A Brief history of Swift Canoes & Kayak

"Many of our customers have asked why we started building canoes and kayaks when we had so much else already going on. It was easy! Swift Canoe & Kayak was founded by paddlers for paddlers. Many of our retail and rental customers (including ourselves) were asking for light, easy paddling and durable canoes and kayaks for Algonquin Park and surrounding areas. We tried bringing in other boats made throughout Canada and the US. Some would suit one or two of our needs but not all.

In 1984, we began building Sawyer canoes, on site at Algonquin Outfitters, which quickly became popular with our retail clientele and in our rental fleet. While these boats were lightweight and strong, they needed some improvement in the design area, particularly in efficiency and maneuverability.

In the fall of '89 we introduced our first Swift canoe model, the Kipawa, designed by marine architect, John Winters. The Kipawa was designed specifically for Canadian Shield country The Kipawa was characterized by a nautical look that had more rocker forward, rounded bilge areas and lot's of end to end flare. These canoes quickly became our most popular boat's and are now setting trends in design and engineering throughout North America.

Four years ago we added two kayak shapes to our line-up. Today, we are making 14 canoes and 3 kayaks. We have two prototype kayak shapes and two prototype canoe shapes on the go and are experimenting with new laminates and trim systems. Never satisfied, we're always on the lookout for improvements. Our engineering, product development and manufacturing is done on site at our Swift South River Base. Much of the development work is done through our rental fleet of 800+ boats! Our vision remanes simple:  design, engineer and build the best recreational and wilderness tripping canoes and kayaks in the world!

Try a Swift canoe or kayak, and you be the judge."

From Swift Canoe & Kayak


Cory hading out on the unusually calm waters of Lake Superior with painting gear loaded up. Canoe is a Swift Quetico.

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