I've never had one myself on my Mac computer but could come in handy if I do get one:
Spinning beachballs which some people may confuse for kernel panics are rarely related to kernel panics! Resolving kernel panics may take steps which require you have a backup in place first. If you don't have a backup, look over backup FAQ before proceeding!
For more on things which may cause the system to become sluggish enough to have a spinning beachball cursor read this FAQ unless one of these other clear signs of a kernel panic is happening.