Ideal Mast Length

What do you guys think the perfect mast height for prone foiling in average conditions is?

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I think the water conditions, depth of water at your spot, your weight/ height, style of riding and the foil your flying can all play a role in ideal mast height. A range of heights can be good to have access to.

But it’s really nice to narrow it down to one length for sure. “The more gear you have with you the more likely you might ruin your session” - says a wise surfer

I’m 5’8" and 75kg … Ride mainly 120ha or 170ha foils. In my experience the shortest mast I enjoy is 28" (71cm) and the longest is 32" (81cm) .

30" (~76cm) is my happy medium and my favorite length I’ve used was a 78cm no limitz

I’d pick ~30" if I had to only pick one length for prone in the surf. Winging and towing larger waves, longer can be nice. I don’t think there is much debate that learning with a shorter mast is nice, but maybe no shorter than 24"?

Curious what others think.


When it comes to surfing wings, I find I want a longer mast once the span of the wing I’m using gets past 90cm. At that point I go from a 75cm mast to an 85cm. I guess if I had to I’d split the difference and find a 80cm mast.


75cm to learn and I guess 80-85cm once you progress. I just change to an 82cm Axis mast and really noticed the extra length bouncing around on the sand on smaller waves which would be a hassle for beginner, also found the drag pretty noticeable, but definitely gives a bit more leeway for going fast and turns for keeping the foil from breaching hard.

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Sorry for the inches use. Hoping we have already decided to use metric?

I’m still learning but I think there’s a case for the ~71-75cm in the surf due to efficiency of having less mast in the water/ foil closer to the surface.

Also, depending on the wind, I feel like I’ve noticed more air dynamic drag for my body on longer mast (prone in surf)

Can anyone speak to whether that would be true? As far as air drag on your body when your up higher?

A little longer definitely gives you some more room for error.

Most of the higher performance prone foilers in aus are all riding 80 to 85cm.


80-85cm for winging and prone is great, I can’t imagine going shorter now

I’ve been wondering about air drag, you definitely feel drag and get a slipstream from around 30kph on bike/skateboard drafting someone, and 30kph is 2min/km which is the top foiling DW speed afaik, so I would imagine definitely starting to push into aerodynamics territory. Interesting to see if anything comes of it but I imagine unlikely to be worth optimising at those speeds you must be pretty preoccupied

Its absolutely a factor, but your board and body are the vast majority of that drag (and definitely a wing if you are flagging one). The mast is a rounding error. It would be interesting to see the composition of drag (% below water vs % above water). I’m willing to bet that at speed, the above water drag is much more than the below water drag. Tons of variables here with wind, yaw, current, speed, setup, etc…

I agree, the mast is a rounding error itself. But I guess what I’m qualitatively feeling is the idea that my body and board is getting blown around more the higher I am off the water. Maybe it’s just in my head. Probably more factor of a slightly shorter mast making it more likely to have the foil closer to the surface. Seems like a lot of the really nice looking turns where the wing is sort of drifting and sweeping. It’s better to have less mast in the water?

Yes obviously mast air drag is absolutely meaningless I mean full body air drag, wing obviously massive drag to the point where there is nothing to optimise other than deflating it.

For the mast length questions: Wind speed increases as you get further away from the water but doubt perceptible when you are talking 10-20cm difference.I think this maybe is in your head? I wonder

My thought was that it might be worth considering aerodynamic tuck of sorts when racing downwind. Second thought probably worthless if you imagine a minimum tailwind wind speed of 15kph giving apparent wind of only 15kph which is too low

Lol we should merge forums

Agree with you on the frontal above vs below waterline point, especially for wing speeds with the apparent wind!

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I’ve landed on 78-80 as my favorite size. On a 75 I’m wanting more bank and on the 85 I feel too much delay in roll. But for downwind sup 75 for sure. Gets up so much easier. At least in our conditions.


ive heard a few people on podcasts mentioning people riding
“very small bumps with a longboard and a super short mast”
Does anyone have an opinion on short mast advantage on tiny swells?
i assume its because the foil is higher in the swell for more lift to come up on foil…rather than the foil being too deep and possibly below the most power in the small swell?

thanks in advance