Hey all. I am a proficient wind and wing foiler looking to get into prone surf foiling. Mast length options for my foil would be 72, 82 or 92 cm. I understand the obvious tendency to hit bottom more often with a longer mast. Aside from that, based on your experience, which mast length would you choose and why? Thanks, Frank
If you have the water depth to use the 82 then use that. It works better for the wider wing spans that are typical now. More mast length to lay over a turn without poking a tip. If you don’t have enough water depth for that, go 72. The 92 is to long for prone. Puts the foil below the wave energy in 1 footers.
Short mast :
Plus : make the turn easier to handle as the wing is closer to your feet
Plus : you fly the wing closer to the surface so you collect the bumps energy better and less felt drag, easier to pump
Minus : the wing breaches quicker so you can’t bank hard turns especially if choppy sea, and you will breach and blow out more often
82cm is a great all around as soon as there is a bit of energy in the waves. 72 for tiny waves, 92 for winging massive chops.
If you can’t surf then go shorter, you’ll appreciate the ability to push into waves and catch smaller waves, and the speed is low that the height isn’t a huge advantage
I’ve liked the 82 length for the same reasons @Hdip mentioned. If you are a smaller guy riding smaller wings, a shorter mast will be a little more responsive so the trade offs will be a little more in favor of the 72.
I like my shorter mast setups. Everything’s a little more responsive and snappier with the mid aspects, even winging. Less flex, less mast in the water so less drag.
I get on a tall mast and/or a big HA wing and it’s easier on the cardio and mellow turning with the big sweet spot but doesn’t have that magic. It’s a sport, it’s not supposed to be easy!
Short span mid aspect on a short mast is a riot.
Also depends on what size waves your willing to paddle into. If you want to learn by catching smaller waves, they break in shallower water and will require a shorter mast. Especially if your learning on beach breaks running into shallower water vs crumbling/rolling sets on the outside that seem to break/run into deeper water. With a 70cm mast you can even just walk out up to your neck and learn to pop up on whitewater. With a 90cm mast getting out can leave you dry docking while trying to duck-dive!
One interesting factor, particularly with beach breaks, it’s how fast you can get up on foil. When I was struggling (more), with the fg board not being able to put the mast back enough, I was compensating with smaller foils and stabs, so even if I could stand up I’d struggle to get the foil up for long enough that I’d run aground. Once I switched boards I realized I could go with more lift and pretty much stopped hitting bottom.
They both (72cm or 82cm) work well!
If the conditions are clean and the waves are relatively mellow I prefer the 72cm because it is more responsive… AKA I feel like I can transition from my heels to toes (or toes to heels) faster on it allowing for a “snappier” feel. I also feel like I can get it up to speed with less paddle effort…
If the conditions are a bit bigger or messier then I gravitate to the 82cm mast there is just more margin for error there when riding in harder conditions or at higher speeds.
Thanks for all the great ideas! Went with the 82. Cheers, Frank