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Submitted: 10-11-1999 by G.L.
I paddled a Shadow in both plastic and composite. In the semi calm waters of the intercoastal and lake area, I found that both tracked extreamly well without a rudder. However other boats have felt less good in the tracking department in these same conditions. The initial stability of the plastic version is slightly less than the fiberglass, the fiberglass being about perfect and the plastic version being somewhat sensitive to placing your hips in the exact center of the seat to keep from an inadvertant but miniscule lean. The miniscule lean will not affect the boat in any way but a small to moderate lean will initiate a small to moderate turn. This is about as one would hope. The boats are both rather fast and responsive to the first stroke unlike some longer boats that dont get under way untill you really start paddling. Be carefull with these boats if your feet are long. My feet are size 9 and if your feet are any bigger than 10, I would test the boat carefully. The cockpit!
is good and snug, letting you feel that you are really wearing the boat. I am 5'9" and 155 lbs and the cockpit is perfect for me. Another paddler was about 5'10" and 170 and he told me at a symposium that the boat was just about perfect for him too. If I could afford the composite I would be confident that there are not many better boats, nor more attractive. The plastic version is also attractive for its niche, and the addition of a metal pole, running down the length, seems to make the boat faster than other boats with similar dimensions. I am not sure how tall would be too tall for this "smaller persons boat" but I suspect it would be about 6 feet tall or over 185 lbs. Your hips could be quite wide as in a medium tall woman with very wide hips and you would still enjoy the boat. All in all a very good effort by Perception that I am told has changed little in 15 years.
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