Monday, March 22, 2021

How I Made The Decision To Buy The Riot Mako Air

Excerpted and edited from an email I sent my adult children to give the background on my purchase of the Mako Air:

...Over the past several weeks I’ve enjoyed the kayak rabbit hole – and explored all five kinds (sit inside – also called recreational, sit-on-top (SOT), inflatable, touring (usually longer than 12′ and tighter entries), and pedaling. I even did in-the-water testing (Scappoose Bay) on two SOT kayaks this morning – each with the two competing pedal system drives (one a propeller like on the Mako – and on the other the pedals push two underwater fins). 

I found it quite interesting that to date all pedal kayaks are almost completely the domain of fisherman – as they allow hands free maneuvering. I questioned every sales/support person I met about their opinions on why they haven’t yet caught on among recreational and SOT kayakers especially with the current focus on cycling for fitness (rather than building upper body strength with an oar). The answers were variations of “people like to do what they have always done,” “pedals are new to the market,” and “the price point eliminates many buyers.” As you might imagine, the local stores carry very few pedal craft – Portland Kayak Company had only one – in green/brown camo for the fisherman.

For me – this Riot Mako Air was the perfect combination of convenience, stability, uniqueness, and nostalgia (I loved our lake paddle boat). I also think it might be brilliant to be able to put in at one spot – spend the day floating to another and then take it out, and call an Uber to get back to the starting point where the car/truck is parked. The photo on the web site also gave me the idea of packing a tent/sun screen (so I ordered this automatic pop up one and decided to add this portable/packable toilet.  I plan to also get this very inexpensive ($21) pop up toilet tent and these waste bags as more convenient/lighter options when I don't anticipate much shore time during my outing/adventure.  I like the idea of having a shore toilet with me rather than having to plan my trip/adventure around finding a toilet or limiting my water intake. 

We’ll see how all these plans work out...


Background For This Blog

 Welcome to my blog about the Riot Mako Air pedal kayak (sometimes called the 9.5, the 9, and the 8.5 but all believed to be the same product - which is actually 8.5' x 3')

 On March 21, 2021 I bought one - $1799 at Next Adventures, Portland, Oregon.

My Mako Air - March 27, 2021 - Williamette River, Portland, Oregon

While unboxing and setting it up, I made videos - which I plan to post here in the coming weeks. Thereafter I'll post info about my first usage.  If anyone has videos or information they would like to add - please get in touch.  

Be aware that the shipping box identifies it as the Mako Air 8.5 - and that is its correct length notwithstanding it being called both 9 and 9.5 in various promotionals. It is also 36" wide notwithstanding the company’s own web site info (here - as of March 28, 2021, the specifications had been corrected but the photos were still of a preproduction model that includes fishing rod holders). In addition, I was told by Next Adventures' staff that none of the ones shipped to them came with the carrying case, the paddle leash, nor the rod holders (the photos on Riot's Teaser (previously here but as of March 28, 2021, it had been removed - maybe because I contacted distributor - more on that in separate posting) show rod holder mounts which are also not present).  I'll update here on Riot Kayak's response to my inquiries about obtaining the missing parts.  It also didn't come with any instructions - though it was easy to assemble and tools are included except for a needed philips head screwdriver. If any owners read this, please get in touch so we might start a owner's group. I am looking forward to enjoying it - and I am not a fisherman - but happy to have all who are interested in the Riot Mako Air represented here.

Happy to answer questions - please write to me at