T-Formex is a high tech ABS plastic laminate, specially designed for products that require structural memory and a resistance to abrasion and impacts. These characteristics make it the best choice for whitewater, expedition, and recreational canoes. Esquif is the developer and sole manufacturer of T-Formex, with all of the sheets being produced in their factory in Québec, Canada.
Comprised of an ABS plastic foam core, layers of ABS plastic sheets, and a protective outer skin, the various layers of T-Formex are bonded together with heat and pressure in a large autoclave. When it is time to make a canoe’s hull, the sheet is again heated and then vacuum moulded to form the hull.
Every canoe model is unique, so specific T-Formex sheets are fabricated for each one. Reinforcements are positioned within the sheet to maximize rigidity, resistance to impacts, and durability, all whilst taking care to minimise weight. The resulting canoe has an unmatched structural memory; even after being folded around a rock, a T-Formex canoe will be able to return to its original shape with minimal distortion.
For many years Royalex was the best material on the market for whitewater canoes; when the manufacturer of Royalex ceased production in 2014, Esquif saw an opportunity to develop their own version in their home town of Québec, Canada. With 18 years of experience making Royalex canoes, Esquif wanted to create something that would allow them to use their existing moulds without compromising the toughness demanded by their customers.
Q: How does T-Formex compare against Royalex?
A: With a structure, weight, and strength that are similar to Royalex, you can confidently paddle your T-Formex canoe into all of the situations where you’d have taken your Royalex canoe. Esquif always used the strongest sheets of Royalex that were available and have been able to successfully match those properties with their new T-Formex sheets. Many Esquif customers have expressed the opinion that T-Formex is even tougher than Royalex was.
Canoeroots have published a review by Frank Wolf, written after he paddled his Esquif T-Formex Canyon 1800km over 44 days in the Canadian North: you can find the article here.
Q: What happens if I wrap my T-Formex canoe around a rock?
A: Every time a canoe wraps there are extraordinary forces at play, so depending on the specific situation you may break your gunwales, seats, and decks. As mentioned above, T-Formex has an excellent structural memory, so the hull should pop back into shape and remain intact (albeit with some creasing).
Q: Can I use the same outfitting and repair techniques that I used on my Royalex canoe?
A: Absolutely! You can use vinyl adhesives for gluing in outfitting, contact cement for foam kneepads, and epoxy resin for repairs.
Q: Which models will be available in T-Formex?
A: All Esquif canoes previously available in Royalex and Royalite can now be made in T-Formex. Please check our current listings to see what is available.