Mast Length - Pros and Cons

I was wondering what mast length everyone has. Mine is 100cm and I was curious what length other people are using and whether I should cut it down a bit.

From my understanding, a shorter mast is more stable but it’s easier to lift out too far and have the wings or propeller lift out of the water, causing a crash. Is there more to it than that?

A longer mast also determines the minimum depth you can ride in.

One of the main reasons hydrofoils weren’t quite popular until today was this.
Other than that, anything underwater would create drag, which would be unwanted.
The minimum length of mast I’ve seen was about 70 cm. A longer mast would come in handy for bigger chops.

I am going for a 70cm mast. It should give me 55 ish before the prop ventilates. It doesn’t sound very high but I think its high enough for this application.

Also from my experience kiting and surfing on foils, If Im kiting on my 70cm mast and breach the foil, about 50% of the time Ill recover without wiping out. On my 95cm mast its never!

I also think the power from the prop will be easier to control from a shorter mast. I think because the power is coming from the bottom of the mast, it is essentially a big lever on a fulcrum point (where it joins your board). The shorter the lever, the more control I will have with my weight up top.

These are just my thoughts and not based on efoil experience yet. My build hasn’t hit the water yet.

This is an interesting discussion and I would appreciate input from who already is efoiling. On formula (race) kite foil we arrived now to use 110cm mast to reach more speed upwind (25kt) as more recline of the board is more apparent wind. In an efoil the trust is coming from the engine not from the kite so there should be no need of a long mast. The other use of a long mast is downwind with waves to keep a high speed 30/34kt without having the wing out of the water. For a no wave use there should be no advantage. This long mast can only be reached by few manufacturers with hitech cárbon mast.
What is the experience of who already efoils?

Longer mast = looks cooler , but gives harder crash and potentially more dangerous crashes due to height(mgh) distance down to prop/wing. People that are not used to foiling/water sports are littearly “trying” to smash themselves into the wing/prop, by goingto the highest possible point then fall. We have had at least 40-50 different people ride our foil, and there are always some sketchy bails involved.

We use a 65-70cm mast. Which is enough even in quite some waves. When riding fast it feels better driving with low height (more stability). Maybe 20-30cm above the water (flat).

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To add to what Hiorth has said, Lift and Fliteboard both use masts in the 90cm range. Longer than that is just not worth it. I have efoiled on a 60cm mast and it was fine. I breached the motor a few times but never managed to breach the foil so stayed up and riding. My main mast is 90cm, but I have been debating making it around 80cm so I can fit in neatly in a bag when I travel.

Thank you for sharing your thoghts! I a Naish Thruster WS1 foil, with a 55cm mast on hand, im thinking of buying. Do you Think it would be good starter foil and mast lenght?

The Naish Thruster WS1 is known to be beginner friendly. for kite and wind foilers.
Plus it is a 2017/2018 model you can find at half of its original price (650 USD) early 2019.
1200cm2 + alu mast (hollow for the wires, 70cm or 90cm originally)
Good choice to me with 55cm alu mast if you don’t get it at 1125 USD/EUR.

Thank you for your reply @SoEFoil . Yea i also read good reviews on the WS1, thinks it is the same @michion uses for his build. It will cost me 400 EUR, so I think it’s a good deal.

I use the nobile mast, same as hiorth, and i really like the ride height, that is a personal opinion and I do agree with hiorth regarding the aspect of falling.

Another thing that is a pain with a long mast is storage and transport. I don’t have the ability to disconnect the mast on my old setup.

The new mast, GONG, is 65cm i think. Im not done with the build yet but my guess is that it will be challenging to ride two boards with different mast length.

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I think you will find a 55cm mast too short. Great for learning, but you will want more mast pretty quickly. 70 cm has worked great for my build and it is what i would recommend for most people. Im used to kiting on 95cm masts so even 70 cm seems short. For me now with my experience i think 80cm would be the perfect mast for my efoil, but im not going to change it to gain 10 cm.

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Thank you for your input. I Will look for longer mast, to put on the Naish foil, around 70-80cm.

Guys

Currently running 90cm mast. No problems so far however after hours of riding and observing other riders we never come close to using all that mast height. I think the board will become way more maneuverable with a shorter mast. I think the compromise will be worth it. This is evident with the Lift efoil, I don’t know what they’re running but after watching their Dusseldorf exhibition video on you tube it certainly is not 90cm. My guess is 65. Any ideas guys?

I used a 90cm last season and a 65cm now. I really miss my 90cm mast. The ability to ride high adds to the adrenaline rush. My experience is that the maneuverability is more related to wing/stab setup.

Shortened the mast to 75cm. Way more maneuverable.

I also shortened my mast to that length. Now it also fits in a std suitcase for easy transportation :slight_smile:

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