th_up Try on helmets and get the one that fits your head!
Put it on, shake your head, if it stays put without the chinstrap that is a good sign.

Plastic helmets are just as good as kevlar ones. Shred ready and WRSI make good protective ones. Don't get full face [as Judy suggested] until you know you need one [you will know-you'll also be buying elbow pads].
In a FF you can't hear very well and at the start, its important to hear what the more experienced boaters are explaining about the next rapid.

As for sprayskirts, how dry a skirt is is not so important until you start boating in cold weather. If you see one in a sale bin that fits your boat, I suggest you get it and in a few years it will be your spare skirt. If you have the money for it, go SEALS as Judy suggested.

my opinion,