I managed by chance to get this board off a mate, who bought it for himself but felt it was a little too low in volume after all, lucky me.
For a 28L board with a much more generous nose outline and volume filling the front of the deck than a more even keel throughout, you'd be forgiven for thinking this thing would move like a boat.
Fast, smooth on rail and forgiving across flatter sections of the wave face. I've surfed this thing in the chop and cleaner conditions in WA and The Shadow performs like no board I have ever ridden.
At first it was a bit odd, feeling so much of the board under your front foot but I got used to it really quickly and soon realised how good it was. The wider outline and sneaky positioning of volume under the chest/foot definitely helped me paddle and get up onto the waves with ease, especially on some of the larger or steeper sets having that volume there just allows you to slot in tight on the rail down the face and recover.
There is a tiny little hip in the tail and coupled with a slightly tighter squash tail allows for a good bit of surfing off the back foot when you wish to release, whether that's on the face or off the lip.
I wouldn't say there is a negative, just getting used to the volume placement was an adjustment from riding boards with a more even or traditional spread.
As far as I am concerned this is one of the best boards I have ever ridden, if not the best. In clean or chop it performs to it's peak, it's forgiving and to be frank I think it's helped my surfing a great deal.
There's also a note that all stock orders come with a 5x4 team glassing and I have a mate who said he really felt a difference with heavier glass on a Chilli Faded (6x4oz) but I have not noticed anything when in the water. Pound for pound when you hold two different glassed boards, yeah there is a mild and noticeable difference in the weight but when you're in the sea, doesn't cross your mind.
I ride the stock dimensions and use the Octopus Is Real traction.