At A Glance
The Mako, Ocean Rodeo’s renowned signature board, has recently undergone a revamp and we were excited to be able to test it out.
Presented as a surf-orientated twin tip, the Mako doesn’t look like a modern-day kiteboard, in fact, you may think it’s from a different era. A continuously curved rail from the center to the very rounded tips combined with the largest concave you have ever seen in a kiteboard, let alone a twin tip. Fins: two. Nope you’re not missing anything from the box, it’s a twin fin set up, centered at each tip.
Built to withstand the rocky shores of Canada the Mako feels solid and oozes quality. I must admit, I was I so stoked to head out kiting, that in the process of running out of the door I smacked it into the doorframe. Thoroughly upset with myself, and saddened to have hit a new board against the wall, I looked down dreading some damage. To my surprise, nothing, not even a faint scratch, and certainly no damage to the ABS sidewall. Thanks to Ocean Rodeo for building solid gear and saving my bacon this time!
The Mako comes in 4 sizes: 135 x 37, 140 x 40, 150 x 40 and 165 x 44cm. Each with a distinct colour way and all boards come complete with the Bliss Air pads and straps.
On The Water
The first thing you will notice with the new Mako is how comfortable the Bliss Air straps and footpads are. Super easy to adjust, even when on the water. They are fairly chunky in height from the board, but that’s not necessarily a downside, it just means a whole lot more cushioning for your feet.
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When you first head out on a Mako it's important to take riding it from a different approach; it doesn’t have the same flex characteristics, and it's not going to fling off the water for a backmobe like a wake style twin tip (and nor is it designed to). This board is an out-and-out freeride carving stick.
Riding the Mako is super smooth, it glides over chop and soaks up every impact. You tend to ride it off the fins in a more upright position than you would a regular twin tip, carving and flowing from rail-to-rail. Transfers like this are butter smooth and super fun. Carving down the face of choppy onshore waves, and even throwing in a few heavy slashes, the Mako held its own. Linking turns with finesse and it didn’t bite or slip out once.
Response from the Mako is actually a lot better than I was expecting. Initially I thought it was going to be a fairly basic cruiser, but actually the Mako can, and does, perform exceptionally well when you chuck a little more at it. We had the 140cm out on the water and found boosting, aggressive carves and even toeside moves a doddle.
The Mako may not be for everyone; it’s different, but it’s meant to be. It’s a whole heap of fun and can turn what might have been a fairly dull session with average conditions, into something that bit special, leaving you grinning. It might not even be your daily board, but if you ride messy waves, clean breaks, choppy slop, flat water, or a general mix of conditions and just want something smooth, that carves down the faces of waves and is capable of being thrown into a bundle of old-school moves then it should definitely be on your list of boards to try.
I was very pleasantly surprised and thoroughly impressed. Generally I sway towards freestyle and big air as my main focus, but on the Mako I went back to the good old days and had an absolute blast, busting toeside combos and chucking some board-offs. The size of the Mako you choose is going to vary depending on your style. The 140 and 135 are ideal for smaller riders and those looking for more trick potential. The 150 and 165 aimed at slightly larger riders, or for those with a focus on riding waves and large ocean swells. The larger Mako boards are a perfect addition to your stable for cruising in light winds too.
The whole package is incredibly well-built, as I inadvertently found out with the doorframe, and should see you through many years of fun sessions.
“It’s different, but it’s meant to be”
This review was in Issue 65 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Ocean Rodeo