Mohawk Probe 12

Wha Ho, Pilgrims;

Dis ol’ backwoods gomer be wantin’ ta git me a dedicated WW play canoo fer CII - CIII+ stuff. Wuz thinkin’ ‘bout a Mohawk Shaman but since they doon’t have anymore at Mohawk an’ stopped production (lookin’ ta sell out soon??) ah’ be wonderin’ about wat ye folks thin’ 'bout de Probe 12, which Mohawk has quite a few left in stock. Any thoughts 'bout dis boat. Thanky kindly…

Fat Elmo

Probe 12
I own one, so I’ll give you my subjective impressions of it:

  1. Stability - Definitely one of the more stable solo WW boats. If you drop the wrong edge or get lazy on an eddyline, it’ll stay upright more often than you’d expect. This kind of stability can be a real plus for a beginner, but a bit of hindrance for someone with more skill.

  2. Speed - not particularly fast, considering it’s almost 13 feet long.

  3. Maneuverability - acceptable, but compared to shorter, more ‘modern’ WW designs, it doesn’t turn very well. Surfing requires very careful control of your angle, or you’ll blow off the side of the wave.

  4. Outfitting - Mohawk’s saddle/thigh retainer system is great. Mine has the single strap version, and it keeps me tight enough to roll the canoe while still being easy to get out of if I have to swim–easier than traditional thigh straps, IMO. It’s also easy to climb in and out repeatedly - no loosening/tightening needed. Set it once and forget it. Whoever buys the company, I hope they keep making that saddle.

  5. Price - I got a fully outfitted, (barely) used Probe 12 for a great price, so the decision was pretty much a no brainer. Even at full retail, Mohawks tend to be quite a bit cheaper than their competition.

    Will I buy another Probe 12 when this one wears out? Probably not, but I can’t knock it as a first boat.

Everybody seems to like the Probes as far as a stable intermediate boat goes. If you’re serious about class III+ (scary!) it sounds like might prefer the Probe 12II which is just slightly more tuned up for turning and ww play.

If you’re already a strong paddler and will paddle lots, you might grow out of Probe 12 quickly.

And if not the 12II, there’s always the hotter Viper, depending on how fat you are.


I had one for about 7 years…
in class 3 - 3+. Great boat, drier than some, surfed well including side surfing. Good initial stability. Not super fast but fine by me. Weight seemed about average. After a few years i would have prefered having the Viper model as it was more challenging. I no longer canoe so sold it, now I kayak. See you on the river.

I had a Probe 12 II
I had the 12II and I always enjoyed the boat while I had it. I’ve moved on to the Viper 12 now and can see I like this boat better, but I always enjoyed paddling the old one. The “edge” of the vipers I believe now is over rated. NOT in the performance gain, but in the skill required to paddle a boat with one. Any cross currents or eddy lines that will grab the Viper’s chine, also grabbed the Probe too. Maybe not as strongly, but enough that you’d better be prepared with a brace or have your lean/angle set right to begin with. The Viper also wants to (mostly) stay upright with a few inches of water in it, whereas the Probe seemed to always want to show its belly to the sky; a real advantage when running bigger water. All in all, unless you are already an advanced boater or looking to become one, I don’t think you’ll dislike a Probe.

Probe 12 II…

– Last Updated: Dec-07-05 12:45 AM EST –

I agree with Mark in his assessment of the Probe 12 II. I purchased a new one this Spring; had paddled a MR Outrage X for about 5 years.
I immediately loved the ease of hitting what I call one boat eddies. Hit the sweet spot; put a little lean on it, and all of a sudden you're on the receiving end of a 180 degree turn. Edge?, what edge?......I'm good to go! All was going well on my first real whitewater run in this boat. I got too comfortable, too confident. On the end of my first run I rounded a long curve, dodging boulders, picking up speed as I approached a class 3 drop. Hit some cross current; my paddle dipped into some highly aerated water when I tried to recover, the edge caught, I got out over the gunwale. The brace was too little, too late; I did the drop with the boat on top of me. Got pounded by rocks on the bottom!

I still believe it's a great little boat, but I will be working on getting it under control. It is very forgiving to a certain point, but it certainly is not a slab sided Outrage X. I learned that this August. I will also be practicing on my braces more.

Mohawk lists the Probes as having 69 degree, and the Viper as having 80 degree chine.


Bob- Outrage X
What do you mean by “slab sided outrage X”?

I just picked up a used Outrage with the intent of learning white water.

Does this boat have some personal characteristics I should know about? I will be keeping it regardless.

Thanks, Jay.

Outrage X
I think Bob’s and my opinions differ on the X. That’s OK with me and I hope he answers you as well.

IMO the X is a big dry stable canoe that is quite responsive and quick much like the smaller Outrage. The boat loves to carve and surf. It’s longer and wider than the 12’ Outrage so you have to leave yourself an extra 6" on either end but it carries my 190+ lbs noticably higher which makes it dryer and less likely to get pushed around in heavy water. It’s also even more stable than the Outrage which I consider to be a pretty forgiving boat.

FYI I mainly paddle an Outrage (not the X) in New England Class III water. I have had the pleasure of taking freinds X’s on a few runs and am seriously thinking about getting one.


No Tommy…

– Last Updated: Dec-07-05 11:03 AM EST –

No Tommy; we do not have that much of a difference of opinion regarding the Outrage X. If I hadn't liked it, I wouldn't have paddled it for nearly 5 years. In my opinion it is a big, dry, stable boat, very manueverable, easy to surf.
It's the big guy's version of the Outrage; I think the Outrage X will easily handle a 250 to 275 lb paddler. I weigh about 200 & I always felt like I was viewing the river from a height.

The "slab sided" reference was perhaps an overstatement, but if you set a Mohawk Probe on the ground beside a MR Outrage X, there won't be much doubt about where the slab sided reference came from. The tumblehome on the Probe will looked exaggerated; the Outrage X looks like a wall.

I've only paddled an Outrage a few times(2 buddies paddle them). I was always happy I'd picked the X every time I got in the Outrage; the X seemed to be more predictable & required less attention. I found the X to be a better tracker than the Outrage. With most of the rivers around here being pool/drop, that came in handy.
If I could have justified having 2 whitewater boats, I'd still have my X. Last year I paddled barely enough(drought)whitewater to justify having the Probe.

If I was Kent Ford; I'd have no problem stepping out of the X after paddling it for 5 years & feeling really comfortable, really quick, in the Probe. In reality the Probe & I are still a "work in progress". The Probe isn't an Outrage X & I ain't Kent Ford. There may be a generation gap too; my Probe was born this Spring; I was born 62 years ago. My response time is slower; a factor no doubt. I should probably give up whitewater; but there is only one thing I've ever found that I like better.


outrage = good

Don’t worry about the Outrage. You’ll have to look long and hard to find negative review of the Outrage from someone looking to learn whitewater canoeing.

It (and the Probe) strike a great balance between the bigger, older, heavier, more stable boats; the slower, shorter playboats; and the edgier more agressive boats.

Whether you eventually move on to other hulls or not, there’s really nothing about an Outrage (or Probe 12II) that will limited your enjoyment or advancement.

Both the Outrage and the 12II are great all-round ww canoes that suit a wide range of paddlers.

Be sure to find some locals to get out with and try to find a mentor and/or take a lesson.


My MR Synergy is like an Outrage X
stretched to limo proportions. I tried an Outrage X and found it a little more agile, a bit slower, and not at all edgy. When running into an eddy at speed or negotiating an upstream gate, both boats can be leaned out and back to dig the back outer edge in to stop sliding.

I think the OutrageX would make a good boat for overnights or even multiple night trips if you are disciplined about gear and don’t have to carry water.

I always wanted a Viper, but at this point I think I would get a Millbrook Hooter.