I've heard anything from they suck and break all the time, to they are
inconsistent and substandard, to they are great and a good value. What is
the real deal?
PWR has used hundreds of masts over the years, as much for testing sails
and boards and fins as for testing masts. We found that Fiberspar,
Dynafiber, and Powerex held up fine. Not that we didn't break some of
each, but then some of our guys pull off full forwards in knee-deep water
on 7-cambered 6.5s. Often!
The masts we broke most often, even during rigging, were Helix wound,
starting with the Bic logo and spreading out from there (but all looking
like the Bics).
After years of testing with PWR, I've settled on Dynafibers, but I'm not
sure they're better than Powerex or Fiberspar. I'd have no problem using
Powerex or Fiberspar, but I trust Dynafiber a little bit more, whether
it's statistically justified or not. And there are a lot of new marques
out there since I last looked closely, such a Gulftech, which I'd bet are
about as bombproof as missile silo.
Never Leave Wind To Find Wind
It's my understanding that Aerotech is changing from Dynafiber to
Powerex mast for their OEM program. Seems that there may have
been some quality problems with the newest Dyna's (something I
personally find pretty hard to believe). But I have ordered one of
the new Powerex masts because they are offering a 3rd pc (30-35cm)
for use with the big sails. I'll post what I find.
Windwing has changed OEM from Dynafiber to Powerex as well. The new race
mast (Ultra) has been doing very well in the bay. I sell all three
brands, and I will only use Powerex in the waves. This is because when I
break a top, I can buy a top or switch tops with another Powerex. Also,
they have a pretty smooth no-hassle warranty policy which is certainly not
always the case with the other big two. Powerex is also now OEM for some
big euro brands, including ART.
As for performance, look at weight and balance point vs. price. The
Powerex has a lower center of mass than any other mast on the market at
any price, and their weights are consistently lower than other masts when
comparing like price points. Fiberspar is still the standard when it
comes to bend accuracy, and I think that is why the pros use 90%
Fiberspar. I have found that Powerex has been doing a consistent job of
mimiking the Fiberspar bend, and I like the "feel" of the masts,
particularly the new 430/25 Pro, which I use everywhere including the
waves (though you should not do this at home). My feeling is that if you
stick your mast foreward and the tip catches the bottom in big waves it's
gonna break even if god made it. That's the only way I break 'em so I
just use slalom masts in the waves and hope for the best. I did have a
Fiberspar 430 World Cup that I used as a back up wave mast since '95 and
it took some amazing abuse before I sliced it in half duck-jibing full
speed into a piling.... No warranty on that one!
So, once again, more than you wanted to know....
have two wave masts - both carbon, both have been given pretty heavy use in
waves - West Australia - no breaks - lots of guys use them here - a friend
says no detectable difference between the green one and F. tidal wave
Hmmm. I now own two of them (460 slalom Z-axis), and find them to be fine.
One is a year old, the other is two. They live in mast bags and a garage
not sailing, and get reasonable care.
I'm actually thinking of buying a third (shorter wave mast).
I don't sail the gorge or anything, but for a good price-point, a 55%
slalom mast seems like a good trade-off. I use them on big slalom sails
and big wave sails (Rushwind) and they work just fine, 'far as I can tell.
> Brian "The Dog" Cunningham
> To reply, delete the obvious
> -- Do not Buy Sony Products --
> I've heard anything from they suck and break all the time, to they are
> inconsistent and substandard, to they are great and a good value. What is
> the real deal?
I have 4 skinnies on WindWings 3.5 - 6.0 and they are bomb proof. The
new 100% carbon's are super nice. The new 60% carbon works well in V8's
and has a 2 year surf warantee. WW is thinking about switching to them
for their sails.
> I've got one for three years, sailing Rio and SF Bay, Windwings sails 4.3
> to 5.4. No problems.
That I *didn't* know. If Bill H. thinks it's a good idea....
Something else to consider. The whole bottom half of the Powerex mast
is reinforced, not just the boom area (at least that's the story I'm
getting). From a geek engineer point of view, this makes good sense.
There's no lay-up change in the mast that causes a change in bend
characteristic. It's a "no knot" kind of thing, knots being the
weakest links in most lines. Probably adds some weight, but it'll
still be way lighter than those old BIC masts I had years ago. ;-)
As for the extension they are supposed to be making, it's just a
section of the lower half. Will give me a 520 or 530 cm mast (I
Anyway... All you U.S. yahoos out there have a good holiday. I'm
praying for wind.
Brian "The Dog" Cunningham
To reply, delete the obvious
-- Do not Buy Sony Products --
11. Powerex masts
14. Powerex mast