by  Mad River

This Product Has Been Discontinued

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Trailblazer Description

The Trailblazer is a canoe brought to you by Mad River. Read Trailblazer reviews or submit your own review to share with the paddling community. Check out a few other canoe recommendations below or explore all canoes to find the perfect one for you!

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Trailblazer Reviews

Read reviews for the Trailblazer by Mad River as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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The Trailblazer was a special…

Submitted by: paddler232635 on 5/4/2010
The Trailblazer was a special edition canoe, produced by Mad River for Chevy/GMC for the model year 1999/2000 Trailblazer SUV. The canoe length is 14', not 15 as indicated by the listing. The width is 37.25" and the hull material is Royalex.

I purchased this canoe second hand, although it had only seen the water twice in 10 years. I was looking for a lighter weight canoe, which I could paddle either tandem or solo. At first glance, the Trailblazer was what I was looking for.

First impressions... The bottom is very flat and wide and the length is rather short. The first time out was on a local lake on a windy day. I was not happy with the performance of the canoe. It had zero tracking and was slow...slow....slow!

When I got home, I studied the canoe. It has two cane seats and a single center twart/yoke. I decided I was going to modify the canoe and see if by bringing the sides in, I could improve the performance. I first unbolted all seats and center support to see the natural shape of the canoe. I then decided I was going to reduce the twart/yoke by 3" by cutting 1.5" from each side. I then bolted in back in place, fist one side, then turning the canoe on its side, I pulled the other side into place and secured the twart/yoke. The new center beam measurement went from 37.25 to 34.5". By pulling in the side, the bottom shape of the canoe changed from flat to a more pronounced rounded bottom. I then removed 2" from each seat width and bolted the seats back in.

My second impression of the canoe is way better than the first. Much better tracking....slightly better glide. Stability doesn't seem to have changed much, although I'm very comfortable in any type of canoe. I took this canoe solo on a 12 mile trip and with the proper weight distribution, the thing performed very well. Not as fast as my kayaks, but very comfortable.

From Mad River, I'd give the kayak a 5... but with the changes I made, I give it a solid 8.


This is a very stable canoe,…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/23/2007
This is a very stable canoe, both initial and secondary. Light enough that I can carry it myself. This is a lake/river canoe, not a whitewater canoe.