I just received my Mako Wide yesterday and got to say that so far I've got mixed feelings about it. I took it out in semi-powered conditions today with small to moderate chop and very small waves for about an hour. I've been riding a CrazyFly all around 145x49 for the past year and before that a custom 155x45 and a Litewave 145. I weigh 245 and have been kiting for 8 years. I'm just your average point A to point B kiter, I prefer open ocean swells and waves, nothing fancy. This is by no means my final evaluation of the board, just my first reactions:
What I liked:
Construction of the board from what I could see is very good and the design has, what my wife describes as, a surfboard look to it. Although the board's design is unconventional, I think it's pretty nice looking over all. The rails are fairly thick and semi-rounded which makes transitions super easy/smooth. Although the pads are stick ons and not contoured or very thick, I usually prefer this type because I tend to move my feet/heels while switching stance and riding waves.
I had no problems making progress upwind, but after kiting in Hawaii for 8 years going upwind is second nature on just about any board. From the beach my wife said I looked like I was moving pretty quickly, and although it's hard to judge from one session, it did seem that I was moving a bit faster than I would normally.
What I didn't like:
The straps are an absolute pain in the a** to install, took me an hour to get the last screw in... argh. The installation is further complicated by the fact that the inserts are brass and the screws are stainless steel. Cross thread an insert and you're screwed (literally
). The straps also seemed pretty long, oversized in fact, possibly because most of OR's customers wear booties. I found the straps to be too tall for my size 12 feet (no booties) and adjusting them to a smaller size would be real difficult because of how hard it is to reinstall the screws. At the end of an hour on the water I had bruises on both insteps from the straps hitting my feet wrong. Maybe I've got weird feet, but I haven't run into this problem before.
The jury's still out:
I found the board to be a pretty rough, skippy ride compared to my CrazyFly. Although the Mako has flex, it did seem that each time my back foot landed from a small bit of chop it was a harder, sharper landing than what I'm used to. Plus it seemed that my back foot slid out a fair bit more than I'm used to. I was expecting, based on what I read here, for this board to "eat chop" and I didn't seem to experience any of that today.
Although there weren't any real waves today, I did try to carve on some small faces and the board does have a different feel to it, not sure if I'd call it "surfboard like" but definitely different from the few twin tips I've ridden recently.
Hard to form any definite opinions on a board after one session, hopefully I'll get another go later this weekend. I just hope my feet can take the punishment...