In early October, we decided to drop a Tuff Stuff Expedition Canoe off the roof of our 100-foot high warehouse. For me, this is where the wow-factor really kicked in.
y vantage point for this shoot was about 100 meters away, monitoring one of several video cameras and taking photos. I had an awesome view of the canoe falling, but I couldn’t see the moment of impact. I had fully expected to find the canoe in pieces but was totally stunned to see that it had survived – intact. We were all blown away. That’s when our Production Manager, Jeff Bear, suggested that we take it for a paddle to prove the hull was still sound and able. Once again, we were all very pleased to find that the canoe paddled just fine after taking such a massive amount of abuse. It took on a little water, but there was no doubt that a simple field repair was all you would need to get out of the woods. See the video below:
After this, our confidence in this new material skyrocketed. All that was required were some extreme, real-world tests of a TuffStuff canoe being put through its paces on whitewater. We decided to send a canoe out to MEC Calgary, so that their staff could determine whether or not it was suitable whitewater material. You can view their video here. The canoe is subjected to tons of abuse, the most extreme of which is a wrap around a big rock in the middle of the Bow River. The TuffStuff Expedition canoe survives the wrap and they continue to paddle for the rest of the day. Any concerns about real-world durability were quickly being put to rest.
For more results from the field, we provided Brad and Wayne Jennings of explorethebackcountry.com a TuffStuff Expedition Prospector 16 for their trip down the Rio Grande, which they embarked on just this past January. Upon their return, I asked Wayne what his impressions of the new canoe material were and he replied with one word – phenomenal. He said the canoe endured many impacts in rapids and against canyon walls, all without showing any signs of problems. You can view images of this trip on their website and Facebook page.
It has been fascinating to watch the progression of this new material – from concept to real world use and abuse. My confidence in TuffStuff is as high as it has ever been for any Nova Craft product. It’s obvious that many other people in the industry feel the same way, as orders are flowing in at good pace. Like I said, it was the talk of the Paddlesport trade show circuit this weekend and I’m sure the conversations will only increase as time goes on and more paddlers experience the benefits of a TuffStuff canoe.