Whitewater kayaking generally refers to sit-in plastic kayaks, where the paddler is sealed into the kayak by means of a neoprene spray-deck. Rolling becomes an essential skill when taking on higher grade rivers, as the consequences of swimming puts the paddler at risk. There are also sit-on-top whitewater kayaks that can make progression simpler and allow a transition to sit-in kayaks at a later stage if desired. Whitewater is far more technical than flat water and a course is highly recommended. You will gain greater enjoyment from the sport, the faster you progress and the more confident you become as a skilled and safety-conscious paddler.