So just stumbled upon a deal…seeing as I cannot justify two boats I need to pick. I currently paddle a kevlar WS cape horn 15. I absolutely love this boat. I just picked up a perception shadow 16.5 in kevlar as well. I’m thinking I can sell my WS for about 1000 dollars and pocket the difference and still have a fun boat. The Shadow however is marketed as a “small persons” boat. I fit in it with room to spare I’m 6’ 180lbs. I also wear a 12 shoe and can comfortably move my feet in socks. So what I’m trying to determine is what makes this a small persons boat? Or maybe I qualify as a small paddler? I don’t overnight and with the new job I will only get out a couple times a month for a few hours? (I will paddle them both before I make my decision but what to know if there is a tech reason I should not buy this boat)

The weight often used for the “average” American male is 170 pounds, but that’s probably obsolete as we get fatter. As I recall, the Shadow was marketed for small-to-average paddlers, and the Eclipse was for average-to-large. There’s always some overlap. The designs also assumed that you’d be carrying some gear.

So your weight’s fine, and if you fit and like it, that’s all that matters.

I love that Perception kevlar Shadow
I am 5’-9" and lusted for the one I tried out back a few years ago, but unfortunately I am hooked on my QCC-700, and the Shadow would probably take a back seat to it.

Jack L

I played with it some more and dug through the archives here, it looks like the cockpit is about 2" lower on the inside. I don’t think that will make a difference. I’m going to paddle them side by side tommorow and see how I feel about it then. The shadow is a skinnier longer boat then my Cape Horn. Its also got that crazy yellow to red fade out paint job. The Shadow also has a 100 pound heavier suggested pay load…so might not be a bad boat for me.

Well don’t know if anybody cares but I’ll post it anyway. I think that the reviews on here are pretty spot on. I paddled the shadow vs the cape horn today back to back. Had a first, ended up falling out of the shadow just getting in it LOL. The shadow tracked horribly (review) was extremely unstable feeling (review) very cramped (review) and really really slow (review). So glad I had my Cape there to remind me how much I love paddling and how great it can be. The rudder steering system was also near impossible to comfortably use with my big feet. (this is where the boat is marketed to smaller paddlers) So seems my great deal did not pan out so well. I’ll give the boat credit though its really really pretty.

You’ve done the right thing by trying
each boat. Very seldom will any boat fit two people the same way, as you’ll see by the answers from folks that have paddled for years. We’re all individuals.