Caution, readers: The MR Synergy 14 and 12 are KAYAKs, not canoes…
Caution, readers: The MR Synergy 14 and 12 are KAYAKs, not canoes. The first two reviews below pertain to the 15' whitewater tandem canoe that appeared about 1997 but is no longer made. If you like ww and find a 15' Synergy ww canoe, buy it.
I am a big paddler (6' @ 325 pounds) and I needed…
I am a big paddler (6' @ 325 pounds) and I needed a kayak that would float my big butt and allow me to SAFELY transport my 6 year old daughter as well, and the Mad River Canoe HYBRID Synergy 14 works wonderfully in both these tasks.
This kayak floats 400 pounds so no problem there. This kayak also has DEEP seating and DEEP cargo holds, and my daughter fits wonderfully in the large rear cargo hold. She loves it back there, her feet and hands dragging lazily through the water as I paddle. Another plus, it stays DRY. It does not have scupper holes that keep you wet all day. If water gets in, just pump or sponge it out, just like a cockpit kayak. The Synergy 14 tracks very well and is fast for its size. It is also well made.
Some cons: foot rest bracket bows and flexes if you get on it while paddling and some of the mounting points are riveted into the poly and can get loose. None have popped off yet, but some are loose.
All in all, a GREAT BOAT!
After hurricane Wilma I had to choose which 2 kayaks I would…
After hurricane Wilma I had to choose which 2 kayaks I would keep. The Synergy was the one I kept - handles well, fast, tremendous carrying capacity for camping the keys kayak trail. A perfect blend of SOT and canoe, regardless of your skill level you'll be happy.
The NEW Synergy is great. I now have my third Mad River…
The NEW Synergy is great. I now have my third Mad River. An Adventure 16 which we keep on the beach for family stuff. Last year I got a Synergy 12 and love it. It is fast and quiet while being a great platform to fish from. I now have the Synergy 14 so my son and I can go out together. Again, it is stable and fast. I stack them piggy back and haul them both on a rack on my Toyota Corolla!
My son and I have paddled a Synergy for 4 years and…
My son and I have paddled a Synergy for 4 years and we really enjoy the whitewater capabilities of this boat. The ABS hull has held up very well and the design is fantastic for all kinds of moves on the river. It took a while to get the saddle positions just right and we installed thigh straps to keep the bow paddler from flying out of the canoe in large waves. I also moved a thwart to a new location 2'' or so. We have a cane seat installed in the middle for solo paddling. It does make a good whitewater tripping boat when paddled solo and we found the cane seat to be practical for this purpose. I think the boat performs best on class III-IV. We've never owned a drier more responsive tandem boat for use on whitewater. Our kayaking friends follow us through the drops.
We've had our Synergy for three seasons. Set up with a triple…
We've had our Synergy for three seasons. Set up with a triple saddle, it is cranky about tracking when paddled tandem, but is otherwise fairly dry and well-behaved. I plan to correct the tracking problem by moving the rear seat back somewhat. This will also let me pull emergency crossdraws without decapitating my partner. The surprise about this boat is that it is a great solo camping cruiser on rivers with a mixture of rapids and flatwater. Paddled solo, it accelerates and tracks fairly well, yet can carry 150 pounds of gear without sacrificing much performance in rapids. I was totally pleased with the boat on a six night expedition on the San Juan. It was quite controllable even in strong winds. And it was easy to spin for camera shots back upstream. If you plan to paddle tandem more than solo, the Dagger Caption would be a better whitewater boat, but the narrow Synergy is much faster and more versatile. Mad River no longer actively markets the Synergy. They say they sold to few, but I know of at least three purchased in north Georgia. Mad River may still be willing to construct Synergies on special request.