Foiling has taken the watersports world by storm, and if you're keen on this exciting new trend, you'll know that optimizing your setup is key to success. One of the most critical elements of foiling is mast position, which directly affects your stability, lift, and speed. In this blog post, we'll guide you through the ins and outs of mast positioning on the board, providing tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your foiling experience.
Let's first touch on the two types of foil mounts, the Twin US box and the less common Tuttle box.
The Tuttle box is a deep, rectangular box that is set into the board's underside. Then the top of the mast is inserted into this slot. The foil is then secured by tightening bolts that pass through the board and into the box and mast bolt holes. The Tuttle box is widely used in windsurfing and some older foil boards have the Tuttle system as a legacy provision. However, installing the Tuttle box offers little adjustment and can restrict options for purchasing or upgrading foils moving forward.
Twin US box:
The Twin US box is a more recent development that has been adopted across all foil and board brands. And is now considered the industry standard for board and foil design. It consists of two small channels that are set into the board's bottom surface, spaced 90mm apart. Each box has a captive horizontal slot that is used to slide track nuts into, then the mast is then mounted using 4 bolts. The Twin US box is a stiffer system and allows for easy adjustment of the foil's forward and rearward position on the board.
From a beginner stance or when using a New foil or board for the first time, it's advised to position the Mast in the middle of the Track box giving the rider a baseline reference of which to then tune the position at a later point once you are up and foiling.
Whilst riding the board and foil if you experience heavy front or rear foot pressure you may need to move the mast.
Moving the mast forward will increase front foot pressure which you may need if you find that your rear leg is burning or increased muscle fatigue.
Moving the mast towards the rear of the box will increase rear foot pressure this may be an advantage in higher wind conditions where increased power from the wing or kite increases speed and in turn makes the foil have higher lift forces.
Due to differences in design philosophies, it's possible that different brands of foils may not match the boards of other brands out of the box. However, you can use a helpful technique to determine the correct balance of both the foil and board. This involves using the center of lift of the front wing to find the right balance point.
With the foil fitted to the board. Place your hand at the center point of the front foil and lift up until the board is clear of the floor. You should aim for a horizontal board, without it being nose or tail heavy. If the board isn't level, adjust the mast until the board is horizontal.
Mast positioning is a crucial factor in foiling, and understanding how to optimize it can make a big difference in your performance. By exploring the pros and cons of forward and rearward positions and following our pro tips, you'll be well on your way to mastering the art of foiling. So, grab your gear, hit the water, and get ready to take your foiling to the next level!