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  1. #92
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009


    firstly- every mast, and i mean every mast can be broken. I have seen every brand broken at Gwithian and thats not heavy compared to some of the spots sailed.
    But that is not the same thing as saying every mast is as strong as the next.
    As part of our mast programme we have had masts made in 4 different facilities. All of them say that their "strongest" rdm is very very strong.
    In the reality of our testing one of the factories is a lot stronger than the others!

    But the biggest question is how strong do i need it?

    A lot of sailors( the majority?), even those who sail "around" in big waves, don't necessarily get stuck into it in a way that is going to lead to broken masts. For these people it has to be an unhappy mistake or unlucky incident that leads to a broken mast, mast choice for them isn't a particular problem- most will be strong enough most of the time.

    For others who sail a little harder, less technique or learning new manoeuvres or who often fall and crash as a consequence of pushing it in "normal" conditions these people will benefit from one of the strong masts, and probably never break one, but probably would break a few of the also ran masts.

    and then we come to the "others" who like to get stuck in and are smacking powerful waves and/or searching out waves of consequence, broken masts are simply going to happen for them. They need to seek out the proven strong masts to reduce the number of times it happens, but sure as eggs is eggs it WILL happen.

    One last point. If strength of mast is a factor in the decision making process then i am always wary of very light masts.
    Last edited by matthewb; 14th March 2014 at 09:08 AM.

  2. #93


    I'm with matthewb here - sooner or later, everything brakes. Everything. And even from the same brand and exact same type of mast, you can get one that just seems to last forever, and another that just goes in your first outing. I had a very light 100% Simmer SC10 mast that just seemed capable of taking anything I could throw at it, never thought I would use it in waves but I did. As matthew writes, you can only reduce the numbers, which many of us have learnt is worth doing the hard way. 'Buy the best and cry once'. I do not break that much gear and would like to push more than I dare/am able to, but do rate myself as fairly proficient when it comes to getting rinsed.

    And since I went rdm with better extensions and using sails that I expect to last, I've only broken a couple of booms (alu and carbon), one base, a few battens, one board and had three or four sail repairs. This is much less than before, and I'd like to think that I have sailed in more challenging conditions the last few years. I'm not including minor stuff, like ding repairs and replacing fins.

    And to comment on Ezzy, that has been mentioned here, I chose them when renting on Maui this winter and even if I would go for another sail myself purely because I prefer a different (lighter) feel in my sail, I must say that they held up really well. Not a scratch and no broken masts after taking some of my most serious poundings ever, over reef and rocks. Alex at Hi-Tech confirmed that they had more or less zero breakage on Ezzy masts, which I must say is quite impressive on Maui.

    No forum will ever be fully representative, but when this forum is at it's best I'd say that it is fairly good with people from the UK, Nordics, Canaries, France, US and the Netherlands, to name a few, contributing on a regular basis.
    Rig - Simmer Black Tips 3.7 - 5.3, HSM FL 5.7
    Boards - SimmerFrugal 88, Freegal 100, Fanatic Skate 100, Quad 75

    Moderates, wind and wave community in Sweden

  3. #94
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014


    Blimey, it took 14 pages before some sanity came into a post.

  4. #95
    Senior Member TerryTibbs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014


    Personally I'd sacrifice 'lightness' for extra strength. I've recently changed from Severne Redlines to Gorilla masts for that exact reason. The wall thickness is noticably different, which does give you a bit of extra confidence in it. However, I've never found myself thinking 'must sail conservatively because my mast (or any other kit) may break.' If you've that little confidence in your kit, it's probably time to buy new.

    I personally don't agree with the train of thought that if something breaks once, go to another brand. Yes, it is a massive inconvenience when your mast breaks, but it's not fair to write off an entire brand because of one incident. We all get caught out occasionally, and not many masts would survive being stuck into a sandbar/reef as a wave breaks on top of it. Fair enough if it's a brand that you've broken several times before without an obvious reason as to why it has failed though.
    Wish I was better, but don't we all?!

  5. #96
    Senior Member Jeroensurf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006


    @Basher about the HSM masts.
    The Killwell masts where strong, reliable and when developped really really good, but also expensive being made in New Zealand and a logistic hell.
    In time technology involved so they switched to China. They made some really really good ones, but lacked on consistency.
    Due this they switch to a small factory in Europe that they deliver there (UK made) prepregs there self being more in controll of there quality of gear.

    For the rest I pretty much agree with MatthewB.
    188x90kg 40y old, Supper/Windsurfer.

    Witchcraft Fextail96 + Flikka84l Hot Quad
    Hotsails Firelight 6.0+ 5.3+3.4 KS3 5.2+4.6+4.0 + Ultra masts, lots of K4 fins.
    Starboard 14+12.6 racesups wavesups in 10+9+8.2

  6. #97
    Senior Member freeskiing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007


    referring back to the topic of this thread:
    the last two situations i broke a mast were actually similar: beiing "confronted" with a bigger wave, so no time to chicken-jibe, no time to sink the rig. what is best to be done in this scenario? try to somehow "throw" the gear over the wave while jumping aside? or trying to put it towards the wave the clew showing up/mast down? part from the mast brand........

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