W.W. open canoe

Hi there folks back with a few questions.Its been a long time for me but i took my mad river senergy (a 15 ft tandum) solo down a 12 mile class II+ III- run i swam twice.It was a lot of fun but i did not have very good control of the boat.I just picked up a mad river outrage x fully outfited for W.W. even has a bilge pump!. I took it down 11 miles of class I but moving well river,when i first got in it i was thinking I am selling this tippy boat right away,but every mile it felt better.My question here is what is this boat all about? What are its strong and weak points? It is tender, only 27 inches wide. I am headed out for some more W.W. friday and would like to know what to try with this boat.I see the newer boats are shorter and wider so more stable,but what do I get for haveing a tippy boat? Thanks for the Help Brad

Mad River Outrage X

– Last Updated: May-03-06 1:01 AM EST –

I don't know how big you are, but it has always been my "personal opinion" that the X is best suited for a paddler who weighs in excess of 200 lb.

I paddled an X on class 2 & class 3 for about 5 years. Frankly I never really thought of it as "tippy", but at approximately 195 lbs in weight I often had the feeling I was riding on top of a cork. I think I swam (always my fault)
less than 10 times during the 5 years I paddled an X. If it were not for its forgiving nature, I would surely have swam more often.

My advice; hang in there with it for awhile; give yourself an opportunity to adjust to it.
It's obviously not going to handle like a 15 footer. Work on improving your bracing skills.
Work on some drills on flat water. A good video is "Drill Time" by Kent Ford.
Keep your butt on the saddle & your head inside the gunwales.

I now paddle a Mohawk Probe 12 II.
I wanted a lighter, shorter, more manueverable boat; that's what I got in my "personal opinion".
Occasionally I swim with it too.

Bottom line; I think the X is a good boat, and most of the problems paddlers have with it, will be resolved when the paddler using it becomes a better paddler.


What’s it all about?

It’s a ww-specific solo boat. So, unlike “normal” canoes and longer canoes, it likes to be driven with purpose.

You can still cruise and j-stroke like you might do in 15’ boat, but it’s better paddled with shorter, more agressive strokes. You should probably find yourself doing more off-side forward strokes, for example.

The Outrages have round bottoms, so the initial stability feels a little lacking, but the secondary stability is good and the boat is consistent - compared to lots of other ww solos, the Outrages are considered relatively stable, not tippy.

It probably won’t take you long to get used to it. And watching the videos or getting some instruction would help a lot.

Any flaws or bad habits that one has in their strokes, body position, or river reading that you can get away with in a bigger platform are exaggerated in the more responsive solo boats.

Keep your forward strokes vertical and short. Rotate your shoulders. Keep your correction strokes very close to the hull (esp. don’t let your j or pry turn into a reverse sweep).


WW boats

– Last Updated: May-03-06 9:01 AM EST –

I've watched new paddlers switch to aggressive solos and I think the predominant thing limiting your and therefore the boats performance is your confidence and aggressiveness. YOU are in control of the boat, not the other way around, regardless of how "tippy" the boat feels right now. Learn the different strokes and practice them, especially your high and low braces(at first). This boat can easily run class 4 water, that rounded bottom that makes is feel rolly on flat water is what makes it want to sit flat when the water surface is pitching around at many different angles when you're running whitewater. Running whitewater is a disease, be prepared for it to consume your mind and body!

Great Help!
Thank you all! this is what i need to know.I am going to have some instuction to day from a ACA WW instructor.I like what mark said about I am in control Of the boat.I will get aggressive with it today and swim a bit i am sure, but the river is warming and slowing now so no problem there.(We are going to practice on the russian and friday is the eelriver, outlet creek-dois rios.Thanks for the tips they are all so helpfull!


I paddle a standard (12’) Outrage and have spent some time in friends X’s.

Good idea getting some lessons. That will save you a whole lot of frustration.

In return you will find that you have a nimble, quick, stable, predictable whitewater boat that loves to surf and play.

I go along with pretty much everything the other guys said. Especialy the part about getting aggressive.

My motto is If I don’t swim, I’m not playing hard enough.


If you have a…

…good lake with waves on it, you can place your boat parallel to the waves. Practice wave blocking with lower body tilt, keep your upper body plumb, and use your paddle to brace. Once this gets easy, just sit there without using your paddle and roll with the waves.

Also, practice your braces by nearly tipping over and righting yourself.

Your gonna love this boat!

I solo a Synergy all the time, and have
paddled the Outrage X. They aren’t that different. Your uneasiness in the Synergy may have been due to your size (I am 6’ 5", 220#) or to lack of proper outfitting.

Obviously the Outrage X is quicker handling, but it’s about the same width as the Synergy, so perceived tippiness has to do with less length. (People forget that tippiness depends on width, length, and what the hull does over that length.) The Synergy is faster, even solo. It has been an excellent boat for multiple overnights on easy to moderate whitewater.

don’t be afraid to lean
the Outrage. the secondary stability is excellant, and it really carves a turn when it’s heeled way over.

A little boat lean to your onside will also help you go straight.

saddle height
Also, if the X has a really high saddle (10"+), that could make it feel tippy; so, lowering the saddle may help improve stability (8"-8.5" is common). But, the lower you go, the tougher it is on you knees & legs.


The outrage wants…
… to turn more then go straight. Use the circle concept when you can? That is, make your circle larger so that it resembles a more linear direction.

A combination of on and off side forward strokes, with perhaps a bit of minimal steering added, and the use of boat tilt can accelerate your boat in the desired direction from a dead stop. Hopefully, without having to exert much energy into steering the boat.