You'll need a kayak (boat that's almost completely closed on top with space for just one person) or a canoe (open boat that can fit you and a friend or two) plus the right kind of paddle. Kayak paddles have a blade on both sides, but canoe paddles have one blade. Be sure to pick the right size paddle—the stick part of a canoe paddle should be about six to eight inches longer than the length of your arm with your fingers out. Don't forget another essential: the life vest! Water shoes or sneakers —not sandals —that grip on the bottom will help your feet stay put when you are pulling the paddle through the water. Keep a whistle attached to your life vest so you are always ready to get attention if trouble strikes.