Adrienne Levnecht paddles one- she's about 5'2", 130. She is however a Dagger sponsored paddler and is super strong. Here's what she had to say when I was trying to decide on a new boat (actually I was sorta complaining to Jackson about not making a small nirvana and dagger for not making a small phantom and she chimed in )
"It’s all about perception with size and boats. I paddle the phantom which is 90 gallons and don’t have a problem. It’s about edge and boat control at that point. Go even further down the road, a green boat for example, even more volume but people who weigh 130 seem to manage and Paddle it just fine. Pad it out, I sit on two seat pads in my phantom, I also have a buttload of foam in front of my bulkhead. So what I’m really saying is, just because you think it’s too big, don’t judge it for it’s size until you spend some time in it."
I paddled some bigger boats in Chile (Zet Toro, Waka Tuna, Waka Gangsta). I liked them a lot but they ultimately felt too big. I could pad them out all I wanted but that didn't change the fact that they're huge boats and I was too light for them. It felt like a lot of work to move them around on technical creeks and I decided I wanted a bit smaller boat that still had all the nice modern features (I also came from a Medium Mamba 8.1. I'm 5'8", 140). I ended up with a small Machno. It paddles exactly how I expected it to and it's everything I was hoping for- it's a dream to paddle, with the exception of the outfitting. WTF Pyranha, when are you going to figure that shit out?! It's hard to give up the dagger outfitting for sure. Maybe also check out the Waka Stout or Tutea? I almost went with the Tutea, but they're hard to come by with only a couple shipments a year, and I found the Machno on sale... kinda regretting the decision just based on the shitty outfitting, but I'm working on it.