I have to admit that I sometimes have a little too much gear. But when it comes to masts it is good to collect a few. The basics are to use the mast the sail maker recommends.

But here is a big but. No sail is developed for all conditions, sailor’s weights, riding style or intend of use. Most sails are tested for slalom, some brands have only heavy sailors, some have lighter. Many are doing the test-work at Kanaha on Maui. I guess some avoid the 9,5m2 days, and they never have flat water. 

In the eighties I was sailing raceboard with sails from Tushingham, their racing sail was terrible and the only mast that made the sail work OK was Serfiac Pro Lite with the top cut off 30 cm. Took a while to find that out and hard and expensive to get the masts from France.

The last years when I was sailing Naish I found out that the sails worked better with softer masts, especially in the top of the sail. That may sounds weird since I am a heavy guy, and when it was possible I used RDM even on the big sails. Now when I am on The Loft Sails, where all sails comes with both RDM and SDM-cambers, I thought RDM would be perfect for me, but the SDM-masts are faster on all kind of sailing. (So far).

For most sailors the recommended masts will do the work. Especially if you are into slalom and not are committed to find the extra knot on the top.
The general rule is light riders - soft masts, and heavy – stiffer. But remember it could be the opposite. When it comes to tuning the sail, it is good the have some ideas and basic knowledge in sail design. You also have to know what you are looking for. Low-end acceleration, middle-end acceleration, top-speed, control etc. I.e. the right mast can give you the turbo-kick you want when the gust comes!

Don’t be afraid to test softer or stiffer masts in your sail. Sometimes you find a golden nugget. That nugget could help you mentally when you race. And if you think that you are fast, you will be fast too!


  1. I have to ask Anders but do you work? or have worked ;-)

  2. Impressive Anders
    I am a light rider (64kg) Riding Loft Blades sails and also only RDM's. For me and my strenght that is excellent combination. Sails is very friendly for light riders, and RDM myke my sail more responsive, and easy. Wow, what arsenal of fins and masts and all others :) :)
    cheerz from Croatia

  3. I think soon carbon products will be at such a premium price they will trade like gold. You will be able to buy a small country with those masts and your fins ;-)
    I need a spare 460 for those 2 rig days but cannot decide if its worth it.....

  4. Very interesting comments about Naish Sails (Stealth I guess) :
    "The last years when I was sailing Naish I found out that the sails worked better with softer masts, especially in the top of the sail"
    I have the same feeling with the 2010 Stealth (1.92-94 kgs) : the 6.4 is very comfortable and still very fast with the rdm, whereas the 7.8 feels very stiff with a 490 SDM.
    Which kind/brand did you use with the 7.8 ? Did you try the x-tender option ?
    Thx for your answers ;-)

  5. The Naish 2010 was loads of hard work and hours on the water to tune. I worked close with Nils Rosenblad (NaIsh sail designer) to find the ultimate trim. The 7,8 was flying with Naish Race 460 SDM. I also sanded some of the battens in the 2010 Stealth to get a fuller sail. (That has always been the Achilles heel at Naish) I also used loads of spacers. Good for speed but less good for jibes... The 7.0 I used an 460 RDM firestick.

  6. Thanks a lot, I will try a 460 with the 7.8.
    Same problems with the spacers : I have to push with my feet on the low one to make the profile turns...

  7. Very interesting theme about sails and mast, the conditions the sails developed under are maybe not where we as surfers are, Maui or Australia or some where the wind is blowing from the morning to the afternoon. Is there a sailbrand that test and develop here in europe?
    I surf a lot on lakes in Poland and Germany and Italy with not so perfect wind as on the open ocean around Denmark where I was born....
    Hang Loose Jan B
    And am I with my 84 kg a light or heavy windsurfer....

  8. A lot of sails are from Maui. True. The problem with that is (my opion) that they are very well balanced around 10-12m/s, 5-6 Bft. In that sense some other brands have a wider spread. But all sail loft, must be close to a spot with consistent wind. About masts. Most are from Europe.
    Italy, Slovenia etc. The important thing is to find a mast that match the sail. Not very easy for some sails. But easier at Loft, where we have both RDM and SDM cambers.


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