I have board surfed for 30 plus years and was serious white…
I have board surfed for 30 plus years and was serious white water kayaker for 10 yrs. Just picked up an old used Mako. Absolutely love it. It is more boat and surf board which I like. It is not only good on the waves but also for flat water paddles. Very comfortable with plenty of leg and foot room. Even has foot pegs instead of the confining foam blocks that some boats have. Easy to carve turns and no fins make for easy entry and exit. No fins is really not an issue with this boat. If you want to catch lots of waves, carve up and down the waves, and are not obsessed with catching air this could be the boat for you. I am 5'6" and 165lb and the boat is plenty big for me. And rolling is easy. I would love another one to get my brother into surf kayaking however they seem to be hard to come by on the west coast.
Very forgiving boat when turning in the surf, goes very smoothly…
- Very forgiving boat when turning in the surf, goes very smoothly from edge to edge.
- Very fast on a wave, the fastest kayak I have experienced surfing on the green face of a wave.
- Very fast and easy to catch waves.
- Very fast and easy to get out through big waves in the break.
- Good for heavier paddlers, I'm 5'8 and weigh 205 lbs with gear.
- My boat does not have fins, you have to use your paddle as the fin, not as easy to climb on steep wave faces, tends to want to flat spin when you reach terminal velocity, so you have to keep the boat on edge to keep it tracking.
- It's a little too long for maneuvering in steep surf.
- It wants to pearl on nearly every wave, you have to take off fairly diagonally and tip out of pearls.
- Hard to roll. Requires doing a lay back sweep roll for me, with extended paddle.
- The cockpit is a very, very tight fit. I've got banged up a few times now getting out of it in crashing surf and once having to wet exit in shallow water after losing my paddle.
All in all it's a very fun surf kayak, an old classic design now. Not for beginner surfers but a great find if you can get one used. If I was going to spend $2000 for a new surf kayak I think I would get a shorter boat like the Aquarius.