I need a quick response on this one. Looking for informed opinions on the pros and cons of getting a Supernova Solo vs. Mad River Freedom Solo (formerly Guide) in Royalex. This is a present from his wife and due to sales prices and Valentine’s day they will order the canoe this weekend. I know this is short notice, but they just told me about it after work today.
My friend is about five foot ten, weighs about 180, and is strong and energetic. He has been solo paddling a 17 foot Royalex Old Town Penobscot. This will be his first solo canoe. It will mostly be used for day trips on Iowa rivers (moving water, strainers, riffles, but no real rapids), and for annual three to five day down river trips on Ozark rivers (mostly the Current, Eleven Point, Jacks Fork, and Buffalo rivers with their occasional class I and class II rapids). These two boats are the only options.
Other considerations bearing on their decision include:
- The Supernova is about $500 cheaper.
- There is no opportunity to test paddle either boat, but they’re buying anyway; that is a given.
- Some of my other paddling buddies and I have Mad River Guides/Freedom Solos, so he is somewhat familiar with that boat. None of us have Supernovas.
- He has only seen the Supernova at the local paddle shop and he likes what he sees.
- The official specs on both boats are very similar.
- The local paddle shop is having problems with the Mad River distributor since Mad River has started supplying the newly opened Scheels (big box store) in our area. It seems Mad River is freezing him out to service Scheels.
- The local paddle shop just started carrying Nova Canoes this fall. There is no experience in our area regarding how well Nova Canoes services its customers or dealers.
The printed specs on both canoes are similar so I am asking my P-Net friends for informed opinions that can help them choose between these two good canoes.
I greatly appreciate your prompt assistance