong swimmer. That way, they can recommend wider kayaks.
It is not just about the kayaks themselves. The paddles too are worth examining. R.L. Remenyi writes on e-How, “Like a kayak, choosing paddles depends on a few factors. For beginners, KayakingAdvice.com recommends aluminum shaft paddles because they are lightweight, while Economy Tackle recommends the lightest weight paddles you can find when starting out. The size you need depends largely on your size. For example, tall people will need a long paddle and short people will need a short paddle.” ( http://www.ehow.com/way_5382729_kayak-beginners.html).
Remenyi explains, “In addition to the actual kayak and paddles, Economy Tackle says that the U.S. Coast Guard requires every kayaker to have a well-fitted floatation device or a life jacket, a whistle and a flashlight.”
Kayaking can be a lot of fun, but you have to be careful and ready yourself with the right equipment. Make sure you have a safety vest, the right paddles, and the right kayak. Be careful, but have fun with it with the people around you.