STUCK WINDSURFING MAST ? WE EXPLAIN HOW TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM!

In worst case scenario you will need some beers, 8 persons, 2 towels and some oil.

WHAT CAUSES THE PROBLEM AND HOW WE CAN AVOID IT

Stuck windsurfing mast is a classic problem you can see on the beach on regular basis. To avoid it, it's important that the mast connection pieces are 100% clean. Sand and salt often gets into the connection and blocks the mast. The dirt can find his way from the top or even from the connection part. Check that the top plug is correctly placed, not damaged and tight correctly. Tape the connection part. This will avoid dirt getting into this area.
TIP: New masts are very tight and the risk of ending with a stuck mast is higher as the connections are very tight. However avoid grinding the connection piece as it's meant to be very tight and it will get loose anyway by wear and tear. In case you really want to grind because you always end with the same problem even following the above taping technique: Do this very carefully and grind as less as possible. Less is better than too much!! I personally do not recommend this!
Sometimes sand also finds its way through the mast foot and blocks the mastfood to the mast. Never play around with the sail on the beach putting the mastfoot into the sand. Sand will block your mast food lock or may cause sand going into your mast making it difficult to take out the mastfoot out of the master after your session. If you want to practice some techniques with the sail in the sand you can do this placing a towel under the mastfood. CONCLUSION: You can easily avoid having a stuck windsurfing mast if you keep the joint area clean!

SO EASY TO AVOID THIS PROBLEM!

Just apply some tape and ensure that the plug at the top is well tight!

WHAT CAN WE DO TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM?

In case you end with a stuck windsurfing mast you have two possibilities:

  1. Buy a roof rack and forget about the problem!
  2. Follow our guide and just get it done!

BOUNCING THE MAST 
Hold the mast at the lower part and bounce the mast letting the top falling on the ground while turning bit by bit. Sometimes the connection is slightly wedged. In many cases this already helps and you may achieve to unblock the mast by yourself.

BE CAREFUL: Ensure that the ground is soft (no stones or hard underground) to avoid damaging the mast or the top plug. Best places to do this is on sand or on the grass (place a towel on the area to protect). Don't forget that carbon masts can bend very well but they don't like impact on hard surfaces or edges. A little crack may end with a broken mast during your next session

BOUNCE THE MAST

Hold the mast at the lower part and bounce the mast letting the top falling on the ground while turning bit by bit. Sometimes the connection is slightly wedged.

MEN POWER!

For this aproach you need a few beers and some surfbuddies, beachgoers or anybody who looks strong. The situation of a stuck windsurfing mast is well known by any windsurfer so don't hesitate to ask any surf buddy around, they will surely give you a hand. As more people you can motivate to help as better and if you can choose: go for the strong guys and forget for this time the sexy girl under the parasol. 8 guys will do the job even in worst cases. Ensure forces are equally distributed and get coordinate. One team twists to the right the other to the left (teams should be placed close to the connection part, on each side). Alternate the directions of each team especially every time it loses a bit and pull. This technique is successful in 95 % of the cases.
TIP: Coordination of both teams, alternate directions and simultaneously pulling is the key.

BEND THE MAST!

If you have a harder nut to crack place the top part of the mast on the ground (ensure you do this on a soft underground and use a towel to avoid damaging the mast). The lower part of the mast should be placed on a higher surface (again protect with a towel!). Now with both hands and your body weight over the mast connection bend the mast strongly to the ground and turn bit by bit ensuring you bend the mast in every direction. This technique is done to "crunch" the sand and dirt inside the mast connection. Keep on doing this  for a few minutes. Once done, try again with your new friends.

Stuck windsurfing mast

BEND THE MAST

This technique is done to "crunch" the sand and dirt inside the mast connection.

BEND THE MAST AND APPLY SOME OIL

In some difficult cases you may also try the bending technique while dripping some oil on the connection. Try to avoid dripping oil on any other place than the connection area. Keep on bending and turning a while. The oil will find it's way into the connection and will help. However, this often ends with oil all over the mast and you will need to get the oil away before trying to twist with your friends to avoid slipping.

ALTERNATIVE TECHNIQUES:

HOT & COLD  Another technique which may sound bizarre at the first view, is to help yourself with heat and cold. Heat the top part of the mast (the area close to the connection) in the sun or exhauster of a car and cool the lower part with ice, water or shade at the same time. This works very often as heat expands and cold contracts the material. Try again with your new friends.

TWO BOOMS Using two booms attaching them on each side of the connection using the quick lock system may help due to the leverage effect you may achieve while twisting the booms to each direction. I personally do not recommend using this technique for the following reason: I don't think you will achieve more force than 6 strong guys helping, as you can't tighten the quick lock system that much and if you do tighten that much, you risk to break the mast or the lock of your boom.  PRUSING KNOT If you are alone you better use the prusik knot technique. Tie one side of the mast (connection area) to a tree or better the car towball but ensure the mast is well protected when twisting (place a towel between the metal and the mast). Again, both techniques are dangerous and may end with cracking the mast but the prusik knot technique at least doesn't expose your boom to any risk;-).

The above techniques are good enough to solve the problem in 99 % of the cases. If this is the case it's time for the beers I mentioned before. If you are one of the remaining 1 %: buy a roof rack and enjoy your stuck windsurfing mast!

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