Group: Super Administrators
Joined: Jan. 2004
||Posted: Oct. 14 2005,19:07
Well it's been just about a month, give or take since the Mako XT hit saltwater. And, knock on wood, I'm finally, finally beginning to actually be able to relax a bit. My occasional low braces are relatively infrequent and momentary. I've begun to find and trust the secondary that really is there (to a point).
So what do I have to say bout getting into a very high performance surfski? Here goes:
It's a challenge. Believe me there have been not just a few days on the water when I really wondered if I'd gone a bit too far - pressed the edge, so to speak, just one time too many. But not so. I'm finally beginning to relax, to trust the Mako, to neither under or overreact to it's lively ride, and to really enjoy the experience.
I'm not completely there yet, and have yet to go out in truly challenging conditions, but I can see it happening. It is all about watertime. A surfski does require your active attention, demands effective J and C-leans, and good paddling and bracing skills and reactions. Not for the lazy or faint of heart.
But it is worth all the work. Full out racing skis are faster, but the Mako XT really does fly. I've caught a few wakes and it takes off like a bat on fire. Some practical advice:
In the beginning I pushed hard and moved into rougher waters too soon; in retrospect I'd suggest you get throroughly comfy in dead smooth water, then slowly experience wavelets, wind, small wakes. Hold the chop, big waves til later. Allow yourself to build confidence, to relax, and to trust. Center yourself and sink into the ski, trust it and resist overcorrection. Find the edge, practice J-leans and C-leans side to side.
It won't be long that you'll settle in and accommodate, find the edge. And you'll start to be able to apply power and feel the speed. It is an awesome feeling. Like no kayak, even a fast one.
Last note: the Mako XT has been a great entry into the world of surfskis. It is totally competent, built for big surf, and really quite fast while retaining sufficient stability enough to benefit the novice and intermediate. Thus it fills a unique dual niche - that of a good training ski - which is also a competent intermediate racer. That is quite unique.
Had I purchased a true racing ski, it is entirely possible it would be up for sale - this happens to many. With the XT I own a ski that I will be unlikely to outgrow but which is friendly enough for those who wish to successfully enter this world.
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