Mad River Rampage

I’ve been wanting to get into solo canoeing. Have a good freestyle boat, but want to do WW as well. I’ve done a fair amount of tandem WW, so am not a rank beginner, just new to solo.

Have a chance at a good deal on a Mad River Rampage. Great condition, great price, trusted friend. I’m looking at this strictly as a beginner’s boat to get started.

My only concern is that at 5’4" & 125 lbs., is this boat too big for me? Strength is not an issue - short torso & arms are. I don’t want a boat that’s too wide for me. I’ll be able to try it out on flatwater but not WW.

Haven’t been able to find much about it because it’s an old model. Does anyone know what the specs are? Any comments, opinions?

Also, there is one thread that says avoid vinyl gunwales because they distort the flare. How much of a concern is this?

Hi Cat - here are some spec’s

Don’t know anything about the boat, but I hope it works out - we need more open boaters.

Distorted flare…

– Last Updated: Jun-26-09 4:06 PM EST –

Oh Yeah!
Distorted flair is terrible!

A "beginning" whitewater solo paddler, in a fairly narrow, heavily rockered, whitewater solo canoe, will have a virtual plethora of problems caused by the distorted flair created by vinyl gunwales.

You'll notice it immediately, and you'll never be able to overcome that issue, no matter how much progress you make as a whitewater solo canoe paddler. I know many paddlers who have had just terrible, heart breaking issues related to distorted flare.

I am being facetitious....... :^)
Forget about distorted flair!

The Rampage is an old school whitewater solo by Mad River Made by Mad River when it "really was" Mad River. In other words, it was probably well made.
An Outrage might be better;it is shorter/15 inches, a little narrower & a little lighter/about 10 lbs..........but if your friend is offering you a killer deal, and the canoe is in good condition, I'd say go for it. You could do worse for a beginner boat. The learning curve on the Outrage might be a "little steeper" than the Rampage for a beginning solo paddler.

Some Specs. for you:

Length: 13'3"
Weight: about 55 lbs (unoutfitted)
Max width: 28 1/2 "
Depth: 23 1/2" / 15 1/2" / 21"
Hull is asymmetrical/rounded vee/w/flare

Good luck,


The Rampage is predicatable, stable, dry, and friendly, but not particularly nimble for a WW OC1 playboat.

It would be somewhat similar to the Dagger Impulse, Old Town H2Pro, or Mohawk XL13.

The gunwale width is less than 27 inches and it is less than 1 1/2 inches wider at the gunwales than the Outrage. The Outrage is an unusually narrow WW OC1 for that vintage, so I don’t think the width would be a big problem. It is a little more than 1/2" deeper at center than the Outrage. The Rampage is much fuller at the ends, and less rockered.

Both the Outrage and the Rampage were listed in the MRC 1997 catalog. The Rampage was offered as the tamer cousin of the Outrage, which for that time was a fairly low-volume WW OC1. I believe the Rampage was dropped by MRC the following year, or so, in favor of continuing the Outrage, which remains a very popular WW OC1.

I think the boat would be a good introduction to whitewater.

The Rampage…
I spent many days in that canoe back before the Outrage came out. Must have run the Deerfield Dryway section 10 times in it. Loved Dragons Tooth! Dry as a bone, fast when leaned a tad, and actually quite manuverable. Certainly a full bodied wwoc-1, this canoe goes everywhere. I was a little small and light for the hull (155lbs, 5’10"). It’s also great for ww river tripping (self supported Middle Fork of the Salmon River, for example). Surfs big waves like a champ. Once the Outrage came along, I was better sized for it.

This hull might be a little to voluminous for you. a great hull, nonetheless. But if the price is right, not a bad starter ww hull for you (but not a beginner canoe per se). You can always sell it as you progress.

Happy paddlin’


Thanks To Everyone
Valuable feedback, thank you! Know what you mean about when Mad River really was Mad River - my WW tandem is a Revelation from that era. What a great boat - I’ll never sell it. I think I’ll feel the same way about the Rampage. True classics are never outdated.

Again, thanks for your responses. See you on the water!