Riot Mako 10 Review


Riot Kayaks markets this sturdy, versatile pedal drive kayak as one of the lowest-priced models available with the pedal drive. It is made for day touring and fishing and is easy to transport at just 65 pounds with the impulse drive in place. The hull is filled with molded nooks and crannies to store gear, including a deep well with a bungee cord on the stern. The cockpit is open, with an adjustable padded seat. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of this unique kayak.

Pros: Riot Mako 10

The kayak assembles easily after unboxing. There are 2-rod holders on each side. The rudder control assembly mounts on the right side. It is possible to move the control to the left side if it interferes with your casting. The pedal assembly sits directly in front of the seat. The seat features back support, making the kayak more suitable for touring and longer excursions. The pedals and impulse drive, situated directly below the pedal, let you steer the kayak in reverse easily.

Another plus for the impulse drive is that the entire assembly weighs just 7.5 pounds. The drive features a plastic gear train, making it invulnerable to rust and corrosion.

The Riot Pedal Kayak gives a stable ride, even when crossing over wakes from speedboats. There is an ergonomic handle built into the bow, making it easy to pull the kayak. Riot provided 2 deck hatches–an 8 inch deck hatch, and a 6 inch access hatch in back. There are four grab handles on the side of the kayak to aid with carrying and launching. If you like to stand up when casting your line, the 36 inch wide deck is stable enough for that. The Mako measures 10 feet 4 inches from bow to stern.

One of Riot’s main points of difference is its shell construction. Any Riot product page will mention cross-light and cross-max construction. We were able to find definitions of both terms on the website’s FAQ page. Cross-light means the kayak is made of polyethylene, while cross-light is ABS-capped acrylic. The Mako 10, according to the product page, uses both cross-max and cross-light construction. This is what gives the kayak the right combination of stiffness and rigidity. It also keeps total weight down and makes the shell durable. This kayak will last a long time under regular use and changing weather conditions.

The Mako 10 is designed for 1 person. It can hold up to 470 pounds, including you and your gear. The cockpit is open, so your legs and lower body are not surrounded by the shell. The propeller assembly is easy to take off, which you will typically need to do to transport the kayak once you leave the water. On-board deck rigging helps you with storage and setting up rods, or paddles if you opt to use them. Handling is smooth, and tracking is usually accurate thanks to the rudder assembly. This kayak will serve you well for fishing trips but is cost-effective versus other impulse drive models we have seen.

Cons: Riot Mako 10

The spacing of the seat and pedals make the Mako difficult to use for anyone taller than 6’5”. Also, the lightweight can sometimes interfere with tracking. There are no footrests to place your feet on when not pedaling. Some kayakers will wish they had a higher seat, and the Mako does not have extra lumbar support. Some users reported the deck bending slightly when they stood on it for casting. The kayak cuts through the water slowly, and sometimes sharp turns put a noticeable strain on the system. If you want a kayak for multi-day paddling trips or use in choppy waters, you may have to spend a bit more money on yours.

Perfect Fit

The Riot Mako 10 is perfect for kayak enthusiasts who want to go on a regular weekend or long weekend trips. If you live near a lake or other body of water, you can easily pack the kayak up and use it several times a week. More than one reviewer we found said they use their Mako for exercise and relaxation. It is inexpensive enough that you do not have to use it only for angling and touring.

While pedal kayaks are primarily built for fishing, we find that many pure fishermen prefer either the Hobie or one of the others in our pedal kayak buying guide. For that reason, the Riot Mako 10 is un

If you do want to fish and tour, perhaps spending a whole day on the lake, the Mako 10 will not disappoint. If you do not have extra long legs and are under six feet or so, you will be able to pedal as much as you need to without cramping or getting fatigued. You will be able to track through some heavy water, like speedboat wakes, although the kayak is not suited to white water rafting. You can transport the kayak in a pickup truck, or pull it behind a larger boat with an electric motor. The pull handle on the bow is sturdy and easy to tie off to.

The four-rod holders also lend themselves to sport fishing. They make it easy to stow multiple rods. There are plenty of wells and openings for fishing tackle and gear, too. This may not be the main kayak for seasoned fishing enthusiasts, but it will serve well as an extra or backup. It is rare to find an impulse drive kayak at a comparable price.

Final Verdict

We can recommend the Riot Mako 10 kayak to anyone wanting an easy to use, lightweight craft with steering, pedals, and a propeller propulsion system. It is easy to handle and transport, with a durable shell and low overall weight. The kayak is easy to assemble, even with the drive system.

The hand controls attach to an accurate rudder which helps with keeping course. There is ample onboard storage, and the 470-pound weight capacity means you can bring anything you need along. Whether you are an angler or just looking for exercise and relaxation, this is an economical kayak that can meet your needs.

See you on the water!

Article Author
Robert Walker has been a Kayak enthusiast for over a decade. He's owned several different Kayak's, but only recently got into Pedal Kayaks in the last few years. This website is Robert's way of sharing his passion for Pedal Kayak's with the world.