Jim Henry, Mad River Canoe company founder, designed and built the first Malecite right around 1971. He then raced in – and won – the Downriver National Championship and the rest, you know. Word spread and demand grew. A tradition of innovation was born.
From the beginning, Mad River Canoe explored new designs and experimented with new materials. We were the first to introduce Kevlar™ to the canoe industry and among the pioneers to first mold our own Royalex® canoes. We now offer a wider variety of hull designs than any other canoe manufacturer and continue to push ourselves and our designs to new levels of performance. Our efforts have been rewarded with competitions won, accolades earned (including 3 “Manufacturer of the Year” awards from Canoe & Kayak magazine) and, most importantly, a growing base of loyal customers.
The innovation we bring to the canoe industry is not limited to design and construction. We're constantly investigating new ways to grow our family of paddlers. For those who are newly introduced to this world or who are looking for a low maintenance solution for getting their family on the water, we offer our selection of Recreational Canoes. Easy paddling, multiple uses and virtually no upkeep, make these the ultimate grab-and-go boats.
The Adventures are express tickets to the enjoyment of canoeing. Fully featured and loaded with amenities, they’re also very stable and paddle quite efficiently. Specifically designed for minimal maintenance, the Adventures are tough enough to stand up to any learning curve. Indulgences such as reclining padded backrests, padded seats, cup holders, mesh pockets, standard center seat combine to set the stage for many comfortable relaxing days on the water.
NEW! The Serenade is a hybrid solo canoe that merges the best attributes of a canoe with the best attributes of a kayak to create a versatile and capable solo canoe. While the hull and gunwales mirror that of a typical canoe, the unique seating system speaks to its kayak inspiration. Bridging the gap between a small, easy-portaging pack canoe and a solo hull, the Serenade is stable, comfortable, easy to paddle and cost-effective, providing an option for recreational paddlers who prefer to go solo.
The Journey series has been penned by Mad River Canoe founder Jim Henry. Designed as a fully capable series of canoes that are welcoming to new paddlers yet have the performance, capabilities, and capacities to please experienced canoeists. Crafted of our 3 layer polyethylene, they are very durable and care-free. In keeping with Mr Henry's history and philosophy, they paddle very well, with a surprising turn of speed and rock solid stability. It's hard to go wrong on a Journey.
Our Versatile Canoes are equally at home on the river as they are on open water. The moderate rocker and durable material offer all-around performance with minimal compromise, helping you to feel confident on both flat and whitewater adventures. Choose a model from the iconic Explorer Series for smooth cruising and superior seaworthiness, or choose the Freedom Solo if you’re looking for a versatile solo river-runner. Either way, rivers to lakes, our Versatile Canoes are your best bet.
This versatile series is equally at home on the river as it is on open water. The Explorer hulls track well to cross the “flats” yet are also maneuverable to navigate twisting streams. They are also designed for superior seaworthiness when conditions get rough and built tough to stand up to whatever you might encounter, flat water or moving.
The canoe was an integral part of survival for many early cultures, from hunting and gathering to transportation. Stealthy, unobtrusive, and able to access the most remote waters, our Sporting Canoes speak to their heritage. High levels of stability and easy access to gear make for enjoyable days on the lake or in the marsh, allowing you to focus on your sport, whether it is fishing, hunting, or just relaxing.
Duck Hunter Series
The Duck Hunter is both classic and capable. Based on our most versatile competent hull, the Explorer, the Duck Hunter is decked out in elegant stained woodwork with slotted gunwales, contoured cane seats and yoke. The olive Royalex hull inside and out blends seamlessly with the wilderness, providing a key advantage when you’re in pursuit of wily quarry whether feathered or finned. There’s no “law” that the Duck Hunter is a sportsman’s canoe. Its rich subtle finish and outfitting make it right at home in the boat house as well.
The Angler provides reassuring initial and final stability, allowing you to focus on your fishing. It is shorter, lighter, and easier to handle to and from the water compared to the other Sporting canoes in its class.
The process of designing and building boats is as much art as science. And for many of us, the journey can be more rewarding than the destination. Whether you’re getting out for a refreshing spin after work or getting away for a few days, you’ll want a canoe that glides easily, accelerates quickly, and that is easy to keep up to speed. Our touring canoes speak “efficiency” from stem to stem.
The Reflection Series offers reassuring stability and is exceptionally family-friendly without sacrificing speed and efficiency. Well-proven as day trippers or weekend campers, the Reflections provide ample room for the family or camping gear or both.
In the 17th Century, the canoe literally opened the North American continent to European explorers and native tribes alike, fostering an entire economic system in the North and making discovery possible in all corners of the continent. Our modern tripping canoes draw heavily on this exploration heritage with emphasis on speed and efficiency, capacity, and durability. Tried and true, loaded or empty, discover uncompromised paddling efficiency and seaworthiness in our Tripping Canoes.
Designed with very little rocker and asymmetrical hulls, these hybrid composite canoes will track true and stay on course throughout your entire journey, whether you're going out for a weekend adventure or a month-long excursion.
Our Down River canoes are adaptable boats designed with added emphasis on performance in moving waters, favoring maneuverability over tracking. The shallow arch hull and moderate rocker of the Legend Series canoes allows for effortless exploration and discovery of your favorite river while retaining the ability to track well when the water slows down and spreads out.
The shallow arch hull and moderate rocker of these canoes allow for effortless exploration and discovery of your favorite river along with its treasures.
Whitewater playboats love to go where other canoes fear to tread. Often thought of as the domain of kayaks, these canoes are at home in the rapids, offering paddlers immediate response and unrivalled agility as they learn the river’s moods and tricks. These tried and true designs can go anywhere a kayak can go and have won more than their share of whitewater championships.
The Outrage Series has an impeccable resume and a reputation for satisfying a wide range of skill levels. These playboats are friendly to beginners with soft chines, solid stability, and reassuring predictability, yet stimulating to veterans, offering unrivaled turn of speed to get up onto waves and execute a repertoire of precision moves. The Outrages have captured more national whitewater championships than any other play boat.
Open canoe whitewater tandem paddling is one of the most challenging paddling disciplines, but once mastered, it is also one of the most rewarding. Not only are you in the midst of a hostile environment but your success is dependent on teamwork with another paddler. To excel in this environment and discipline, you need a canoe that provides a solid, predictable, yet high performance platform. The Caption has been the benchmark for open canoe tandems since it was introduced. Its reign remains unrivaled.
“Going Green.” For some, it’s a fad. For others it’s a mission. For Mad River Canoe, it’s not as much a matter of fashion as it is principle. For our newest concept boat, we decided to take a journey of discovery: to figure out what we’re doing right and what we can do better. The journey was fruitful. The findings were many. And the cumulative result is the Malecite ECO.
Featuresour signature shallow V-shaped hull, a swedeform asymmetric profile for maximum paddling efficiency and speed, complemented by significant flare above the waterline for dryness and lift. Additional design enhancements include a filigree deck detail that reduces weight and ensures faster drainage, a tripping thwart for added structural support and stiffness, and a lighter slotted gunwale system. Only 50 hand-crafted canoes available worldwide.