We have used a friend's Paradise quite a bit and love it. We have found that the shorter length makes it easier to turn, even if it doesn't track as straight as a longer boat. We are more than willing to make that trade off.
Occasionally we bang paddles, but only if my partner in the back is making a correction and I am paddling straight. I don't know that I would want to take it on long trips due to the lack of storage capacity, but for playing around at the lake it is great. I have also paddled solo and love it, I can actually kick my feet out to the sides and get unstuck if I take it into too shallow a spot. It paddles nicely from the middle, but I have not tried any other position solo.