I loved my Mako King, but… believe it or not - recently sold it.
Probably a month ago this would have sounded like an absolutely crazy idea. Mako King was super fun from the first ride… unlike my other board, a true directional. I couldn’t figure out how to ride that one even after several weeks (even months), and that is despite the fact that Mako King is the closest thing to a directional board. I was so frustrated, and was just about to sell the directional, when suddenly… IT HAPPENED: the ride became smooth, the upwind angle became unreal, carving, and even jumps became better. At that point the directional was the only thing I wanted to ride. I took Mako King a few times, but each time it felt too uncomfortable (same issues that many others have mentioned: no ducking, and too stiff straps that hurt).
That was then when Mako King lost any point for me. So I sold it.
So here are my conclusions. Mako King is indeed the best investment you can make if you want to transition to a true directional. The progress you can make on this board is unparalleled, especially learning to ride toeside. However, this is just a learning board (as I see it, of course). As someone well said on kiteforum.com: Mako King is VERY good in many aspects (e.g. riding in light winds, or carving like a directional), but does NOT really excel in any of them in particular.
And the last advantage of Mako King - the board almost doesn’t depreciate, and is very easy to sell
I want to thank OR for making such a fantastic board! However, it’s time to move on…