My dad and I took a 4-hour kayaking class this afternoon, from the folks at Frog Hollow Outdoors. The "intro to kayaking" class was incredibly thorough, and I learned a ton about how to kayak correctly. Topics covered included a number of various paddling strokes, wet exits (what to do when your kayak flips upside down with you in it), deep water rescues, and more. It's some of the best $68 I've ever spent. I had a blast, learned way more than I thought I would, and got excellent exercise (I'm so tired at the moment).
If you're in the Triangle area, and you're looking for a way to learn about kayaking (or canoeing for that matter), check out Frog Hollow. Our particular instructor, a guy by the name of Banks, was incredibly knowledgeable and very friendly. It was well worth the trip, and I'd do it again in a heart beat. My next goal: river kayaking fundamentals. I can't wait.