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Press Releases

Mad River Canoe Kicks Off 40th Anniversary Year

Mad River Canoe Kicks Off 40th Anniversary Year with a Focus on the Future and a Celebration of its Heritage

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EASLEY, S.C. (Jan. 26, 2011) – Mad River Canoe has built its name on quality and remained committed to creating a better canoe since co-founder Jim Henry crafted the first Mad River Malecite in 1971.

The iconic Mad River Canoe brand celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2011. In preparation for this landmark year, parent company Confluence Watersports invested two years of resource allocation aimed at strengthening the business, branding and product facets of Mad River Canoe. The brand emerges refreshed in 2011.

“Strengthening and rejuvenating Mad River Canoe has been a company-wide initiative,” said Sue Rechner, CEO of Confluence Watersports. “The heart of this brand lies in heritage, quality, and passion. Over the years, we have improved the execution of those elements that have not been consistent to our stringent standards. So, beginning two years ago, we enlisted sales, marketing, production, quality control, materials, engineering, and customer service to ensure that every aspect of Mad River Canoe lives up to its distinguished and premier status.”

Mad River Canoe is now equipped with efficiencies and improvements implemented across the organization, including the development of in-house staff training and certification programs to ensure the highest standards of quality are upheld through the manufacturing process. For the 2011 season, the results of these collaborative efforts will be visible in every Mad River Canoe.

Five brand-new boats in three different series hit the market in 2011, including a new series. The new Journey series, designed in partnership with Mad River Canoe co-founder Jim Henry, provides an ultra-tough and easy-to-paddle canoe for the casual enthusiast who enjoys a low-maintenance and versatile boat.
The maneuverable Expedition 176 will join the popular Expedition 186, a lightweight tripping canoe.

New material construction options are available on the Explorer and Malecite canoes. The classic models are now offered in an extremely lightweight and rigid ultralite lay-up. Though the Ultralites were made for the high-performance contingent, they will likely find an equally ardent following for their exquisite aesthetic.

Mad River Canoe also debuts a brand-new website this month, which features interactive, educational tools and a bounty of new content. Some of the key website features include a canoe education portal with an easy-to-search listing of frequently asked topics and articles to extend one’s understanding and experience with Mad River Canoes and a monthly blog series that provides timely tips and information directly from one of Mad River Canoe’s in-house experts. Additionally, a new canoe comparison tool allows the viewer to do side-by-side comparisons to determine which canoe best suits particular needs.

“We’re really excited about Mad River Canoe’s 40th anniversary and the new site is a big part of sharing this renewed enthusiasm with our customers,” said Craig Ray, manager of marketing communications at Mad River Canoe and Confluence Watersports. “Our primary goal for the Mad River Canoe portal is to be of service to all canoeists, new and seasoned. The content provides practical information, but we’re also hoping that visitors come away as energized about canoeing as we are.”

The exhaustive efforts of the Mad River Canoe team have come together in 2011 to achieve a single goal: provide a product to specialty dealers that delivers both on the promise of the brand and the consumer demand of each canoe.

About Mad River Canoe:
Some say that a mischievous rabbit founded Mad River Canoe (read about it here). We’re not saying for sure, but when Jim Henry built the first Mad River Malecite in 1971, he was inspired by the Micmac Indian legend of a rabbit whose confidence was a powerful asset when backed up with innate abilities. Confidence, aptitude, innovation and results guided the beginning of Mad River Canoe and they persist in the brand and its boats today. For nearly 40 years, Mad River has devoted itself to the craft of building a better canoe, not for the glory, but for the results. Until you can get on the water to feel the confidence of a Mad River Canoe yourself, check us out online at

Mad River Canoe · Harmony · Adventure Technology · Wave Sport · Perception · Dagger · Wilderness Systems – Bomber Gear

Media Contact:
Verde PR
Jan Nesset

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden