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Mast length windsurf vs surf vs kite

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Matteo V
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Mast length windsurf vs surf vs kite

Postby Matteo V » Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:44 pm

I have a friend (about 85kg) that is talking about getting a foil of the size I want to upgrade to. I need a bigger wing as I am 100+kg (my only current foil is the original LF Foilfish. So this is my opportunity to try a bigger wing in local conditions. But I want him go get the right setup as he also intends to try to windsurf it, or possibly try to paddle surf it.

The larger surf/windsurf Naish foils come with a 55cm mast. But their kite foil comes with a 90cm. Personally, I do not like short masts less than 85cm because of wind waves and boat chop. But my hydrofoil experience is mostly limited to kitefoiling.

Any reason that you would not want a larger mast for surf/windsurf? Or rather, if you had one mast length choice for a wing you were going to use across all sports, what would it be? Long, or short?

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Re: Mast length windsurf vs surf vs kite

Postby BWD » Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:10 pm

I got a 71cm mast with kf box head, and a plate adapter that adds about 3cm. Bit of adjustment in flying height first session, compared to old 90 cm one, but does work for me in chop. Not like a 90cm+, but it works. Shallower draft, lighter weigbt and responsive feel is nice.
If I needed to go shorter for surf or SUP I would remove the plate and drop a kf box into the board. It would be lighter too that way...

Rode a friends 60cm mast last year, and did feel it was too short -again, being used to 90.
The old 90 is great at heeling far over and/or blasting upwind through chop. The 70 fits in a normal suitcase.

To sum it up, 60-90 seems like the sweet spot. Within that, 60ish for shallow water and less risk hitting foils in a wipeout, or 80+ish for dedicated chop blasting.
It is nice that the foil doesnt try to skewer you as much with shorter masts.
For windsurfers and SUP it may be important that a short mast puts less leverage on the board in crashes also (speculation).
70 is a reasonable compromise for me. Eventually I probably will have another longer mast too, though.

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Re: Mast length windsurf vs surf vs kite

Postby Kiterisland » Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:35 am

Sry to bring up an old post. I bought an older h2 foil with 24” (61cm) mast. This will be my first foil and I am 225lbs. Will the 24” mast be good enough for me for the first season of learning and goofing around. Hopefully being able to tack by the end of the season. I’m on the Great Lakes and will only be using it in well under 20kts more like 8-15. Hoping it will be ok but want to know if it’s already worth buying a long mast. Thanks

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Re: Mast length windsurf vs surf vs kite

Postby Foil » Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:11 am

Kiterisland wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:35 am
Sry to bring up an old post. I bought an older h2 foil with 24” (61cm) mast. This will be my first foil and I am 225lbs. Will the 24” mast be good enough for me for the first season of learning and goofing around. Hopefully being able to tack by the end of the season. I’m on the Great Lakes and will only be using it in well under 20kts more like 8-15. Hoping it will be ok but want to know if it’s already worth buying a long mast. Thanks
60 cm will work well for learning on, however the wing choice will be more important as you progress to keep you smiling,
A smaller size in the first sessions to prevent fast uncontrollable breaches, a slow rise off the surface is preferred at higher glide speed across the waters surface,
Then later when your comfortable with holding a level flight a slightly larger wing to keep you up at lower speeds and fly you round in comfort and more control with less stall speed drops, a friend of mine lasted near 2 years on the 60 cm mast.
It's suits some well, others who sail in more rough waters may want more mast length.

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Re: Mast length windsurf vs surf vs kite

Postby Peter_Frank » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:53 pm

Matteo V wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:44 pm
I have a friend (about 85kg) that is talking about getting a foil of the size I want to upgrade to. I need a bigger wing as I am 100+kg (my only current foil is the original LF Foilfish. So this is my opportunity to try a bigger wing in local conditions. But I want him go get the right setup as he also intends to try to windsurf it, or possibly try to paddle surf it.

The larger surf/windsurf Naish foils come with a 55cm mast. But their kite foil comes with a 90cm. Personally, I do not like short masts less than 85cm because of wind waves and boat chop. But my hydrofoil experience is mostly limited to kitefoiling.

Any reason that you would not want a larger mast for surf/windsurf? Or rather, if you had one mast length choice for a wing you were going to use across all sports, what would it be? Long, or short?

I think, to bridge those sports, you can not find the right one, but have to choose one or another.

If it was wingfoil and kitefoil and windfoil, also for wave fun, yes a 90 cm would be spot on.

But as it seems surf foilers often choose shorter masts, to get lift from the wave easier when paddling up, and to paddle out over low sandbanks or reefs, you probably can not find something for everything.

I have chosen an 80 cm mast for starters, wingfoiling, but know I might have to get a longer one later, a short one like the 80 I think is beneficial for me when learning the ropes in waves on my wingfoil.

Will not use the same short mast for kitefoil though, does not work for me not in waves nor in flat water nor chop.

As it seems he wants to "try to surf" with it, it sounds like it might not be the major "sport" he will use it for?

If so, he could choose something around the 90 cm range, to fit fine for kitefoil and windfoil, and not be really long either, if he wants to surf foil with the same.

8) Peter

PS: A 61 cm mast is perfect for learning kitefoil, but almost useless when you have learned, but takes around a year for most, so you can get a normal mast later.

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Re: Mast length windsurf vs surf vs kite

Postby juandesooka » Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:55 pm

As the other posters have said, for kiting a 60cm will work but you will prefer a 90cm, especially if you want to kitefoil in big chop or swells. You have more room for error in avoiding breaches.

For surf, 60cm is ideal, though lots of riders now prefer 28-29" (roughly 70cm).

Nice thing about slingshot is the gear is easily swapped and comparatively inexpensive. A $120 mast may seem a lot, but it's cheap compared to the carbon world and especially the brands where the fuselage and mast are one piece....$$$$. Keep an eye on ikitesurf or your local forum, used ones come up fairly often.

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Re: Mast length windsurf vs surf vs kite

Postby Matteo V » Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:38 pm

Peter_Frank wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:53 pm
Honestly I can't remember who I was referring to the spring on that one. But since the spring, I have been looking at other foils, and have talked to a lot of people and even some manufacturer's reps/team Riders.

For me being a heavyweight, I think I'm going to go for a sized up kitesurf foil, and try to get an 80 cm mast in aluminum, which is 10cm shorter than my current foil mast.

What I gathered over the summer was that 90 CM mast is good for some bigger chop at some of the locations where I go. But it isn't exactly controllable in the surf.

Is that what most other kite foil Surfers here say? You need little bit shorter mast for foiling in the waves? And you need it because it gives you a little more control, not just shallower water capability?

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Re: Mast length windsurf vs surf vs kite

Postby jakemoore » Thu Feb 27, 2020 5:01 pm

I'm riding 70 and 100.

100 for practicing 360, tack, footswitch, cranking over and leaning upwind.

70 for surf and jumps. I would not say the short mast is "needed" but I like it. Maybe I would like 80cm better to make some kitefoil moves easier, but I'm pretty happy where I'm at.

With 70 you learn to ride low to avoid ventilation. You will touch down and need a board that lets you touch down without drag or stuffing the nose. Check the Ketos pocket boards or the Groove Surf Pocket for the right idea in a board. Remember: we surfed waves with the board always on the wave before foiling. If you judge the experience based on never touching or have a board that punishes touchdowns than you won't like a shorter mast. If you have the right board and a wave licks the bottom of your board it won't bother you.

Advantages of a smaller mast: Access to shallower water where the break is. More reactive for turns. Less likely to have a violent pitchpole experience. Ventilations easier to recover and can become jumps. Board is closer to the wave so you are not riding on stilts. Foil is closer to the surface so you feel the energy.
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Matteo V
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Re: Mast length windsurf vs surf vs kite

Postby Matteo V » Fri Feb 28, 2020 4:01 pm

jakemoore wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 5:01 pm
I'm riding 70 and 100.

100 for practicing 360, tack, footswitch, cranking over and leaning upwind.

70 for surf and jumps. I would not say the short mast is "needed" but I like it. Maybe I would like 80cm better to make some kitefoil moves easier, but I'm pretty happy where I'm at.

With 70 you learn to ride low to avoid ventilation. You will touch down and need a board that lets you touch down without drag or stuffing the nose. Check the Ketos pocket boards or the Groove Surf Pocket for the right idea in a board. Remember: we surfed waves with the board always on the wave before foiling. If you judge the experience based on never touching or have a board that punishes touchdowns than you won't like a shorter mast. If you have the right board and a wave licks the bottom of your board it won't bother you.

Advantages of a smaller mast: Access to shallower water where the break is. More reactive for turns. Less likely to have a violent pitchpole experience. Ventilations easier to recover and can become jumps. Board is closer to the wave so you are not riding on stilts. Foil is closer to the surface so you feel the energy.
Still seems like you're indicating to me that is shorter mast gives you much more control with the only sacrifice being that you have to have very fine control over your height over the water.

And why would a 70cm mast be better at jumping? Wouldn't a longer Mast allow you to get a longer ramp for the pop? Or are even long carbon masks too flexible for that?

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Re: Mast length windsurf vs surf vs kite

Postby Simoneterra » Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:21 pm

On the gong website he can get. A combo of long.amd short mast, from 60 up to 100 cm, alu or carbon, fitting with multiple wide choice of wings. Being able to switch well to enjoy every sport.
I think a good combination could be a surf wing L or XLpro, with 70 and 100 cm masts. Buying alu the price will be still very cheap, even with multiple mast and multiple wings.


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