I seemed to have lost all the pictures we took of the Ja Mako. I'll have to try and find them on the camera this evening...anyway. The Ja Mako, at 4'11" is seemingly small by description, but when you have it in your hands, it's a BIG BOARD. It's wide and thick and has plenty of volume and surface area. I'm in the 180 range and it's more board than I need. We also put Dennis on the board, Dennis is 250+ and while he was able to ride it, it wasn't enough board for him.
For me, the down the line speed was impressive. I can't remember a board that has more drive. I took the trailer fin out and it loosens the board up tremendously and also diminishes the drive. I think for folks in the 200+ pound range the extra drive would be desirable.
Judy also rode the board and she's - 105 soaking wet. The board is actually taller than her.
She was able to flip it up and ride without problems. As she described it, the ride was effortless. At one point she flew down the face and out into the flats, at least 4 feet beyond the edge of the boat, then gracefully just scooted back into the pocket. The rails release water very smoothly and the surface area of this board is unique in the market, at this length.
What the board does for larger folks is give them the ability to slaysh. Hard top and bottom turns don't catch the nose in the flats or on the transition, as is usually the case with longer boards. Also, this board would allow riding in much smaller wakes. I was able to stall the board all the way back to where the tail of the board was in the foam at the back of the pocket and then bring it back forward.
Due to it's increased width, rail to rail moves require more effort than say my 4'5" that's 20 inches wide, but it's not impossibly hard...the concept is that you have to WANT to make the move. However, in comparison to other boards designed for bigger guys, this board rips. Most other products that are designed to meet this size and weight range are more "cruiser" oriented. The Ja Mako is a performance board, if you want it to be.
As I've said before with Shred Stixx products, they are complete. Full EVA Traction and nose and tail guards. It's the attention to detail that REALLY sets the Shred Stixx products apart.
If I had one complaint it was the placement of the EVA foam patches. The gap was a bit wide for my toes and I would catch one in between two sections.
If you're in Jerry's area, and meet the boards weight recommendations, you really owe yourself a demo on the Ja Mako. If you're wanting a better surf style ride, but can't fit on a 4'6", you'll buy this Ja Mako after a demo.