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Supernova Solo

Width (in)
Weight (lb)

Supernova Solo Options

  • TuffStuff Expedition

    51 lb
    Innegra Composite
  • TuffStuff

    47 lb
    Innegra Composite

    Supernova Solo Description

    The Supernova was designed as the ideal solution for the paddler who loves to do solo wilderness river trips. While the Supernova hull characteristics do what you’d expect from a white water boat – like keep you dry and effortlessly surf a wave – where you really appreciate the canoe is the flat water sections in between the frothy stuff.

    The Supernova would be most appreciated by experienced paddlers who enjoy messing around in rapids. Even though it comes to life in the rough stuff, it retains enough of a quiet nature that it won’t feel out of place for a casual paddle on the local pond. In the hands of a competent paddler the Supernova is an excellent dance partner.

    Supernova Solo Reviews


    Read and submit reviews for the Supernova Solo.

    Supernova Solo Specs and Features

    • Seating Configuration: Solo
    • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult, Larger Adult
    • Skill Level: Intermediate, Advanced
    • Skill Level: Intermediate, Advanced

    Where to Buy the Supernova Solo

    Nova Craft Canoe
    Supernova Solo Reviews

    Read reviews for the Supernova Solo by Nova Craft Canoe 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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    Great paddling boat. Paddle…

    Submitted by: findaboat on 8/8/2013
    Great paddling boat. Paddle often w/45pound dog and several day's gear down small, quick, rocky rivers - very stable and maneuverable.
    A few blemishes out of the box, but I'll still look at their products for my next boat.

    I bought the Super Nova for…

    Submitted by: paddler235251 on 8/4/2013
    I bought the Super Nova for medium to long river trips and it more than shines in this capacity. I've used it on lakes, Class I rivers with lots of wood, and Class II. It is very stable, glides and carves well and is very responsive for it's size. It has sufficient capacity to hold gear for a long trip but is just as capable when used for day tripping. I did not like the original seat placement in the SN so I moved the seat forward 4 inches, down 1.5 inches, and installed knee pads. I also have float bags in each end. With this configuration the boat has plenty of room for gear but also handles well when empty.

    I have owned the boat…

    Submitted by: paddler234267 on 8/31/2011
    I have owned the boat (royalex) for 2 years and have logged over 3000km of river trips and 700 km of lake trips in northern BC and Yukon. It has been on the Stikine, Spatsizi, Tunagain, Gataka, Kechika, Dease, Morice, Telkwa, Kispiox, Weaton and Wind to name a few. The boat is great in ww; it accelerates quickly even when loaded, is easy to eddy, peel out, ferry. It can take a large load and has enough freeboard for ww. The boat tracks well on lakes, but is horrible in the wind, even when spray decked and paddled Canadian Style. The royalex is nice and warm to sit in versus a kevlar boat. Some of my friends who are novice/intermediate paddlers have complained that it is difficult to track on flat water, my intermediate/advanced paddler friends have no difficulties. All complain about tracking in wind.

    My biggest complaints about the boat are the lack of a yoke and the fixed seat/seat position. If Novacraft advertises the boat as a solo tripper, they need to provide a yoke for portage. I drilled the gunnals and made a removable yoke (the balance point is just in front of the seat, so you cannot paddle with the yoke in place, hence the removable yoke). The seat position is ok, however an adjustable seat would make this boat a 10/10. An adjustable seat would allow you to trim the boat according to the load. I have made my own and am much happier with the boat now that I can trim it properly. I lowered the seat 3 inches for stability in ww. Also, forget about putting any gear behind the seat unless you have a lot of weight in front to counterbalance it. The boat is very sensitive to load, it will not eddy/ferry/peel out well if not loaded properly. To solve this I put a large air bag behind the seat so that I can't put any gear behind me.

    The quality of the boat is excellent with one minor complaint, the vinyl gunnals are slightly cupped and funnel water into the boat.

    Stability is excellent, I have taken it through 3+ ww and into 6-7 foot wave trains (loaded and unloaded) and the boat is reasonably dry, and very, very stable. This is very important in the cold northern waters where I paddle. Joining the swim team in northern waters is very unpleasant, this boat keeps me from that.

    I have not been gentle with this boat and paddle it like I stole it. The hull is in remarkably great shape, with only minor scratches and one small dent.

    As far as a ww playboat, it is marginaly acceptable; but it is not really designed for that purpose. I will stick with my Dagger Ovation and Hellman Otter for heavy ww.

    If you are looking for a solid ww tripping boat and are willing to spend some time and money customizing it this is a great boat. There are probably better lake tripping solo boats, but this one is just OK, it's real home is ww.


    The SN's river tripping/WW…

    Submitted by: guest-paddler on 10/6/2010
    The SN's river tripping/WW reputation is well established, so my interest is to know first hand if as well it will make an everyday boat for some of my local landscape photography work. Here in SE WV lie big, heavy water rivers, lakes and small streams, the latter both quiet and turbulent. I've had the boat(Royalex) for two days.

    The first impression, on flat water, was the surprising speed, the nice glide. Faster and easier than my (NC) Bob Special (Royalex Lite) for example. Back in snaggy little channels behind a few islands, turning was quick and light and precise. Keeping dead-on straight and avoiding roll took a little conscious effort at first, but practice should continue to smooth my technique.

    It sits pretty high when empty. A collapsible 5 gal. water jug placed forward helped the trim on this breezy day. Some effort and thinking are needed on open windy water when empty, and on some days I'll want another boat. But on the other days, I'll be able to work things out.

    It's heavier than the Bob on a carry, but feels lighter on the water: better acceleration, easier turning, and faster and easier at a cruise. I looked at the round cross section bottom and swallowed hard. But I did get in and out with no problem. Even stood up in it without a scare. Don't know if it'll pole. Might be possible.

    The experts say that its WW behavior when empty is very good and very user friendly and that loaded for a trip its capability is still so strong that the paddler can take a wide range of water comfortably and safely.

    I say that the SN also has its feet on the ground and might become my daily transport. 8 stars and not 10 because I'm not sure yet about wind and poling. But the 8 are well earned so far. It's responsive, feels connected to me, feels really good.
    Get a detachable carrying yoke. It has no yoke of its own.


    I have had the Super Nova for…

    Submitted by: paddler232995 on 1/16/2009
    I have had the Super Nova for almost 4 years now. I got the Blue Steel lay up. This is an awesome boat. The only thing people need to know, it's a Canadian style boat. It is designed to be leaned on its side and paddled. It requires a little different style of paddling. It's great on rivers.

    I don't know why people think it doesn't track well. This boat paddles great in flat water. In fact, that's all I used it for my first year. Since there is no such thing as an "everything" boat, this is a great multi-tasker. It begs to be loaded down with gear and taken on an adventure.


    Well I’ve had this boat for 2…

    Submitted by: sonic on 9/5/2008
    Well I’ve had this boat for 2 years now and I love it. I’ll stick with all of my earlier review, but will add like many boats it gets much more initial stability when loaded. My friend James had 2 young girls a cooler, dry bag, extra paddles and was towing a WW kayak and could still surf a Class I baby wave. On flat water you have to use a perfect (vertical) forward stroke to keep it tracking, but it’s not really suited to flats. In class I to III WW this boat is in its element. I have paddled quite a number of solo canoes and this is my favorite. The only negative I can find is it’s a little heavy.

    Bought this Boat at…

    Submitted by: sonic on 4/18/2006
    Bought this Boat at Canoecopia. I've only had it out 3 times and nothing above class II yet, but it's wonderful. Took a little getting used to the lack of primary stability, but it pays in spades in the WW. Surfs beautify and runs over large wave trains like a dream. Eddies great and with the rounded hull heeling over is almost instinctual. The only negative is it’s a little heavy, but it also tough as nails. I lowered the seat and added SOT type thigh straps (bad knee can’t kneel) and a Wenonah foot bar. A great cursing WW solo boat.

    When I first demoed this…

    Submitted by: guest-paddler on 1/26/2005
    When I first demoed this canoe on flat water it was horrible. However, I could see that it was well made and designed for moving water so I took the plunge and parted with my money. After adding minicel foam knee pads and thigh straps I took it down some class 3. Wow! It was a changed character, it never missed a beat all day and was a total joy to crank in and out of eddies, and was fast onto the waves and surfed really sweet.

    With 7 boats to choose from I reckon this will see more than its fair share of river time. It does what it says on the box, and with style.

    Only 9 out of 10 because the gunwales are not reinforced with an alloy strip and deform when bolts are tightened. I use Old Town over sized super big washers which help, but really if the gunwales were as good as Wenonah ones the build quality of Nova Craft would then be second to none.


    I teach paddling for a living…

    Submitted by: guest-paddler on 11/8/2004
    I teach paddling for a living and I recently bought a Supernova to replace my much loved but over used Mobile Adventure Hermes. What a great boat! Right from the start I felt at home, the boat tracks well and despite poor initial stability it feels very secure. This is achieved by the boats excellent secondary stability which is second to none. On moving water I found the boat responsive and easy to manage, surfing was a dream and eddy turns were achieved with little or no effort. My boat is Royalex with vinyl gunwhales. Standard of finish is good although two or three rivets are not fully pressed home. Overall this is a great boat.

    I just got back from a trip…

    Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/15/2004
    I just got back from a trip on a nice river with lots of class I and II rapids. I borrowed a Supernova at the last minute from a friend and I was amazed after the first rapid. This boat has NO bad habits. It accelerates very quickly, has great secondary stability (beginning paddlers might think it's initially a little tippy but that passes quickly), and is very well-made. I would raise the seat a little bit (my ankles went to sleep after an hour) but other than that, no real changes. I like the aesthetics of the Bob's Special better (wish they made a solo Bob's Special), but I'm enjoying more and more the spartan lines of the Supernova.

    I came home last night at 5:30 PM. I ordered one this morning at 9:00 AM.


    sits in a removeable gunnel…

    Submitted by: paddler230432 on 12/19/2003
    sits in a removeable gunnel attached seat approx. 2ft. in front of me. this is a great boat to play eddies and get through tight spots in michigan rivers. i must be doing something wrong because can not keep up with tandem boats without using double blade paddle in quiet h2o. same applies to stiff winds because of the rocker and high sides. any suggestions out there? a single blade is fine for playing the currents. i feel this boat would be easier to paddle if it had some tumblehome, you have to lean out quite far to do your strokes. when i bought the canoe at the company in canada i also bought a removeable portage rack that you tighten onto the gunnels but no matter how tight i tighten it on trail terrain eventually it twists off for a not too good feeling on the top of your head. anyone else ever have this problem? i don't want to take the boat above lake superior without a bombproof removeable rack.

    After paddling a Mohawk XL13…

    Submitted by: guest-paddler on 12/10/2003
    After paddling a Mohawk XL13 for while and a Cedar Chestnut Prospector, I was looking for a boat that I could run some solid class III and still be able to paddle in a straight line. I test drove a Nova Craft Supernova on Labor day weekend and purchased one that same day. I bought the royalex layup because of the water (or should I say rocks) that I paddle. Installed a Mohawk Saddle and thigh strap, flotation and just for fun replaced the ash thwarts and handles with cherry. The boat looks great and performs even better. It's quick into and eddie and surfs better than any kayak I've ever paddled. It's a fun play boat and yet this past October paddled "easily ?" into a strong headwind on Shoshone lake in Yellowstone. It's a perfect hull for my use and with a few minor outfitting changes fits well in the fleet While it lacks the high volumn front and rear of some of the other solo ww boats, it takes class III stuff in stride and still tracks well on the open stretches.... bottom regrets... I'd buy one again without hesitation.

    I feel I can now give a half…

    Submitted by: Jeff_G on 11/3/2003
    I feel I can now give a half way descent review of the Supernova. I am a novice paddler and moved from a OT Discovery to the Supernova. Wow--what a difference. As to the initial stability--it doesn't have much, the boat likes to lean. With the rocker she also likes to turn. Suprisingly quick on the water and as long as you do your part a nice J stroke will keep her tracking straight. The secondary stability is amazing. I am just know getting a feel for what this boat can do. I have had her gunnel on one side seeping water and she will come right back up--simply amazing. I have watched good canoers in my boat and they can just make her dance. This is a high volume boat, so paddling in a strong cross wind on flatwater will take some effort, but it is doable. The load limit on the boat is stamped at 850lbs.

    As to surfing--I am a novice and even I can get her up a wave. The boat will set there all day. This boat has made me become a better paddler. I am just now beginning to recognize the strength in the design.

    Build quality--very good. I have the kevlar/fiberglass cap. The finish is very nice. The seat is comfortable, although from the factory it is too high without a load in the boat. The only thing I would complain about. The built in flotation chambers could have been made a bit bigger without sacrificing much space. Another 1 1/2" on each end would have provided a lot of extra flotation.


    I bought my supernova just 13…

    Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/11/2003
    I bought my supernova just 13 months ago, and I love it, IT handles beautifully, while adjusting trim so that your nose doesn't sit out of the water in a head wind. I love surfing with it because I find it will sit there unlike other boats I have tried.

    I purchased this boat as a…

    Submitted by: paddler229622 on 3/19/2002
    I purchased this boat as a used demo and immediately moved the solo seat back 1 seat width, tilted the seat by 3", and added a center thwart and end flotation bags. The canoe is Royalex with vinyl gunwales--unfortunately, the gunwales lack an aluminum insert and so I fear they will eventually crack. I have run this boat in flatwater and Class I-III whitewater. The canoe will not appeal to beginners because it has very little initial stability, thanks to its virtually round bottom. It does have excellent secondary stability and can be healed to the gunwales easily. Be careful on fast, leaned, offside eddy turns lest you overlean the boat and wind up scooping water and swimming. Hmmm. The canoe turns reasonably well, though not quite as quickly as its substantial rocker would suggest. The timing of turns is a little bit unusual--this having to do with the very fine entry line not grabbing much water, so the real turning begins when the main hull width is reached--which is not quite where one would visualize it happening. It punches hydraulics/rides waves/surfs heads-on extremely well and takes side waves well. I have not yet mastered side surfing with it--maybe I need thigh straps. Without doubt, this canoe's best feature is its really quite amazing speed for a full "battle weight," short Royalex hull. I can easily overhaul tandem- paddled 16 ft and 17 ft hulls like the Explorer, Intrepid, Prospector, Camper, Tripper et al. when all are being paddled at "cruising" speed (i.e. not racing). Excellent glide--it paddles much like a kevlar hull in this respect. I have only used a straight shaft modern-style paddle with this boat.