Help with racing canoe materials

Can someone shed some light on the pros and cons of the following materials for a Pro boat V1 racing canoe:

Kevlar,® Ultra-light Core

Kevlar,® Ultra-light Core w/Graphite Bulkheads

Graphite Ultra-light Core w/Graphite Bulkheads

All three boats are the same weight (29 pounds)

I am not interested in the cost difference, just the performance and durability.


Jack L

V1 Pro

You’ve been on the Wenohnah site!

Basically the kevlar is the more durable material. My new C1 is kevlar, foam core with carbon stiffening ribs. Nice boat, should last many years. My last one was about 25 years old when i sold it before moving east to Ontario and then getting a new one from Clipper just recently.

Going with carbon gets you a stiffer boat but it is not as durable under impact.

One builder back east, John Gillies, once told me he thought building with an outer layer of kevlar, a foam core, and an inner layer or carbon, would give you the best overall results. One of his Pro Boats built like this, I saw it miss out winning the Nationals by half a boat length. Nice thing was, it was another friend of mine that won that race.

A lot of builders will put carbon on the outside though to give that look of carbon fiber.

The difference won’t be all that big though. Won’t bring someone from mid-pack to the front. But might move you up ahead of the boat “just ahead of you”.


Yes, I have been searching and was kind of wandering if a stiffer boat would be faster than the kevlar.

We have a Comp Cruiser and a Jensen 17 made out of the same as yours, but have no experience with the carbon.


How fast are you?
as Mentioned in the previous post, the all carbon boat won’t put rockets on your feet, but if you are just short of winning, beating that in-class rival, etc, it might make just the slight difference you are looking for. I think the Kevlar w/ carbon ribs is probably the best bang for the buck. Oh, and don’t forget the bailer

Comp Cruiser versus V1 Pro
Regardless of material, if you switch from he Cruiser to a Pro Boat, once used to he new canoe and lesser stability, you will certainly be faster than in your Comp Cruiser.

Cheers…Joe O’

Not sure, but
practically every race boat I’ve seen in Florida is primarily made from carbon.

Are they faster, for some it seems.

I don’t know any serious racers who would choose a anything but carbon reinforced with kevlar or spectra.

help with canoe racing materials
The primary advantage of the graphite boat is stiffness. Kevlar can flex causing hull deformation while paddling which changes the hull characteristics. The bulkheads help to stiffen the boat but some flex is still present. Personally, all of my racing boats are graphite without bulkheads. Hopefully, this is of some help.