Author Topic: adding a mast track to my new custom SUP?  (Read 1734 times)


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adding a mast track to my new custom SUP?
« on: March 20, 2015, 11:48:59 AM »
I have a custom SUP being built right now... a 10'2 all-around board. 

I used to windsurf a long time ago.  I would be stoked to get a sail and cruise around in light winds like the classic original windsurfer. 

Are there any suggestions on how to add a mast track? Location tips would be appreciated.  Where do I buy one?

Also, what about adding a ventral fin box in the center of the board for a little lateral side-slip prevention?  Again... what location would would best?

Seems like the best sail to use is the Starboard windSUP rig...

Finally... does it make any sense to go for high-performance windsurfing on a 10'2 board? Good sails, a harness, etc...  or is light-wind cruising the limit for a board like that?
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Re: adding a mast track to my new custom SUP?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2015, 12:45:27 PM »
The most experienced guys with longboard/sup sailing around here say right in the middle of the board for the mast track. Be sure to have the track inserted into a sizable cartridge of Divynicell or other strong PVC foam. You want it glassed over and routed open, not inserted after construction. Some folks have even gone to the extreme of dropping the first layer of glass into the hole in the cartridge, inserting the mast track, then glassing over with the second layer. Might be unnecessary, but I like the idea.

The Starboard 12'6" has a tuttle fin box for a center fin, and they even made a version with a foot-operated centerboard. I've never found it necessary. You could probably go upwind better in light wind, but who does that? More trouble than they're worth when the wind gets stronger.

For a rig, you need a sail you like the feel of. You don't need ultimate performance. If you don't have old gear, then go used for everything. I love Superfreak sails for SUP surfing. You aren't going to snap-accelerate so you don't need fast-reacting sails. I like the steady, powerful pull of Superfreaks better than the bang, slam of mylar sails. I think it suits SUP sailing much better. The Starboard ultralight rig is a reasonable alternative, but it's built to a price. I think you can get better stuff for the same or less money. I've found used Superfreak sails for as little as a hundred bucks.

Your mast track can double as a carry handle if you have a few finger holes routed into it. Doesn't seem to compromise strength. I route mine to the rear and push the sail forward.

I have four modern windsurf boards that gather dust. When the wind is strong enough for high-performance windsurfing, I'm doing downwinders. The SUP sailing combo is much more fun in the mid-wind conditions. In the ocean, the coolest part is that you're on a surfboard. You drive into a wave and then surf it. I wax my deck pad and then put it in the sun to make the wax penetrate. With the extra grip I can get into a harness and get back to footstrap territory and be fully powered up. You don't get the tail control of footstraps, and it's interesting to jump without straps, but if I can do it, anyone can.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2015, 12:57:44 PM by PonoBill »
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Re: adding a mast track to my new custom SUP?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2015, 12:45:49 PM »
Hey KW-

The mast track should begin just ahead of the carry handle. A Chinook 8" or 10" mast track should be good, and will give you some room to fine-tune the mast placement.

The ventral fin box will be helpful for light wind sailing and teaching beginners. It should go about a foot behind the carry handle.

Most SUP boards have too much tail kick to plane effectively, but they can be fun to dink around on, and they're pretty interesting in light wind wavesailing conditions.

I have some other threads here that link to windsurfization of SUP project pictures.

Good luck!

14x23 Riviera RP
14x27.25 Fanatic Falcon
11'8 Exocet WindSUP
10'4 Angulo WindSUP
...and a bunch of windsurf stuff


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