24" Tuttle Head Mast: This option is 24" from the base of the tuttle head to the fuselage. The 24" mast is the length that a lot of beginner foilers will choose as they start their foiling journey. It's also a great option to have if you're riding in shallower areas or where low tides can be an issue. When you purchase the tuttle head mast alone, you can only install it on a board with a tuttle box, unless you buy the optional tuttle to plate adapter. With the tuttle to plate adapter, the 24" mast will work on any hydrofoil board with a 90mm track system. (We go into more detail on the tuttle to plate adapter system in another post)
28.5" Plate Mast: The 28.5" mast comes with a plate mount permanently installed. The length from the top of the plate to the fuselage is, as you would imagine, 28.5". This mast is 4.5" longer than the 24", and the height difference will cause it to perform a little differently on the water in a few ways. For beginners, starting with a more extended option will make your board ride higher off of the water and ultimately will be less stable. As your board gets higher off of the surface of the water and farther from the base of the fuselage, your side to side stability becomes more challenged. Like the side to side stability, the front to back foot pressure balance that you use to control the height of your rig is more difficult to manage as well. Falls will be more dynamic; the higher you ride as well. For experienced riders who have developed their stabilizer muscles, the extra length of the mast can come with added advantages. When your board is riding higher off of the water, you've got more time and distance to correct any mistakes you may make before you touch down. Having that extra height also aids in flatwater pumping. It gives you a little more room to work the foil up and down. Lastly, being higher in the air allows you to lean into your turns and ride a bit more aggressively when carving.
With this 28.5" mast, you can only rig it on a board with standard 90mm track mounts installed. By having the plate permanently affixed, you are a little restricted in regards to the board types you can use, but you end up with a lighter rig than a tuttle mast that has a plate adapter installed.
29.5" Tuttle Head Mast: The 29.5" option comes with the tuttle head mount, like its little brother, the 24.5". It's designed to be used in a tuttle box or with the optional tuttle to plate adapter. This mast gives you 29.5" height when the tuttle head is in the tuttle box. For foilers who already have an essential ability to foil, this mast is magic! Aside from the added length, one of the most significant differences is its thickness. GoFoil designed this mast to be slightly deeper from front to back. The added depth makes a stronger, stiffer connection between your board and the foil wings down below. Where you will feel a difference is in the responsiveness when turning or making quick directional changes. It also feels more stable under your feet at higher speeds. The 29.5" mast is the mast we have been using the last few seasons, and we love it!!
General Things To Consider When Looking At Different Masts:
Length: Shorter masts are more comfortable to learn on. More extended options help experienced riders have increased time to make corrections, aid in pumping, and improve the ride in choppy conditions.
Board Mount Options: There are two systems for mounting foil boards, a tuttle box or a track mount system. The tuttle box is a box that installs through the foil board. The tuttle head mast is designed to slide inside and then secured by two bolts through the top side of the board.
- The Track Mount System is made up of two long boxes mounted 90mm apart, 45mm to the left, and right of the center of the board. The boxes vary in length from 10" to as long as 15". Track mount systems are designed to be used with plate foils. The plate system installs in the tracks with four specialized track nuts. The track nuts allow the plate system to slide forward and backward, to adjust the foil mount position on the board.
- The Tuttle Box and track systems have positive and negative arguments made for both options. We go into more detail on these differences in another post. For the sake of assisting in mast selection, you want to make sure you know which system your board has so that you can get the right mast for it.
Tuttle To Plate adapters: We outline different plate adapters in another post but wanted to add one quick note in regards to mast selection. The best way to ensure you can use your foil on any board is to purchase a tuttle head mast with the optional tuttle to plate adapter. With this combo, your setup will work on almost any traditional foil board made today, whether it's a tuttle box or a track mount.
One thing to remember when using a plate adapter is that the mast length will longer. The GoFoil Plate adapter, for instance, increases your mast height an additional 2.75". You can use this to make your 24.5" and 29.5" mast taller if added length is your goal.
The goal of this post is to outline the common questions we get in regards to the GoFoil mast system. You've got some great options when it comes to building your perfect foil system on the GoFoil platform. Please check out our other articles that address an array of different topics about GoFoils hydrofoil products in our Gear Guides.