Since 2002 the Mako has enjoyed an unassailable reputation and cult following as the ultimate ‘real world’ twin-tip. Whether you ride it in short-fetch chop, the leeward shore of a lagoon or rolling ocean waves, the experience is the same: ultra smooth freeride performance. What’s the secret? The deepest concave (18mm) of any twin-tip in production combined with rounded tips, down-turned rails and a perfectly tuned rocker line. The Mako delivers a powerful fluid carving experience and a dependable rail for stratospheric boosting. Available in four different sizes, the Mako lineup offers freeride enthusiasts of all backgrounds a board suited to their riding style and size while the wood core ensures your board will survive the rough and tumble of coastal conditions that this board is built to perform in.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
First of all, full marks to Ocean Rodeo for having stuck with this pure freeride design for ten years. It has nothing to do with current trends and fashions, it dares to be different and there are a dedicated group of passionate riders who year on year continue to choose the riding experience that the Mako offers. We will be meeting some of them next issue.
So what’s the coo? Well first of all it’s built to last. Robust snowboard construction with a rougher durable base and a tough plastic top sheet which is polished and sprayed. There is nothing not to like about it – it’s smart, tidy, strong and, although understated in its appearance, the attention to detail is there with a great finish. There’s even a rough grippy section at the end for when you’re grabbing the nose/tail of the board. It’s a quality bit of gear.
Looking at the extremely rounded tips which are a pure freeride shape – you’re never going to get sprayed in the face and they provide a lush, soft, smooth feel. The long fairly straight rails turn down to meet the massive single concave underneath, which provides a very soft and comfortable ride, as if on a pocket of air, but don’t confuse ‘freeride’ to mean easy or beginner. This is a specialist model with the appropriate performance for riders looking for a special kind of riding experience. It’s actually a fairly technical ride to start with but once you click with it you can really start to enjoy its potential.
Getting up and going there’s a bit of looseness in the Mako, and on your first run it takes a few yards to work out your body position and your weight adjustment over the board as it is a bit different to a regular twin-tip, with much more of an even foot pressure requirement. The Mako is really easy to disconnect and release from the water, so for pops, airs, transitions and board slides it’s a great experience and you can ride with the freedom to hit and bash different bits of lumps and bumps at will. There is loads of involvement in the ride; you don’t just plant your back foot in and wait to turn round at the other end. Get your edge in, get balanced and the Mako has a lovely drive and tonnes of grip for loading up for boosts, too. Find that sweet biting point and there’s lots of lovely feedback and riding sensations. It will really hold and hold and cranks you upwind nicely considering there are only two fins, however that long rail works hard all the time. Landing isn’t quite as solid as you may be used to, but the Mako can handle plenty of speed and that concave soaks up a lot of impact, but as with the ride it’s a slightly adapted technique, but not difficult and then as usual you need to get back on your edge pretty smartly.
The Mako is so much faster than a board with that much concave should be. Very light feeling too as it doesn’t stick to the water, but our absolute favourite element was carving from heel to toeside. Compared to a regular twin-tip it feels slippier at first on your heel-side, but then you’ll be surprised that your natural toe-side riding position when carving is just perfectly matched to the rail and concave set-up. The Mako really grips, holds and powers brilliantly around a turn, easily blasting you through 180 degrees and ready to smack some faces or pop off the back of them. Throw some shapes!
Requiring a slightly adapted technique, the Mako is a hugely rewarding ride for a great many riders out there that really enjoy the feeling of riding powered-up, hooked-in and with the freedom of an outback snowboarder looking to take advantage of as varied terrain as possible. Suited to the majority of windy, wavey, choppy beaches out there it turns mush into lush.
A highly involving ride for the right kind of kiter and a legitimately smooth, solid toe-side carve.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
You can unhook and knock out some basic tricks on this, but a regular twin-tip is more forgiving in terms of off-balance landings when you initially need a flatter surface to find your feet. But then you try carving a regular twin-tip like you can the Mako… so this is a pay-off you’ll have to work out if you like the sound of.
MAKO BALANCE POINTS:
Build quality: 9
Fixtures and fittings: 8
Slider proof: N/A
SIZES: 165 x 44, 150 x 40, 140 x 40, 135 x 37 and 130 x 35cm
More info at: www.oceanrodeo.com
THIS BOARD FEATURED IN ISSUE #69