Outdoor Retailer: Wenonah Recon solo whitewater canoe

In 1971, a young paddler named Jim Henry won the National Whitewater Open Canoe Championship in a canoe he designed and built. He called the canoe a Malecite, and it was the beginning of Mad River Canoes. Forty years later, Dana Henry, Jim's son, has designed his first canoe, for Wenonah.

The Wenonah Recon is an entirely new design and a bit of a departure for Wenonah, as they traditionally have had few whitewater boats in their lineup.

The younger Henry, who has worked at Wenonah for two years, learned his lessons well and has designed a boat that fits a niche in the whitewater canoe market. 

First, the Recon is a big solo boat. In an era when open whitewater canoes are getting smaller, the Recon bears some similarities to the Outrage X designed by Dana's father. It is a skosh wider at the gunnel, and a bit deeper. Forward, the boat is slightly fuller than the older Outrage X. In a nod to a trend happening in whitewater canoes, this boat has large decks that help to keep the water out.

One of the issues with most whitewater outfitting, is that adjustment is time consuming, if at all possible. And if you paddle on an overnight trip, getting your gear in and getting proper trim on the boat can be a hassle.

With the help of Kurt Renner, Northwest rep for Wenonah, the Recon can be had with outfitting (thigh straps, foam saddle, and ankle blocks) that velcro into the hull.

On the water, the boat is very stable with a shallow arch bottom. It is also fast, so attainments are easy. Secondary stability is very good. Lean the boat in a turn and it carves very well.

For paddlers looking for a solo whitewater boat capable of overnight trips and one that will stay dry in big water, this is a great boat. It doesn't look like the little creeking boats that are ubiquitous today, but it carves and accelerates like a much smaller boat. A plus is that with its 13-foot length, it'll leave smaller boats eating your wake.

Video with canoe designer Dana Henry

Wenonah canoe designer Dana Henry talked with us at Outdoor Retailer about how he created the new Recon, a 13-foot solo whitewater canoe.

Recon Dimensions:  

Length: 13 feet

Rocker: 6+ inches

Depth: 18 1/2 inches bow, 15 1/2 inches center, 17 inches stern

Width: 28 inches gunwale, 29 inches waterline, 29 inches maximum

Available only in Royalex for a weight of 57 lbs.

MSRP: $1,099 (hull only); $1,899 (fully outfitted)


Filed under: Gear News, Outdoor Retailer

Comments

Rick-Pittsburgh
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
August 5, 2011 at 7:22 p.m. (EDT)

Do we have a MSRP on this model?

Alicia
TRAILSPACE STAFF
715 reviewer rep
3,157 forum posts
August 9, 2011 at 10:46 a.m. (EDT)

Rick-Pittsburgh said:

Do we have a MSRP on this model?

 I'm asking for that info, Rick.

Louis-Alexis
171 reviewer rep
223 forum posts
August 9, 2011 at 4:33 p.m. (EDT)

Also interseted in MSRP. Thanks Alicia.

canoelover
0 reviewer rep
3 forum posts
August 9, 2011 at 4:54 p.m. (EDT)

Just saw the boat last week in Salt Lake City.  $1099 for the naked one, $1899 for the outfitted one.  I will say that the outfitting is some of the best I've seen ever as far as out of the box.  Very comfortable.  Not sure about avail, my guess is later this fall.

It is a very nice boat...paddles like a faster, dryer Outrage.  Beginner friendly, I think (hard to tell sometimes), but I don't think anyone would grow tired of it.

When I get an outfitted one I'll get some pics of it.

Cheers!

Rick-Pittsburgh
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
August 9, 2011 at 4:57 p.m. (EDT)

canoelover said:

Just saw the boat last week in Salt Lake City.  $1099 for the naked one, $1899 for the outfitted one.  I will say that the outfitting is some of the best I've seen ever as far as out of the box.  Very comfortable.  Not sure about avail, my guess is later this fall.

It is a very nice boat...paddles like a faster, dryer Outrage.  Beginner friendly, I think (hard to tell sometimes), but I don't think anyone would grow tired of it.

When I get an outfitted one I'll get some pics of it.

Cheers!

 Thanks for the heads up. Looking forward to the pics.

Welcome to Trailspace canoelover.

Alicia
TRAILSPACE STAFF
715 reviewer rep
3,157 forum posts
August 9, 2011 at 7:21 p.m. (EDT)

canoelover said:

Just saw the boat last week in Salt Lake City.  $1099 for the naked one, $1899 for the outfitted one.  I will say that the outfitting is some of the best I've seen ever as far as out of the box.  Very comfortable.  Not sure about avail, my guess is later this fall.

It is a very nice boat...paddles like a faster, dryer Outrage.  Beginner friendly, I think (hard to tell sometimes), but I don't think anyone would grow tired of it.

When I get an outfitted one I'll get some pics of it.

Cheers!

 Thanks for sharing this info, canoelover. It's much appreciated.

Welcome to Trailspace!

Louis-Alexis
171 reviewer rep
223 forum posts
August 14, 2011 at 1:15 p.m. (EDT)

Thanks a lot!:-)

Erich
REVIEW CORPS
723 reviewer rep
930 forum posts
August 16, 2011 at 10:33 p.m. (EDT)

A plus with the outfitting, is that the saddle is a two part unit, comprising a bottom and a removable top. With the removable top it will be possible to change the height for different paddlers.

Louis-Alexis
171 reviewer rep
223 forum posts
August 19, 2011 at 4:14 p.m. (EDT)

Not a bad idea for the saddle. Still I prefer the appaloossa saddle. Wish the two would cross.

Erich
REVIEW CORPS
723 reviewer rep
930 forum posts
August 20, 2011 at 11:25 a.m. (EDT)

Louis-Alexis, I'm not sure that it would be possible to build an adjustable Perception/Beluga style saddle because of the thigh retainers. Mohawk is about as close as you can come, with their lap belt system. Thigh straps are more of a West Coast preference, I suspect because of the adjustability factor. Wenonah's system has some similarities to the Northwater system in the three point adjustable anchors for the thigh straps.

canoer glenn
0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts
October 26, 2011 at 7:59 p.m. (EDT)

I have purchased the recon and it handles very similar to the rival and I can't wait to try it on a slolom coarse.It doesn't seam to roll very easy though as I have to snap my hips a lot more than the encore, probe 13,12,rodeo, or the nitro.I was able to roll the rendezvous with less effort and time.Haven't tried the ledge but was told that it is harder to roll also.

 

Erich
REVIEW CORPS
723 reviewer rep
930 forum posts
October 27, 2011 at 11:52 a.m. (EDT)

Thanks for the updates Glenn. In my limited experience with the Recon, I thought it was faster than the Rival. I expected it would be a bit harder to roll as it is a big boat, and not light.

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