Nick Ward is a graduate student at the University of Washington and a member of its sailing team.
He has been riding BKB's demo mako 140 this winter, and recently posted this review of the hull on our local forum in Seattle. This guy is an awesome kiter to watch and hang out with, and has that sailing bug flowing through his veins...seems to beat me to the water all the time.
Thank you Nick for the input, it really helps craft even better gear for the future of this sport.
I've logged quite a few sessions on this board that Craig and BKB have generously let me borrow, so I thought I'd give my input on the board:
General Impressions: This board is one smooth ride. My first impression of the board before riding it was that it looked kind of silly and a little too big and heavy for my taste. After all, I'm a pretty small guy at 140 lbs. Boy was I wrong. The concave and rocker combo make the board slice through the water like a board half its size and carves hard turns like my favorite surfboard. I even had a lot of fun in the waves at Damon Point on it. "Cool, it's great for cruising and carving" I thought to myself, "but how does it like jumping?" That board is schweet in the air!! The board has legitimate pop and rough landings are a no-brainer. The board absorbs hard landings so well that you can be coming in hot as Hades, land, and carve to toeside or what-have-you no problemo.
My first session on it was in slightly underpowered conditions. The board has ridiculous low end and will keep you going upwind in less wind than you would normally ride a twintip...but if that's what you're looking for in a board you might as well go for the 150 instead; I haven't tried it, but I'm sure it's even better than the 140 in this department. The board also has endless top end! That day it was blowing 35-45 on Lake Washington I went out on the Mako for the 2nd time (remember my first session was in lightish wind, so I was under the impression this board was mostly fit for low end riding). I saw craig and asked, "Dude, I don't know man, I think I'll be way too lit to use this big board." "Trust me man, you'll love it," Craig told me. Here's some video from that day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_5O8gueYZo
The board handled amazingly in the huge wind and chop...in fact it performed so well that I changed my opinion from the board's main purpose being a light wind skunk killer to it's main purpose being a nuclear-chopfest killer :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: Watch the hot landing at 4:00 of that video..."Oh no, I'm hauling @$$, what do I do!? Oh. I'll just carve hard without worrying if I'll skid out...problem solved." (that's what went thru my mind).
The one other thing I like about it, is that you don't really notice its size when you're in the air either. I kept thinking it would feel like an anchor in the air, but that's just not the case. I had to give Craig back the board for awhile, then I got it back from him this weekend...It was like finding a long lost love. After going back to riding non-Mako boards for a little while, then switching back, I really noticed the differences. Oh yeah, and the footstraps are really comfy and keep your foot in like none other...I think they look just a tad dorky though, but that's irrelevant.
Other stuff: This may not be the board for you if you're trying to make it to the top ranks of the PKRA, but if you are looking for a board that rocks in nearly every aspect (freeriding, upwindability, waveriding, chop-killing, dare I say wakestyle (hey I was doing some raileys and s-bends on it with great success
)) then this is the board for you. I also got the chance to try the 134x34, which was realllllly sweet in very powered conditions, but doesn't have near the range of the mako wide. If I had to choose one board to use every single day for a year, it would probably be the Mako wide because it has so much range is such an all-around board.
Suggestions to Ocean Rodeo: I would really like to see a shorter version of the Mako wide. The 134x34's were just a little to skinny to be good as an all around board, but a 134x40 would be unreal. Also, I'm not a huge fan of the 09 graphics...they're a bit to flashy for my taste. I prefer a simple design with a basic (and not bright) color scheme. I may be in the minority on that though. Bottom line: as long as the board's sweet I'll ride it regardless of what it looks like...in fact I think one thing that some people can't over is that it looks so unusual....but that's why it rocks!