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After years of searching, the canoeing world now has an alternative to the discontinued Royalex, which was a favorite material for mid-range open canoes. I had a chat with Bill Kueper from Wenonah about the new material at Paddle Expo in Nuremberg.

“Royalex is basically a board comprising a ‘sandwich’ of standard rigid ABS sheets in the core of which is an ABS layer designed to foam/expand during the heating stage prior to vacuum forming. It was developed by Uniroyal in the 1970s and sold to Spartech in 2000.” –wikipedia

Royalex used to be a popular choice material for building open canoes. Being lighter than aluminum or PE, and cheaper than laminate, it was the perfect compromise for the mid-range canoe market.

Soon after PolyOne bought Spartech in 2013, it tried to make Royalex more profitable by raising prices almost 30%, which dropped the niche demand even further. Thus…

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