Mad River Synergy info

I’ve looked through the forums here, but haven’t seen much info on the Mad River Synergy…does anyone here have some first hand experience with one…pro’s or con’s? I have a 17 ft. aluminum Grumman canoe, but now I am looking to purchase my first kayak, and the idea of this canoe/kayak hybrid intrigues me. I want something that I can fish out of, but would also like to be able to do some overnight trips or 3-4 dayer’s if I pack light. The main areas that I will be paddling are the Florida Keys, Everglades NP, and mountain lakes and slow moving rivers in California, Nevada and Idaho. I originally wanted a closed cockpit kayak, but now I am re-thinking that idea. Do you guys have any ideas or input? Maybe a recommendation on some other kayaks to look at? I appreciate any help you can offer!

From all I’ve read in reviews and seen

– Last Updated: Apr-07-08 11:55 PM EST –

on other forums, its been received positively. But, it has no scuppers. That could be a problem in bay waters if waves wash over the sides. Compared to a solo canoe, its on the heavy side. But, if that's the direction you are interested in, I'd suggest you also take a look at the Native Watercraft Ultimate. Its an extremely stable craft and doesn't have the "console" that sits between your legs. That is one thing that turned me away from SOT's and the Synergy. I carry stuff I want there for easy access.

For more information on the Synergy, you may want to look at,,,

and look up other Florida kayak fishng sites. All should have reviews of the Synergy, as well as threads on it. The same applies to the Ultimate or any SOT type kayak you may consider.

I’ve got a Synergy 14
Great boat. For me, it’s more maneuverable than a Manta Ray 14 which is more maneuverable than a Tarpon 14. Great for moving water, rivers, etc. The no scuppers hasn’t been a problem yet. The seat is low to help with stability, but that puts it too low for scuppers.

Hye guys,
thanks for the info. I’ll check out those other websites and see what they have to say.

Redmond, you said that scuppers were not a problem…but, do you stay fairly dry while paddling your Synergy? Was also wondering if you have any experience with the spray deck that can be added to these?

Synergy 14
Yeah, stayed very dry, but mainly class I stuff. No experience with the spray deck.

Spray Deck-
I have the MR Synergy 12 and take it out on class I & II Streams. I have the spray deck and have used it in the class II Streams- Here’s my review:

Without scuppers, you will definitely get wet and stay wet if the waves are big enough. I bring a sponge to remove the standing water. The spray deck comes in 3 pieces- one for the bow…an extension that connects to the bow and covers the cockpit…and a stern cover. It definitely helps your kayak from swamping when the bow crashes under big waves, so it has been a good investment for me.

I think mine handles just fine and quite honestly have a blast with it…

I take mine on 2 night fishing trips and carry:

  • 18 pack cooler in the stern
  • Dry bag completely full in the stern
  • Tarp laid flat in the stern (for tent)
  • Small dry bag in bow
  • (4) 2liters of water in the bow
  • fold up lawn chair behind the seat
  • 3 fishing poles
  • soft 6 pack cooler between the legs(easy access to the brew)

    ** The great thing about th spray shield is you can tighten everything down and cover it securely since it’ all tightened with a bungee cord system… The bad side to that is, if you ever get pinned or turn over all your stuff doesn’t float away and that cause the kayak to be so heavy it’s hard to mve-

A major issue for me with the Synergy
is that the double hull is wasted space, can’t carry anything inside as you can with a SOT or even with a sit inside like the Old Town Loon.

Child in Space Behind Seat
anybody ever try bringing a small child along and having them sit in the space behind the seat?

I’ve not done it, but know others who
have and do. Very young children, say under 4 or 5 should be in front where you can keep an eye on them. A well behaved child who follows instructions can ride in the tankwell area.