Most Recent Reviews
Clearly, the new Mohawks are less durable than the old. Having said that, they probably aren't any worse than the Carlisle's or other popular brands. Still kicking myself for losing that original Mohawk (even though I'm not the one who lost it).
In short, I have not gone easy on these paddles, and they still perform like new. I love the T-grip which is ideal for hooking onto wayward gear and especially painters. Mohawk paddles are comfortable to use, and best of all I like their feel. I recently lost my wife's original paddle and quickly bought a new Mohawk. I was pleased to see that the design and quality has not changed.
I bought mine new in 1987, and have paddled it extensively on Class II-III stuff, and on a small handful of Class IV rapids too. Its hull is made of Royalex which makes it extremely durable. Believe me, I've hit a LOT of big rocks including one memorable collision on Devil's Jump on the Big South Fork. That left a little scar, but that's it.
For a long boat, it turns well. Credit that again to the moderate rocker, plus the fact that it has no keel. (Unless you plan on paddling nothing but lakes, I would not own a boat with a keel. Just don't do it.)
The only negatives I would note are that it is heavy to portage (about 85 pounds) but that's to be expected of a high volume 17 foot long boat with a 15" depth. That depth can also work against you on a windy lake. Learn to treat the wind as you would current, and it becomes much less of an issue.
In summary, the Old Town Tripper is just a great all around boat. I've owned many boats but my Tripper has always been our favorite. I've literally paddled it on hundreds of trips and probably over 2,000 miles. She still looks good for her age, but more importantly she still performs like new.
I wouldn't have thought it possible, but I actually love my Tripper more today than when I first wrote about her. This year mark's her 25th anniversary and she's still in great shape. I don't paddle much Class III stuff anymore, but still run Class II several times a year and take her canoe camping too. The front skid plate needs replacing, but after 25 years, approximately 200 trips, and nearly 2,000 miles I won't complain about a little maintenance.
There's really only two things you need to know about the Tripper - first, when I bought it my canoeing mentor chastised me saying it was too long and too hard to turn. That was in 1987 before he'd ever paddled it. Now that he has paddled it a few times he no longer says such things. Secondly, as an avid canoeing evangelist I have recruited more than a few people to the sport over the years. Many of my paddling friends fell in love with canoeing in the Tripper and I hear them comment all the time that they wish they had one.