Read reviews for the Synergy 12 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!
I enjoy this boat for fishing which I do off and on, especially with 2 of my sons. Since I also have a great sea kayak, I am spoiled, so the effort in paddling this boat means I do not paddle for long distances. My boat is polyethylene and reasonable weight though again, heavier than my kevlar sea kayak. The pouches and pole holders and small bells and whistles typical of a fishing kayak are all great.
Overall, I like this boat a lot and it serves its purpose, though I am not a real avid fisherman. Well worth the moderate price.
This is an excellent kayak. I'm a big guy (6'3", 235lbs) and was having a lot of trouble finding an affordable sit-on-top kayak that was a dry ride. Sure, you can always put plugs in the scuppers, but if you have to do that because they're not working as designed then why have them at all? Well, the Destiny/Synergy doesn't have them. This kayak tracks well, is fairly speedy, and has lots of room for one body and gear. I have rigged it up to be a really nice fishing kayak. One caveat in that endeavor was the limited access to the inside of the hull, but that just means you have to use rivets.
I first purchased a Synergy two years ago, while my wife obtained a Liquid Logic Manta Ray. While the Manta Ray is a fine boat, we both competed to use the Synergy.
With the Synergy you sit low in the boat and because of this you achieve remarkable stability in a very comfortable seat. The tracking is great and maneuvering is very good. We've used the boat in class #1 to #3 rapids, fished large and small lakes, cruised the shoreline and caves in Lake Superior and and just generally puttering around, enjoying life.
And in the interest of harmony, we've just added another Synergy 12.
I'm 6'4", 230, and I have lots of room and can carry enough gear for 3-4 nights - more if I pack super light. You WILL get your butt wet in choppy water, especially class III, so bring a pump. It doesn't track and glide like a touring kayak, but almost. It doesn't turn like a squirt boat, but it's better than a canoe. It's a lot heavier than a rec kayak, but it hauls a lot more stuff and is a lot more comfortable, especially for big people. I'm custom making my own skirt this year using tarp material. I'm also going to add a few more tie-down hooks.
Love this boat. This one's mine. Git yer own.
The boat handled well and was stable in the water, I am 5'11 and 260lbs and I felt quite comfortable in it. I had a soggy bottom but mainly because of my short paddles; I will be getting 240 cms paddles soon. Getting the boat on top of my SUV was no fun, it is a heavy boat.
I give it a low rating due to the manufacturing defect, unfortunately my warranty is gone and I have to fix it myself.
It has plenty of room for a weeks worth of gear. It's easy to carry, for me. The included cargo nets make it easy to tie down all your packs and fishing gear. The tracking on a windy day is the only drawback I've had with this boat.
I would recommend this to anyone interested. It's quick, light, easy, and fun. What more could you want in a fishing boat?
One of the other benefits is that it has a crazy skinny draft...I'm guessing around 4 inches. This is a huge benefit when floating a river...you never bottom out. Getting in and out of this boat from shore is a breeze. I can simply hit the shore line dead on and stand up and walk out of it - without even getting wet.
You can see a float trip I took at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4x4WTNva_s
Things I added that were much needed: extra padded seat, bow and stern anchors. The 2 main items that this boat could improve upon are :stability (so you can stand easier) & weight (it's a bear picking up). Other than that, I love it and would definitely recommend it for those that want a boat versatile enough to run dry in flat water, but still be able to handle rough water when needed.
As an over sized paddler (6’5” tall and about 300lbs.) I picked this boat as it fit me great. It was large enough for plenty of legroom and gear, plus it supports my weight. While many sit on tops would have fit me to, the Synergy 12 sat further down “in” the boat giving me the feel of a real Kayak. Also I wanted to avoid the scupper holes as other sit on tops always gave me a “wet ride” keeping some water in the boat. With the dry ride my hope was I could extend the paddling season, and that has been true thanks to the Synergy 12.
The Synergy 12 tries blends the ease of a SOT with the feel of a cockpit rec. boat. Overall it does a pretty good job. While being a “jack of all trades” type boat, it is still fun to paddle.
The maneuverability is good for a 12’ boat especially with as heavy as this one is. (Again fun to ride, not so fun getting it on top the van!) It can easily go where you want it. It is not the best tracking boat but does pretty well. Although it is no racing boat, you can get this boat moving and up to speed with ease. This may be one area the weight helps, because once it is cursing along it is quite easy to keep it going!
Stability is good too. While other sit on tops do provide better stability the Synergy 12 has a feel more like many cockpit kayaks I have paddled previously.
Also this is a tough boat to categorize. I would call it a Sit on top Kayak even though Mad River Canoe claims they “only build canoes”. (FYI: The manufactures’ statement of origin slip from Mad River lists it as a Kayak.) This boat is similar to the Perception Search 13 which is made by a sister company. The advantage the Synergy 12 has it is Drier, you set ‘down in” the boat more, and is capable of carrying more weight. Before you buy the Perception (which seems like a decent boat too.) make sure you check out the Mad River Synergy12.
Although this is not a performance boat, I recommend it to any novice paddler in need of a 1st boat to start out or anyone seeking a very well rounded fun boat for simple day recreation or fishing. Also any one seeking a sit on top kayak should seriously consider this one as I feel it is the best SOT currently on the market.