Jim Henry, Mad River Canoe company founder, designed and built the first Malecite right around 1971. He then raced in – and won – the Downriver National Championship and the rest, you know. Word spread and demand grew. A tradition of innovation was born.
From the beginning, Mad River Canoe explored new designs and experimented with new materials. We were the first to introduce Kevlar™ to the canoe industry and among the pioneers to first mold our own Royalex® canoes. We now offer a wider variety of hull designs than any other canoe manufacturer and continue to push ourselves and our designs to new levels of performance. Our efforts have been rewarded with competitions won, accolades earned (including 3 “Manufacturer of the Year” awards from Canoe & Kayak magazine) and, most importantly, a growing base of loyal customers.