Magic or Prism

After much debate ,I have narrowed my solo canoe choice to a Wenonah Prism or a Bell Magic. I want a faster straight tracking tripping solo for sit and awitch style paddling. If I get the Magic , I was going to put a sliding seat in it. I am concerned that the Prism might catch too much wind. Does the Magics differential rock make a difference in making the Magic turn easier but make it track straight(enough)? I know the Prism might feel a little more stable initially but the Magic has better secondonary stability. Anyone paddle both side by side and note any glaring differences or similarities?

I can not compare, but I have a magic you can try. I love it. zip 13460

no direct comparison
I’ve had a Magic for a couple years, never paddled a Prism. I also have a couple old Jensen CCW1 solo boats and the Magic gives up very little in terms of speed to them, and then only at racing speeds (over 5.5mph).

The only thing I like better about the Jensen boats is the lack of rocker, resulting in a better tracking boat. Sometimes when paddling the Magic unloaded I wish I didn’t have to switch so often; this seems improved with higher speeds though.

The Magic is much more maneuverable though and is a more versatile boat. This past weekend I raced it for the first time in a stock solo division. It was a fairly weak division with only 4 boats:, me, a Sawyer DY Special, Wenonah Voyager, and a Chinook kayak being single bladed. It was very windy and I was happy to have the Magic along, it handled it well. I swapped leads with the Sawyer the whole race and he ended up beating me in the end. The kayak was way back and the Voyager capsized.

The next day I loaded up the Magic with camping gear and a dog and spent a couple days paddling the Big Fork river.

I often neglect the Magic since I have lots of boats for specific purposes but it’s probably the most versatile boat I have and the one I’d choose if I could only have one solo. After paddling it this past weekend I’m considering unloading both my CCW1s.


Magic is 1.75" narrower.
That makes a difference for smallish people like myself, but not so much for larger paddlers.

Magic max beam = 29"

Prism max beam = 30.75"

paddled both
I rented both boats for trips of a few days in the Adirondacks. I much preferred the Magic. The Prism felt dead, and very large. The Magic was fairly lively, for such a long boat. (Nowhere near as lively as my WildFire, though.) I like to be able to kneel, which probably biased me toward the Magic, but even when sitting, I preferred the Magic. If I were going to paddle exclusively sitting, for long periods, I would want to try both boats again, or else to put a tractor seat in the Magic.

In the end, I bought neither boat. I bought a Placid Boatworks RapidFire with a kneeling seat (as opposed to the low, kayak-style seat that is standard). It is livelier than the Magic, but rather narrow for a solo canoe. It took me a month or two to get used to it.


Magic - Prism

– Last Updated: Sep-17-10 3:58 PM EST –

I own the Prism and my partner owns the Magic. I bought mine on price point (used) and it suits my needs fine, but having paddled both, I feel that across the board the Magic is the better paddling hull design. The Prism even though it is higher and drier, in big wind driven waves it is harder to make it go to all points of the compass. The Magic is definitely faster. Hauling a lot of weight the Prism will probably have the edge there. They are both stable enough to fish or photograph from with the Prism probably a dash more stable.