Windsurfing Mast Base Buyers Guide

The mast base, or mast foot is the piece that attaches to the board (and attaches the sail to the board). Most boards today have the same style of mast track Which may be shorter or longer depending on the
size and type of board:

This requires a standard type of base that
attaches with a brass nut that fits into
the track in the board.

The bendy joint of the mast foot is what makes a windsurfer different than a sail boat, and there are a couple of different kinds.

A u-joint (or rubber universal joint) is
like this, these are fairly easy to bend
over.

A tendon, like this is stiffer, so more
difficult to bend over to attach the
sail to the board, but stronger and
lasts longer.

A mechanical joint is the easiest to
bend over, so works great for beginners who often have big wide boards
that are difficult to stand up on edge
in the water to attach the sail.

Next we have the piece of the mast foot that attaches to the extension (that is in the bottom of the sail). There are two main variations, us cup (sometimes called base cup) and euro pin. It is really personal preference. We like the
euro pin as it is often easier to push one large button to disconnect the rig than two smaller ones. Whichever you have, be consistent! There is nothing worse than not having all of your gear be interchangeable!

Us cup or base cup, fits in extension like this

Euro pin mast foot fits with extension like this

If you need any assistance feel free to contact us via email, call or text

☏ (727) 656 -6569 | ✉ info@nbwindsurfing.com

What To Expect During Your First Windsurfing Lesson

Want to learn how to have the feeling of the wind in your hands as you glide across the water?

Here is what you should expect from your first windsurfing lesson:

First and foremost you need to learn some basics before getting your toes wet. Your instructors will cover all of the basics and then, your skills will be put to the test in the water. It looks a lot harder than it is and almost anyone of all sizes and athletic abilities can windsurf. Do not overthink it! If you fall, get back up and try again! Windsurfing is similar to riding a bike, you get back on it and try again. Once you get your skills down it is only a matter of time before you can advance your skills and learn some cool tricks that our instructors can teach you if they feel you are ready to advance.

Most importantly, do NOT forget to have fun. We would love to share the stoke with you!

To learn more feel free to contact us!

If you would like to book a lesson click here!

Olympic Class Starboard IQ Foils

The Olympic Class Starboard IQ Foils are here! The new 95 cm carbon mast has a higher grade of carbon so it is going to be stiffer than the regular 95 cm carbon mast. This helps with more stability in reaching and going upwind and downwind, allowing you to go faster with more control. In addition, the 900 millimeter front wing comes with the foil set and is sold separately. There is also the new 115 plus fuselage which comes with shims too, this can be tuned for winds between 5 and 30 knots. There is a 95 cm fuselage as well for higher winds and will help give you more control. Lastly, is the new 255 minus 2 tail wing that works with shims included with the 115 plus fuselage. We are excited about this new and coming gear and we hope you do too!

To book a lesson or hear more about the Olympic Class Starboard IQ Foils via phone or email at 727.656.6569 or info@nbwindsurfing.com

What is a Beginner Wing Foil Lesson Like?

A beginner wing foil lesson is all about learning the basics. A majority of the lesson is about getting comfortable with the maneuvering of the wing. The lesson consists of going over wing handling on the beach, then it is your turn to get on the water. At the end of the lesson you will be able to handle the basics of wing handling and sailing. It is important to be able to comprehend wing handling since that is the bulk of what is called wing foiling. You have to remember you are more in control with winging than windsurfing because the core center of balance is not the mast mounted in the center of the board, but it is you. There is more core balance involved in wing foiling that comes into play with knowing how to properly maneuver the wing to successfully wing foil.

If interested in booking a lesson or to learn more about wing foiling call us or email us at 727.656.6569 or info@nbwindsurfing.com

Tips for Receiving your Board

Windsurfing, wing, and SUP boards (along with big size masts, booms, and sails) are too big for us to ship via UPS, FedEx or the US Mail. These items have to be sent via truck, and we generally use Pilot Freight. 

Freight shipping is a little different than Fedex or UPS. It can take a few extra days to get to you and the trucking company’s tracking isn’t as sophisticated. We will send you a tracking number, which is the Bill of Lading number (BOL#). You can get a rough idea of when it will arrive on www.pilotdelivers.com by entering the BOL# here (you can leave the zip code and customer # fields blank):

If your shipment is delayed: If the tracking doesn’t show any information, your gear hasn’t arrived in the expected time frame, or you have any other problems – call us! We are happy to track down the details, let you know what is happening and help sort out any problems.

When you gear arrives:  You will either pick the gear up from the freight office or it gets delivered to your house.  You will need to inspect it and sign for it (they won’t just leave the boxes in your driveway if you aren’t home). Boards do occasionally get damaged in transit – so it is important to look your gear over carefully before you sign for it and note any damage on the BOL when you sign it. Often the cardboard box will look terrible, but the board inside will be fine. Rarely, the box will look great but the board will have damage.

If there is damage to your gear: Note it on the BOL, take pictures of the damage and the packaging, and then give us a call, text or e-mail. We do place insurance on the gear that we ship and we will take care of filing the freight claim and either getting the board repaired or sending a replacement.

If items are missing: When you sign the BOL – check to make sure you received the expected number of boxes. If a box is missing, or a box is torn open and it looks like some of the contents may have fallen out –  make a note of it when you sign and then give us a call, text, or e-mail to let us know. We can often help get that sorted out from our end.

After you have your gear: Make sure you unpack everything within a day or so of receiving it from the freight company. If there is hidden damage that you did not notice when you singed the BOL, we can still help you out if we know about it within 48 hours of delivery. 

And of course, if you have any questions about setting your board up, rigging your sail, assembling your foil, or anything else. Give us a call! We’re happy to help.

SUP Buyer’s Guide – All Around or Touring Shape?

When you are researching to purchase a paddle board, it can be confusing to figure out if you want an all-around board or a touring board. 

all around sup board

All Around SUP

Most of the paddle boards that you see on the beach fall in to the all around board category.  They look like big surfboards that are between 10 1/2 and 12 1/2 feet long, come in a variety of widths, and are fairly thin from the deck to the bottom.  These paddle boards are made to do everything and go everywhere….but not to be great at any one thing.  You can take them for a flat water paddle session, surf small waves in the ocean, cruise down a river, or use it for an impromptu yoga session.  The only limitation is how stable the board is for you and your imagination!  You can see some of the all around boards that we sell in our on-line store.

But if you try to race your friend who has a touring board – you are in trouble!  The extra width that makes it a stable yoga platform and the added rocker that makes it work in the waves also make the board slower through the water. 

why buy a touring sup

Touring SUP

Paddle boards that fall into the touring board category look a lot like a racing paddle board.  Generally longer and narrower and with a pointed nose, the touring paddle boards are made to cruise through the water more efficiently.  With better glide, you cover more distance with each paddle stroke than you would on an all around SUP.  These boards are made to work well in flat water and choppy water, the kayak-like pointy bow cuts nicely through the water they are nice for paddling in a bit of breeze as well.  Extra thick from the deck to the base, touring SUPs are still quite stable even though they are narrower than an all around board – so you can still bring your dog, your kid, or a cooler and a fishing pole along with you!  Some yoga moves can still be done – but you do lose the full length flat deck that you get on an all around or yoga specific paddleboard. 

On a touring shape SUP you will be able to paddle longer distances with less fatigue and get a greater feeling of gliding through the water.  Check out the touring boards that we sell in our store.

So what should I get?

Which type of board you should own really depends on what you will be using it for the most.  If surfing is your thing (or you want it to be), but you know that you will be in flat water a big chunk of the time – and all around SUP is great.  When the swell is up (or you get to take a road trip to the coast), or the kids in your family just want to try to be surfers, you will love that you can get surfing performance out of your SUP.  On the other hand, if you know surfing is not part of your plan, a touring paddle board will most likely be the board for you.  With fantastic glide and tracking you will have the most fun exploring your nearby waterways on a SUP that is efficient through the water.  If you still aren’t sure what kind of board you should have, give us a call at 727.656.6569 or send us a note we’re always happy to help!

Chinook: Windsurfing Hardware Made in the USA

When you pull up in front of the Chinook factory-warehouse in Cascade Locks, Oregon it is hard to believe that this is the source of the rock-solid windsurfing components we have all been using for decades. An unassuming building in an industrial park near the banks of the Columbia River, most passerby’s would never guess what is hidden inside!

On the day that we visited the place was buzzing with activity, the variety of products that are produced and assembled on-site is mind-boggling. Carbon booms and extensions are handmade from scratch by a handful of local Oregonians who clearly take pride in the quality of the end result. Each step of the process is hands-on and labor intensive. Starting with the guy who lays up the carbon, ending with the guy who glues on the boom grip, and lots of other hands in between. The only step that is hands-off is when the carbon goes into a mold under high heat and pressure. The Chinook carbon booms are fully made in the USA functional works of art.

chinook carbon booms
chinook carbon booms in warehouse oregon usa
chinook carbon booms for windsurfing

A centerpiece of the facility, the injection molding machine is responsible for spitting out all of the plastic components that your board and rig need. Footstrap inserts, mast tracks, fin boxes, boom front ends, adjustment collars for booms and extensions, the list goes on and on!

chinook warehouse factory orgeon usa

Aluminum booms and the aluminum extension tubes are the rare items that are not produced on site. We think they still deserve their “made in the USA” status based on the man hours that go into drilling the holes in the extensions and assembling them with the made in-house adjustment collars and pulley and cleat parts.

chinook injection molding machine orgeon usa

Chinook doesn’t just rely on their team riders to test their gear and drive innovation. The guys who run the company can be found on the water in the evenings after work and in exotic windsurfing locales during the winter. They don’t just make the gear, they also use it, so they are clear on the importance of function and durability! They are just as stoked as you are to have the new RDG (reduced diameter grip) boom in their hands so they can stay on the water longer.

After walking through the warehouse and seeing the products being built, it is clear that Chinook is a lean operation that strives for efficiency.  When you think of the machinery and time that goes into the production of each item, the price you pay for them seems like a great deal. And buying made in the USA parts also lowers the environmental impact, since they don’t have to be shipped across the ocean to get to you. Next time you downhaul your sail with your Chinook extension you can think about the Columbia Gorge area resident who assembled that extension while rocking out to a local radio station in a beautiful location. And you can know that their products have been thoroughly tested on the river by windsurfers just like you.

Windsurf Foiling in St. Petersburg

By now you’ve seen the pictures and videos, maybe there is even someone at your local sailing spot who has one. Foils are the trendy new thing on the windsurfing scene…but is it going to last, or is it just a fad? We believe that foils are the future of windsurfing (and other water sports as well, such as surfing and SUP). For windsurfing, the efficiency gains in light wind are really game changing. As a long time formula racer, Britt says

“I can be foiling with an 105 liter foil board and a 7.0m foil sail in in 5-6 knots of wind. That is before I could be planing on a formula board with a 12.0m sail. And on a foil I have the maneuverability that you would expect from a wave board – tight jibes and lots of carving. Plus I get the feeling of snowboarding or skiing on a powder day. A floating feeling that reminds me of snowboarding in waist deep powder – it is a silent, floaty, flying sensation.”


So – what do you need to know to get started?

Foiling Gear
While it is true that you can use any windsurfing board with a deep tuttle box (or even a power box with an adapter) with a foil, you may not want to. Compared to a normal fin, a foil puts a lot more stress on the fin box and your non-foiling board may not hold up. There are two main categories of boards that are designed to be used with foils.

  • There are actual foil boards that are designed to be optimized to foiling. Boards like the Starboard Foil 122Slingshot Wizards and Dialers, and the Exocet RF Foil have a distinctive design with short lengths and lots of width (especially in the tail). A dedicated foil board has more volume in the tail to support your weight as you move back before getting to foiling speed. They are shorter to reduce windage and swing weight – and the benefit is noticeable. Bevels are cut in rails in the front to help keep you upright when you come down off the foil. We have found that it is easier to get foiling in lighter winds with a dedicated foil board – that is what they are optimized for.
  • The other option is a more traditional windsurfing board that has a foil box (like a deep tuttle fin box, but super reinforced). In this category you have the Fanatic LightwindFanatic Gecko and Blast Foil editions, Starboard Carve IQ Flax Balsa as well as the larger sizes of Starboard Isonics and Fanatic Falcons. With any of these, when it gets windier than what you want for foiling, you have the advantage of pulling the foil out and putting the traditional fin in so you can have a blast windsurfing around like you are used to.

Sails are more universal when it comes to foiling – but if you want to maximize super light-wind performance a foiling specific sail like the Sailworks Flyer will help. We have been foiling with freestyle sails, wave sails, and freeride sails – they all work! As always, a light-weight rig is more fun to use and you will appreciate it when you are uphauling (you can foil in significantly less wind than you can water start in).

Foils come in a lot of different configurations!  Some are full carbon construction, some aluminum, and some are a combination of carbon and aluminum.  There are foils that are primarily for very light wind and foils that are designed to go fast.  We can help you pick the foil that work best for you, the conditions you are going to be using it in, and the board you will be using it with!
windsurfing foils
Technique
Foiling technique is very similar to windsurfing in flat water. Because there is not usually waves or chop to contend with in light wind, your body will be very straight from the ankles to the head. Lighter wind and lower board speeds mean there is not very much pressure in the sail compared to being lit up while windsurfing on the fin, so you body and the sail can be more upright until your board speed increases and you can begin to lean out more. To get the board foiling you start moving back on the board sooner than you might be used to. With some practice you can feel the lift from the foil and move back accordingly. When you feel upward pressure or lift from the foil, you push down on your back foot as your front foot goes in the front footstrap and board comes out of the water and onto the foil. Keeping the board up on the foil requires you to really keep the board flat and your body still. If you are used to windsurfing with lots of weight on your heels – it will be quite difficult to keep the board flying on the foil! But the crashes aren’t bad. The sail isn’t as loaded up as it is when you are normally blasting around, so you just tip over. The time spent learning is fun, and it is well worth it when you get it. The noise of the board on the water goes away and you get the amazing feeling of floating/flying above the surface of the water. If you want help getting started, we teach foiling lessons and rent foiling gear. In no time at all you can be foiling across Tampa Bay having a blast!

Your First Day Foiling

foiling with sailworks flyerIf you are windsurfing in the harness and foot straps, you will be able to get foiling pretty quickly.  Your first time out you will just be getting the feel of getting up on the foil and keeping the board level.  Don’t worry about the crashes. Because you can foil in light wind the sail doesn’t have a lot of power, the crashes are easier than what you remember from learning to use the harness.

How to prepare for your first lesson

On your first day foiling, be prepared to be in the water more than you might be used to!  Because you can foil in light wind, you will be uphauling the sail to get going (you can foil in much less wind than you can waterstart in).  Falling down and uphauling doesn’t mean you are failing – it means you are learning.  Dress for being in the water a bit more than usual and be prepared to be out of the harness most of the time on your first day.

Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and drinking water with you.  

Foiling lessons are available all year long, 7 days a week – just give us a call at 727.656.6569 or send us an e-mail to schedule yours!