TJ - unfortunately over here is a drama night with my son... best answer is you are concerned about nothing... Some of the best hiking clubs offer kayak course in college or YMCA pools. IF you plan to do some serious white water like I did - take the course and visit the library there are several books on running rapids and dams.. reading the water is key...
look at this another way. You took a class or hung with a parent to learn how to drive... good kayaking is just the same.
Thanks WOO, I appreciate your answers and advice.
In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.