I proudly own a Kevlar Shadow (red), this boat was produced in 2002. This was an Ebay purchase, bought for $1397.50 plus shipping from S. Carolina, NEW. I got this boat online due to the great price and the lack of good service in the Inland Empire. I did not paddle this boat before buying it. I read alot and tried some other boats when and wherever I could. I like the Current Designs Caribou, and suggest anyone try these boats also before a purchase if you are looking at the Shadow or the Eclipse.
I am 5-10.5 and was 188 lbs. when I got my boat, and I loved the fit. I lost 15 lbs over the course of the summer and fall and still feel good about the fit. I was never clear on what the dimensions of a large paddler were or where the breakoff point existed to be a small paddler, so I figured out I really just wanted a boat that was easy to load solo, that I could maneuver with ease and would allow for an areobic workout for 2-3 hours at a time (fast). The boat had to be able to allow me to grow my skills. The Shadow has answered all my needs. I live in a area with 4 very good lakes in Northern Idaho, this boat has allowed me to see alot of shoreline. I seldom ever load the hatches with much more than jackets and shoes, however I do plan to try camping this coming season and I belive this boat will carry more than I can use in 2-3 days.
This boat is fast when the rudder is up, there is a definite drag felt when the rudder is in the water, however there is alot more stability too. I have paddled in high winds (20-35mph with higher gusts) and felt very comfortable with the boats stability. In choppy waters the boat is great. I appreciate how well this boat tracks at speed. I have had some issues with the edging too, I have practiced turning around markers and have found with a strong lean, while using the rudder and sweep stroke, I can get a pretty good turn out of the boat. I really enjoy surfing in the Shadow. This boat gets alot of attention too, I have come to my car when the boat is on top and had people just looking at it and asking questions. I can one hand the boat out the water which gets noticed and I always get compliments on the looks of the Shadow. I did not intend on buying a high profile boat, I like to paddle by myself and prefer to enjoy the outdoors quietly, but this boat is a great conversation piece to most people who appreciate what it is.
I put two dings in the boat which cracked the gel-coat and flexed the Kevlar weave(I really thought the hull was breached on one hit). They were easy to fix and are barely noticable. The material is awesome and super strong.
This boat may not be for everyone at first, but over time it grows on you, my family members that have not paddled had alot of stability issues at first, those that had paddled love the boat. My 8 year old daughter can move this boat around with ease in calm conditions. My 6'1" cousin fit in well too.
I give the boat a 9 outta 10, no boat is perfect or can do everything, but this one is close and has certainly met my expectations.