Squalyboy's Makaka 9 footer ride report

" Now for a proper ride report!Well, almost anyway...Keep in mind that I'm not the best surfer so I'm only able to comment on how well the board handles me.I'm not quite qualified to test the abilities of the board.So with all proper disclaimers aside;I managed to get out yesterday afternoon while we still had the last remnants of some really nice surf. I missed the best part of the day and by the time I got out the waves were getting a bit flat and mushy. Between sets the ocean was like glass.The first thing I noticed is that in spite of the size and buoyancy of this board it duck dives nicely.Actually the very first thing I noticed is that the board is heavy as hell to carry but we've covered that already.Next thing is that once I got past the breakers and in to paddling mode the board paddles extremely well.I was scooting around to position myself in the waves with very little effort.I also notice that the board accelerates almost freakishly.One or two hard paddles to overcome inertia and after that it’s all acceleration.I had to be careful not to outrun the wave.I'm used to paddling for my life and having the wave pass me by anyway.With this board, after those fist two or three pumps I'm off and running and it’s just a matter of matching my speed to the wave.Another thing I notice is that the board handles very well on a late takeoff. There was one wave where I was about to go over the falls. I instinctively went to bail out but before I did I noticed that the board was taking me into the wave. I was expecting the nose to dip under and launch me into a death tumble with my board but it never did. The nose stayed up and instead I held on and got a pretty nice belly ride. Had I not panicked I could easily have ridden that wave.So the net result is if I'm in good position I have plenty of acceleration for an early takeoff. If I’m in bad position I can practically let the wave break on my back and still come out riding.The shape of the board takes a small amount of adjustment to my normal style of riding.I’m used to standing a bit further back and having a lot of board out in front of me.With this board, in these mushy waves at least, if you stand too far back it gets a bit squirrely. If you find the sweet spot a little further up on the board though it’s very stable. Like standing on a deck and yet still easy to turn.I imagine that if I was a better surfer I could take advantage of that "squirrelyness" and translate it into some very responsive turns.Roy had mentioned something about pumping the board get more speed out of it. I didn’t get a chance to try that. In fact I forgot all about it until I was on the way home. I almost turned back but it was getting late and I was pretty much frozen to the core by then.Even without pumping this was easily the fastest board I’ve ever ridden.So to summarize I am in LOVE with this board!It seems to have all the best qualities of both a short board and a long board.It handles the beach break like a short board but has all the paddling and wave catching ability of a long board.I’ll just have to get back into the gym so I can carry the damn thing to and from the car without wheezing like the old bastard that I am.Oh and man does this thing attract attention!Don’t build one of these if you’re shy about answering endless questions.“Wow, where did you get THAT thing!” “Nice board, how does she ride?” What kind of fin setup is that?” “Is that an antique?” “Isn’t the point supposed to be in the front?”… ".