The Illusion is at home on small creeks and rivers as well as small ponds and lakes. It was originally designed as a Freestyle canoe and has won four National championships. Its rounded bottom and chines make it very easy to heal over and do a 180 deg. turn. In addition, this canoe has good tracking characteristics for its size. At less than 20 lbs. for the standard layup, it responds very well to every paddle stroke in the water and is effortless to carry out of the water. It works well for kneeling with a straight shaft paddle as well as sitting with a canoe or kayak paddle.
This canoe is a joy to paddle and ideal on small, winding creeks like the ones found in the Pine Barrens and the Adirondacks. It also is great on portages from lake to lake in the Boundary Waters and Algonquin parks. With a heavier layup, it can be a fun play boat on class 2 and 3 whitewater.
If you’re looking for a shorter light weight solo canoe that handles well and can haul some extra gear, the Illusion would be a great choice.
This canoe is also available with a deck, see the “Loon”
Designed by Marc Ornstein
Marc Ornstein has been paddling canoes for most of his adult life. His experiences include whitewater play-boating and tripping, touring, and Freestyle. He is an ACA instructor with River canoeing, level II certification, solo/tandem and level III Freestyle canoeing certification, solo/tandem. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Freestyle Committee of the American Canoe Association.
He owns and operates Dogpaddle Canoe Works, where he designs and builds custom canoes and canoe paddles. He is a four time national gold medalist in Freestyle Canoeing. All four of those medals were won paddling a Dogpaddle Illusion which he designed.