The hull story
One of the nice things about launching into the whitewater market is that you don’t have an old way of doing things so you can dream up new ones. Massive had a fresh start and has taken a completely new approach to hip pad adjustment, mounting the hip pad to a slider with a fastening nut. This allows the hip pads to be moved in and out as well as turned forward to contour to the angle of your thigh as it enters the aggressive thigh braces. The seat is simple and comfortable but finicky to adjust because the nuts are hidden behind the thigh braces. Massive has chosen o use an older style plastic foot brace system.
The Mojo paddles much like it looks—a cross between a playboat and a creek boat. In fact, just for a size reference, the Mojo is only two gallons less than the Perception Java. Anyway, this isn’t a bad combo. For anyone new to paddling—if you’re not, think back—the most difficult thing for new paddlers to think about is everything. That’s right, everything that is happening all at once. Massive has taken many of those bad things out of the mix improving new paddlers’ chances for success. The rockered and blunt bow seldom pearls, instead it rides up and over waves. The high volume stern won’t trip you up if you waffle across eddy lines. And if you forget about tilt because you’re thinking about angle and paddling forward, no problem, the rounded soft edges are plenty of flare cover for you.
Many paddlers, once they learn to roll, wonder why it took them a whole weekend or every Friday night in the pool for an entire winter. Modern freestyle boats are like trying to roll a day-old pastrami on rye sandwich and the funny thing is, most of us have learned to like it. The Mojo, on the other hand, rolls right up, snappy like! Now that the roll is mastered where do new paddlers go? Straight to the first front surfing wave they can find and this is where the Mojo really shines.
With lots of rocker, the bow almost never pearls on a wave and despite the soft edges the Mojo is a good carving boat. This is a paradox really, soft forgiving edges and carving ability? Thompson attributes this to, and we cant argue, the dove-tail stern design borrowed from watersports like surfing. Simply front surfing or carving on the face of a wave the dove-tail is engaged for stability. At the end of your carve it releases allowing you to change direction and carve back. Once they’ve learned to surf, it isn’t long before intermediate and even beginner paddlers want to learn to spin or more likely are spinning in the Mojo looking to shore, smiling, asking you what just happened.
The final word
It seems for their first boat Massive has looked at the paddling market and identified paddlers who love to front surf, spin and run rivers. These paddlers may never get vertical unless it is an ender. It may be their style or the stage of the learning curve they are currently at. The Mojo is a combination of creek boat volume and friendliness with the play of a planing hull. This was a target market decision and it includes a price tag that is also appealing to new paddlers. If you think the designer who changed the Worlds is going soft, wait for the soon to be released Massive Mad Dog.
- Length: 7’3”
- Width: 25”
- Volume: 56 gal
- Weight: 31 lbs
- Paddler weight: 130-220 lbs
- MSRP: $1,299
This article first appeared in the Spring 2002 issue of Rapid Magazine. For more great boat reviews, subscribe to Rapid’s print and digital editions here.