Mohawk Probe 12 & Mohawk XL13

Do you own one, or the other?

How about posting a review, or giving us the “good news/bad news” on those boat’s performance/handling on class 3.


Bob,Call Bill Smith. He lives in a Probe

12. Bill lived in Pittsburgh for many years spending all his free time on the Youghiogheny; lower 2-3, middle 2, and upper 4-5, and the other white water there. Even his wife, kids, nieces, and nephews did white water. He was a white water instructor for years until he mover away from the white water.

I will check with him and get his number for you.



My interests are day-tripping class II-III whitewater, including grabbing lots of eddies, surfing, trying the odd lame spins in holes, dabbling with rolling, etc. I’m thinking of installing a bilge pump.

For my interests, I’d consider the Probe 12, and I would love to get a Probe 12II.

Even though I’m over 200lbs, I wouldn’t look at the XL13 for the paddling I do, it’s just not nimble enough. I might recommend it to a really big person who was just starting in ww, wasn’t very agressive, and wanted a stable boat.

I might put the Probe in the “class” as an Outrage or Nitro; but the XL13 with more “old school” boats like the H2Pro or Impulse, but I think it’s less performance-oriented than those.

If you’re looking at the XL13 for less-playful use or for tripping, it could be a contender, but I suspect it’s quite sluggish compared to others in that field.

Looking at your list of boats and having read some of your previous posts, I’m sure that characterization of these boats wasn’t a surprise to you.


I don’t own them
but i know folks who do, especially the Probe.

The XL13 is more of a beginner WW boat- big and stable, but limited performance-wise.

The Probe series (I think they come in lengths from 12’ to 14’) are extremely popular. They have a reputation for being somewhat forgiving and beginner-friendly, but still have plenty of performance.

I know quite a few folks who paddle class 4 (and even class 5) in their Probes.

I don’t think you can go wrong with a Probe, but you might find yourself growing out of the XL13.

No Bill yet, but I remembering him sayin

the Probe 12 was real forgiving and a good boat! He said Probe 12 II was edgy and if you did not pay attention would put you in the water for a nice white water swim.

I paddled Bill’s Probe 12 many a time. I liked it a lot. Was looking for one, but could not find one close at all to where I live or the price I wanted to pay.

Then the Dagger Impulse came along, right shape, right price, etc. So I’m white water boated up for the time being. Maybe there is a Probe 12 for me on down the line. I do not worry too much, do not keep an too much of an eye out for one, but one will fall into my lap one of these days.

I’m still trying to figure out why you are asking about the Probe 12 and the XL13 in the same post. Surely you are not thinking one against the other!

Happy Paddl’n!



before i kayaked and during
my c1 phase i owned a Probe 12, Royalex. Loved it as a it had good initial stability, was a dry boat and it could spin adequately. It certaily got me down many a river in the class 3 range. I admit that after a few years of paddling it, i would have liked to have exchanged it for a Viper. I figure a Viper was faster at everything with less initial stabilty. The Probe 12 is a good boat in my opinion.

Mohawk XL 13
Paddled an XL 13 once, many years ago. I think you may be right about it being geared more for a beginner. I’m fairly sure I don’t fit that category anymore. I think it would certainly be more than a step down in handling from my whitewater boat, recently sold, a Mad River Outrage X. Have already owned a Dagger Impulse; found it to be in close to the same category as the XL 13.

But I thought I’d toss a thread out, and note the responses. I prefer something in the 13 foot range, or close to 13 foot. Ideally I would end up with a boat that is somewhere between an XL 13 and an Outrage X in performance. Therefore, the Probe 12 was noted. Also, I have bascially given up on finding a suitable used boat. I’d rather pay new price on a new boat, than pay 70 to 80 percent of new price on a 10 year old boat. Used Caption; foget it! My buddy recently went thru huge hassles to get one from California. In box by hassles, I always check NO. That pretty much limits me to the models currently in production. Just want to run class 3, eddy out,kick back with camera close by & watch the young guys tempt fate by getting in there & “going for it”! Bet there, done that; time to mellow down a little. Get my first SS check this month!


Pat …
Characterization of XL 13 is no surprise at all.

But if a lightly used, fully outfitted, XL 13 fell into my lap at a bargain basement price; I can “dumb down” a little, and “attempt to endeavour to perservere”. Sold my Outrage X because whitewater opportunities were few & far between. Buddies are “doggin me” to get “something”/“anything”!

On other side of the coin, I have no experience with the Probe 12.

So therefore; 2 completely different boats in the same thread. Trust me; there is method to my madness; even if I’m the only one who understands my “skewed logic”!

Thanks for vote of confidence,


I own a Probe 12

– Last Updated: Feb-07-05 12:32 AM EST –

Compared the Outrage X, the boat is more forgiving and isn't as high performance. It peforms as a midrange boat for the class II/III paddler. Predictable peformance in all conditions. Carves well, surfs well and is quite maneuverable for a 13' foot boat. Ferries with ease and catching eddies is a breeze. Has higher initial stability than the Outrage X and bomber final stability. It isn't as slow as the XL-13 or the Impulse which tend to be can definitely push it and it will respond.

Living in New England, you don't see many Mohawk boats. Three people asked to try my Probe this year (they all paddle Outrage Xs) and each of them fell in love with it. They are ACA ww intructor certified and they liked its performance and how it wasn't as sensitive of their Mad Rivers but still delivered the performance to paddle class III+ water.

If you want, Bob, I can post some pictures of mine if you'd like.

you could get one of these
Not cheap, but you could the boat justice.


– Last Updated: Feb-07-05 11:12 AM EST –

Please do post some photos of your Probe!



– Last Updated: Feb-07-05 11:00 AM EST –

Just out of curiosity; what boat were you paddling before you got your Probe? What is your height, and weight? Did you mount your saddle in the Probe slightly forward, centered, or slightly towards the stern?
I totally agree with your assessment of the Outrage X; it has a tendency to chastise those who let their minds wander. The Outrage (12 footer) demands even more attention in my opinion. That being said; I did enjoy paddling mine for 5 years, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to "move up", improve their skills, and challenge themselves.
My plan is to do more straightforward rapid running; conservative dry lines, fewer tries at one boat eddies above drops, fewer attempts at side surfing above rock garden swims.


Thanks to all for input …
Some of your comments helped me make a decision that I was close to making on my own.

This afternoon I ordered a new Probe 12.

Have never named a boat before, but I might call this one Purple Haze…purple boat/purple airbags. Thought a senior citizen could pull it off; never would have considered it a few years ago! My apologies to the late Mr. Jimi; Hendrix that is!


air bags?
Congrats Bob! I’m sure you’ll love it. It might even tempt you back to some wetter lines!

Does this mean you’re not going to test drive the bigger solos (Vertige X and Nexus)? I was looking forward to a report!

Out of curiosity, what size of air bags does Mohawk suggest for its Probe 12?


Pics are on my wife’s laptop…
when she gets home, I’ll put them up. Unfortunately, no actions shots (i’m the person normally taking the pictures)but have some on dry land.

That’s not fair! Now I won’t have the only purple canoe in our group!!!

What a wonderfully, stylin’ color choice, Bob, if I do say so myself. Hey, do you owe me a dollah’ for color inspiration?!



The Probe
is the first ww boat I’ve owned. My first experience in a playboat was with the Outrage X and it was a bit hot for me to learn on. I felt comfortable in it but it wasn’t too forgiving on a beginner experiencing to many lapses in concentration. When I first started, I also had the opportunity to paddle the Impluse and the Encore which felt a little too safe and stable for my liking. As I was looking to buy a boat, I heard some great things about the Probe as a boat stable enough for a beginner but something you could grow into. As luck would have it, a used one came up for sale in my area that hadnt seen water in five years. I picked it up outfitted for $275.

Its factory outfitted but the previous owner had the saddle mounted six inches aft of center. I’m a bigger guy at 5’10" and 235 and I’ve had no major outfitting issues. I cut the saddle from the “tower of terror” height of 11.5" to 8 inches" and my performance improved immediately. As a relative newbie to solo ww paddling, the boat has served me well as I’m taking very conservative lines and just starting to make class III moves on class II water in preparation for the jump up this year.

the suggest
60" bags

XL-13 is more nimble than you’ve think. I’ve seen some very experienced paddlers eat up class IV in them.

I spoke with Craig …
I spoke with Craig at Mohawk. That guy was patient as a saint; putting up with my 101 questions & opinions. He just voiced his own opinions in the final analysis, and let me make my own decisions. By the way; he had seen this thread, but didn’t know I was the one who initiated it. At least I don’t think he knew.

I was initially going to order a 70" for the bow & a 60" for the stern; my thinking being more bag, more displacement of water. Then I thought about the space left available for “me”; I need more than 3 feet in a 12 foot 4 inch boat! Besides, I don’t typically paddle too far, for too long, with much water in a whitewater boat. I usually eddy out & pump it out. 5 gallons of water sloshing around when you’re doing eddy turns & peel outs on fast moving water can lead to, let us say, unique experiences. So I got 60s & that’s what Craig had suggested.