Strongest Canoe Ever Made?

Strongest Canoe Ever Made?

Filed under: Canoe  Water 

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It’s been dropped 100 feet from a building, assaulted with a sledgehammer, flung off a cliff, and wrapped around a rock.

A new, super tough canoe might be the sturdiest boat we’ve ever seen.

canoe tuffstuff

The boat’s builders, London, Ontario, based Nova Craft, have developed the canoe from a new super resilient material called TuffStuff — a composite made from basalt cloth (layers of woven rock fibers) and a specialized plastic.

Nova Craft has made waves in the paddling world as videos of the brand abusing the boat have gone viral.

Tossed 100 feet off a building
Tossed 100 feet off a building

The videos show company president Tim Miller beating the bottom of the boat with a sledgehammer, standing and bouncing atop it, and finally dropping it off the top of a 100 foot building, all of which amounts to little damage.


So confident was Nova Craft of the material that it handed the boat over to testers at Mountain Equipment Co-op to purposely abuse the boat.

The testing crew dropped the boat from a cliff, flung it down a flight of stairs, let it fly from a moving vehicle, and wrapped it around a boulder, causing the boat to fold in half (image below). Although visibly damaged after the testing, it was still seaworthy.


The TuffStuff line is intended for expeditioners — it’s about 20 percent lighter than Royalex, which was a common canoe material that was discontinued by its U.S. manufacturer last year.

A 16-foot boat made of TuffStuff weighs about 59 pounds, similar to a Royalex canoe.

canoe test

Although these boats are not going to be cheap — costing more than $2,500 at some retailers — it’s easier to cope with the price tag knowing this very well could be the last canoe you’ll ever need to buy.


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Eric Lemke
Eric is a contributing writer based in Bozeman, MT. An avid climber, mountain biker, backpacker, and snowboarder, he earned his degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota - Duluth. When not living the GearJunkie life, he can be found exploring the Montana backcountry.