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Canoeing 101


Installing Skid Plates: Recreational Canoes

Skid Plates are hard shells that wrap the stems or ends of the canoe and provide additional protection against abrasion and impact.  Most commonly made of a dense Kevlar© felt infused with epoxy resin, skid plates can extend the canoe's lifetime as well as repair damaged ends. 

Again, the issue with skid plates on polyethylene canoes is getting a good bond between resin and hull. The stems of the Adventures are very tight and sharp and it is difficult to make the Kevlar felt follow such tight shapes. For this reason, we recommend that skid plates be considered as a possible option only on the Journey Series amongst Mad River Recreational canoes. Conventional wisdom is to use an epoxy resin, lightly sand the areas, flame them and then mix the epoxy, wet out the skid plate felts and stick them on the canoe. Due to the degree of curvature at the ends of the canoe, there isn't as much flexibility in this area to create concern but what can create trouble is the likelihood of this part of canoe taking an impact which can literally “shock” the skid plate off of the hull. Should this occur, usually the skid plate pops free of the exterior surface of the triple tough hull and leaves the hull surface intact. 

If your canoe has been dented in the stem and you want to put a skid plate over the damage, you'll first need to fill the void caused by the crease or the dent. You don't want to leave a void between the skid plate and the hull as this can result in the skid plate being fractured if struck at that void. A 2-part Epoxy resin ( is a good choice to use to fill the void. You'll need to do the light sanding and the flaming surface prep as usual.