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Long mast - is it a con?

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Re: Long mast - is it a con?

Postby Flyboy » Wed Nov 22, 2023 7:57 pm

Longer masts are definitely not a "con". They're better for some things, less good for others. I've been using a 85cm mast for the last few years (before that I had 100cm & 92cm masts). As with everything, you adapt your technique to the gear you are using. After the time I have spent on this mast, I know instinctively where I need to be height wise & make sub-conscious adjustments all the time to keep the foil for breaching. Having said that, when you are in substantial waves, having a longer mast is helpful and a 72cm mast will make some situations difficult to impossible to cope with.

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Re: Long mast - is it a con?

Postby rnelias » Wed Nov 22, 2023 8:45 pm

I've learned with 70cm mast and quickly changed to 95cm which I've been using so far. I mostly ride in choppy water. It's amazing to fly cutting over the messy surface. I also like to ride with this long mast in shallow water. It's like a challenge to keep fine control and never crash :lol:

50cm deep, 95cm mast, no problem. Just don' t crash :thumb:


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Re: Long mast - is it a con?

Postby airsail » Wed Nov 22, 2023 8:51 pm

Wolf of Ainsdale wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2023 12:32 pm
Quick question. Are the smaller wings quicker once you are up and riding but need more pull to waterstart? How does their maneuverability compare?
Smaller wings need more speed to get flying, so you may need a kite size bigger to get going. They also aren’t suited to small boards, as a small board doesn’t get up to speed fast so can make getting going difficult.
Small wings are less manoeuvrable than a medium size wing due to their higher flying speed.
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Re: Long mast - is it a con?

Postby rnelias » Wed Nov 22, 2023 8:59 pm

airsail wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2023 8:51 pm
Wolf of Ainsdale wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2023 12:32 pm
Quick question. Are the smaller wings quicker once you are up and riding but need more pull to waterstart? How does their maneuverability compare?
Smaller wings need more speed to get flying, so you may need a kite size bigger to get going. They also aren’t suited to small boards, as a small board doesn’t get up to speed fast so can make getting going difficult.
Small wings are less manoeuvrable than a medium size wing due to their higher flying speed.
in fact, we got used to compare wings based sonely on surface area (and AR too), which makes sense since it's the easiest (and visible) variable to compare but the wing thickness has a big influence in the low end (and drag too).

You can find small and (relatively) thick wings that have a good low end too.

Wings are complex... art, engineering, feeling all together :D
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Re: Long mast - is it a con?

Postby Matty V » Wed Nov 22, 2023 11:16 pm

No.

Your own post illustrates they aren’t a con

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Re: Long mast - is it a con?

Postby bragnouff » Thu Nov 23, 2023 2:20 am

if you have shallow spots or spots where you have to push against waves in onshore winds to reach sufficient depth to get started, then the extra length becomes harder to manage. Sometimes very significantly. The difference between needing waist deep vs chest deep is a biggie. I'm a happy camper on 82cm

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Re: Long mast - is it a con?

Postby Wolf of Ainsdale » Thu Nov 23, 2023 9:27 am

I know what you mean. At one of our spots it's shallow for quite a way and with onshore swell it's not fun getting out to the necessary depth. As soon as you can you just get away. With a longer mast this will be more difficult. Just wondering if it's worth it.

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Re: Long mast - is it a con?

Postby rnelias » Thu Nov 23, 2023 6:25 pm


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Re: Long mast - is it a con?

Postby Peter_Frank » Thu Nov 23, 2023 8:19 pm

Wolf of Ainsdale wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2023 9:27 am
I know what you mean. At one of our spots it's shallow for quite a way and with onshore swell it's not fun getting out to the necessary depth. As soon as you can you just get away. With a longer mast this will be more difficult. Just wondering if it's worth it.

I just read all the replies.

As I think you have found yourself reading the answers, there are so many different opinions and likings that it is almost useless for you, unfortunately.

Let me start with the conclusion before my personal preferences:

Get the 95 cm, no matter what, and keep your supershort one or not.

I have 3 kitefoil masts - 83 and 91.5 and 100 cm.
And one wingfoil mast 85 cm.

I like medium masts and long masts - and HATE short masts like the 83 cm.
Only when dead onshore winds and low winds, I have to use this short 83 cm as otherwise impossible to try to get up in the small glimpses of gusts and juuuust sufficiently deep between sandbanks (or not, aaaaargh)

So I use it a lot unfortunately, as onshore low winds happens quite often :rollgrin:

Otherwise it feels too short for fun, I can not carve tight, as when you lay down the foilwing will get out of the water, or the board will hit the water - not so with a longer mast.
Also, breaching is a huge risk - although indeed the more experience you got, the less this will happen.

So using a 72 cm mast would be useless for me, except in these marginal wind days and dead onshore winds.

I started with an 83 cm mast many years ago, and then got a 100 cm a lot later - what a difference in freedom and options possible now - turning tight, riding in chop and waves without risks.
Besides the simple thing many dont think about - foiling IS the love of flying over the water, so higher equals even more love :heartface:
I know this "love" might not be remembered by many, but I still have a great time flying on a magic carpet, no matter what type of foil :rollgrin:

When really experienced I got a mast just in between, custom made 91.5 cm.

This is now my most used mast, no doubt - hardly never use the 100 cm anymore, but would be no problem to do, and WAY better than the 83 for me, which is only out of necessity in some low wind conditions.


And a commentary to some of the answers -

The ones saying it is easier to get out if shallow, is partly right, but very few spots has low water ALL over, but only at the first part.
So dragging out with the kite, like we do at all beaches without exception, is easy unless super marginal wind and dead onshore, and no big difference whether a 72 or 100 cm mast.

The other thing I dont understand is, why some say you can "feel" the wave better with a shorter mast?
As with a longer mast you ride higher, so the feel and power from the wave is the same.

Lastly, saying you can ride easier in the fun small waves close to shore with a shorter mast, are plain and simply wrong.
As unless you are a total beginner, you dont get off the foil when foiling - thus you can ride in just as shallow water with a 50 cm mast as with a 120 cm mast.

I mostly ride in the shallows, and LOVE to ride over the low sandbanks and carve inside, or play on the small waves in the shallows.
Of course, if I make a mistake and crash, I have to get a little bit further out to start again, but as said earlier almost no big difference.
And you can ride on just as shallow water as you like, with ANY mast length, no difference once up.

Get the longer mast, many prefer these, and you will always be in doubt if you DONT get one, what you are missing :naughty:

Whether you keep your supershort one or not, is not important IMO.


Regarding wingfoil, it is VERY different.
Here one want an even longer mast in waves, as the board is a lot bigger always, even when experienced where we now use smaller boards, the board will catch the board often in waves with a short mast.
So a 90-95 cm mast would be perfect.
BUT, in wingfoiling we need to get out to sufficient depth to start.
This is easy in kitefoiling, as you just drag yourself out.

Not possible in wingfoil, you have to walk, and then swim out if you have a long mast.
So a shorter mast often means the difference between not being able to get out or riding just fine.

Meaning it is a dilemma between the better longer mast, and the "easier to get out or up" shorter mast like the 85 cm.

8) Peter
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Re: Long mast - is it a con?

Postby rnelias » Thu Nov 23, 2023 9:42 pm

Water start in shallow water and longer masts is just a matter of enough wind and some practice. Just keep in mind that you must start already flying on your foil without any "taxi stage". If the wind is strong enough you can even use the kite to support you vertically before the first horizontal pull but if the wind is light, it's just a matter of body dragging a little bit to deeper water as Peter said.


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