TEST TEAM NOTES
The Mako Duke appears, at 5’4”, to be a very scaled down mini-mal sort of surfboard shape. Very full in both the nose and the tail, where it differs from a mini-mal – apart from its obvious shorter length – is the large concave underneath that comes from its Mako heritage. A deck pad covers the entire deck and the Futures fin boxes always stand up well to any accidental jams knocks.
First thing to note is how comfortable and quick to plane the Duke is. We’re confident that even first time surfboard riders could get on with this pretty quickly. The deep concave also makes charging out over chop or white water smooth, quick and controllable. Proper wave boards can begin to feel quite chattery in choppier waters, but the Duke was obviously designed with these conditions in mind. It also absolutely flies upwind compared to a regular wave board as there’s good volume spread throughout the board, especially at the back, but the rails are also much straighter, too, so there’s grip pretty much the entire length from nose to tail. The Duke also has nice, soft rails and this all adds up to a stable, grippy but comfortable ride, even when ridden at full power.
ACTION SHOT Photo: Todd MacSween
The huge deck pad makes sense when you’re sending the Duke off chop and we got some of the biggest strapless airs we’ve ever done. Matt is tall at 6’2” and explained that the big front deck pad and volume up front really helped – if you’ve ever accidentally landed with your front foot forward of the padded or waxed area, you’ll know how unnerving that feels and you can get away with so much more on a solid, short board that has plenty of volume throughout allowing for clumsy foot placement without fear of digging the nose in or slipping off. In other words it’s forgiving. Being heavier and riding with a wide stance, Matt wasn’t penalised. Some surfboards have a tendency to stick to the water, whereas this is very happy to pop and come up with your feet, which makes a big difference to your progression and how quickly you feel that you can try things. It’s well built, but it’s not heavy – a nice combination.