Canoe Rapid Ratings- what do they mean?

-- Last Updated: Feb-16-10 11:51 AM EST --

When looking at purchasing a new canoe- let's say a Mad River Legend for example. The Mad River book states it's capable of moving through class II-III rapids. So my question is (not trying to start a debate on rapid classifications here)

Are they saying if you were to take a "stock" model off the showroom floor it would be capable of handling these rapids without modifications?


With modifications, lowering seats, adding airbags, etc.... that it would be capable of handling these rapids?

It means…
they are assuming you know what the label means…

Depends on the paddler ability. I know
lots of people who could jump in a Legend and get it through a class 3 like Lesser Wesser on the Nantahala. But if they wanted to use the boat often in class 2-3, they might re-outfit it considerably.

Also note that some technical class 3 rivers, like the middle Tellico, are very difficult to handle in a Mad River Legend, tandem or solo, because the Legend hasn’t got much rocker and doesn’t execute slalomish turns very well.

You should take manufacturer statements about whitewater capability with a grain of salt, just as you should not believe it when they use the 6" freeboard standard to claim carrying capacity of 800 pounds on upward.

Label? Want to clarify?

Mostly refers to hull design

– Last Updated: Feb-16-10 1:23 PM EST –

and shape. It would generally be of sufficient strength and shape to negotiate those conditions. Your choice to add bags, change seat, add foam, foot braces etc.

Would that were true. The Mad River
Legend has nothing special about it for class 3 or even class 2. Not seriously deficient, but it’s surprising that Mad River chose to resurrect the Dagger Legend rather than the much more whitewater capable Dagger Dimension.

But Glory Daze— For Jacks Fork or
other Ozark rivers, the Legend is actually a pretty good boat. You don’t need rocker to cruise Ozark streams, and the Legend will make a good camping cruiser for rivers with occasional class 1 and non-technical class 2 rapids.