Joining a club can be very helpful. Finding others to boat with can sometime be a challenge. You will find that the boating community is a fantastic arena to meet very genuine and helpful people!
Getting outfitted properly is quite an undertaking! Here are some helpful retailers and also one fantastic forum for trading or selling used gear!
Know the river before you go! Here are resources to learn about a particular run and also resources to determine it's current flow/water level, which can have a big impact on how difficult it will be.
Here is an assemblage of the greatest writers in the kayaking world. Do yourself a favor and read everything you can get your hands on!