I made the switch from an 8.1 Nomad to a small Shiva and I can honestly say, I'm glad I made the leap. The nomad is a great boat, but after a week in the Shiva, I am sold on the Shiva.
There were a few things I had to get used to in making the transition... The Shiva is a little longer, has a little more volume, and a slightly stronger edge in the back, but it disappears beautifully as it creeps towards the front of the boat. These were all things I was looking forward to, but again, a transition period ensued.
First off, the Shiva is fast! It holds a line beautifully. If I found myself off line (which I often do), with a few quick, strong strokes, I could scramble quickly back to where I wanted/needed to be.
It paddles 'lightly'. It's very responsive and easy to maneuver, whether it be a class II or V rapid.
I am both excited and confident to charge ahead with this boat.
I loved my nomad - I didn't think I could possibly ever like another creek boat as much, but I've been proven wrong.
Over the past week I paddled the Green, Cheoah, Johnnies, Little River Canyon, and did two overnighters on the Chattooga. All runs I've done multiple times in the Nomad. I didn't run any rapids I'd never run before, but I can honestly say that I hit some of the biggest boofs of my life this past week. The Shiva carries a little more speed and allows you to just absolutely SEND IT.
Lastly, in regards to the overnighters we did, the Shiva was incredible in terms of packing, and paddling with weight.
If you're in the market for a new boat, or thinking of making a change, the Shiva is not to be overlooked - Be sure to give it a try and decide for yourself!