What Mast Works Best with My Sail?


By Eddy Patricelli

What Mast Works Best with My Sail?

1. Determine your sail’s ideal mast length.

Windsurfing sails cite the ideal mast length for a given sail on the sail’s bag and/or near the bottom of the sail itself. Common mast sizes are 370, 400, 430 and 460 centimeters. If your sail doesn’t offer an ideal mast listing, look for a “Luff” measurement. Typically, you want a mast that’s length is closest to your sail’s luff length, though exceptions exist. If in doubt, contact us or call 541 386 6086.

What Mast Works Best with My Sail?

2. Determine if you need a fat (SDM) or skinny (RDM) mast.

Windsurfing masts are available in two diameters. Most sails demanding masts 460 cm or longer are best matched with Standard Diameter Masts (SDM). Sails demanding masts 430 cm or smaller are best matched with Reduced Diameter Masts (RDM). Find more on the differences between skinny and fat masts here.

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3. Determine your budget.

Your goal is get a mast with the most carbon content available within your given budget. High carbon content masts (70% carbon and higher) make a rig feel lightweight, responsive, and improve its usable wind range. These benefits are profound for progressing riders. When learning to windsurf, fatigue is your foe. A lightweight, high carbon content mast saves vital energy, allowing more water time per session. 


4. Match your sail and mast maker.

When possible, get a mast from your sail maker’s mast line. A Goya sail with a Goya mast, a Naish sail with a Naish mast, a Duotone sail with a Duotone mast — that’s the most surefire way to ensure you’ll get the best wind range, handling, planing performance and speed out of your sail.



How can I be sure a mast offers the proper flex characteristics for my sail?

Most sail lines Big Winds carries are best matched with a constant curve mast. The bulk of the masts Big Winds stocks are constant curve masts. The only exceptions are Goya 370 and 400 cm masts, which utilize a flex top bend curve. For Goya sails that call for a 370 or 400 cm mast, Goya masts ensure their best performance.

NoLimitz F.A.S.T. Windsurfing Mast-Big Winds

What sails work best with NoLimitz and Chinook masts?

Both NoLimitz and Chinook offer constant curve masts, and therefore work well with most sail lines. Of the sail lines we stock at Big Winds, NoLimitz and Chinook masts are well suited for all Sailworks, Naish, and Duotone sails, as well as Goya sails larger than 5.4.

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Eddy Patricelli was the editor of WindSurfing magazine from 2001-2007. He has been sailing the Gorge for 20 years. See his best video tip for getting your kid hooked on windsurfing here.

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