3 criteria to look at when choosing your wing foil mast
The material of your wing foil
On the material aspect, you certainly know that today there are two main types of foil construction materials: aluminum and carbon. A question we often get is, “which is lighter?” Yes and no. In fact, one criterion for comparison is missing, and that is rigidity. If we compare two masts, one in aluminum and the other in carbon, with equal rigidity, the aluminum mast will be heavier than the carbon mast. Another aspect to consider is the quality/type in carbon. There are different types of carbons. A carbon mast with one type of construction and another with another type of construction will not have the same rigidity. Do not hesitate to ask what type of carbon is used in the masts. For example, for our ALPHA range of masts (whether ALPHA or ALPHA PERFORMER), we use high modulus or even ultra high modulus carbons which will provide more rigidity.
The profile of the mast
Let’s simply compare our two masts, the ALPHA and the ALPHA PERFORMER. The Alpha mast will be used with slightly thicker profiles and a slightly wider rope which will bring stability when sailing. On the other hand, the Alpha Performer mast, which is really there to push your wing foil practice, will have a reduced chord, a thinner profile to bring more maneuverability.
Size matters in wing foil
The last criterion to consider is the length of the mast. The shorter a mast is, the less draft it has. For surf foil sessions where you will often be sailing in shallow water, this can have an advantage. On the other hand, with the shorter masts, when pumping, the movements and amplitude are shorter. The way of pumping in the surf is different from the way of pumping with a longer mast. Well, as you all know, a shorter mast will be easier to store in a car. It also avoids walking too long before you can turn the board over and put the foil in the water.
A longer mast will be more forgiving. Why? With a longer mast, you have more time to react when you feel, for example, that your kite is going to leave the water. “Watch out my wing is coming out of the water, I’m going to press my front foot!”. This will allow you to gain confidence and to go for higher speeds. You’ll really appreciate this confidence and reaction time gain. The advantage is the same for the touches on the board. This allows you to really have more time to react and bring the board up. These are often the masts we recommend for those who are looking for speed, or who sail on choppy water. The fact that you have more height will prevent you from always having to play and juggle with the chop. The last advantage of the longer mast is that you will have much more amplitude and therefore much more height when pumping.