- 09 August 2014 | Windsurfing
It's one of the worst things that can happen after a long windsurfing session. When the mast gets stuck or blocked by a few grains of sand, you'll know you need to do something before going home.
Many people give up and will keep their giant mast out in the garden. In one piece. Stuck masts can last forever, but they're definitely not portable at all.
Windsurf masts get blocked when they're rigged in the beach, before each windsurfing session. A couple of hours later, when you're tired and surfed out, you've got a problem in your hands. Are you driving with a giant mast on the roof of your car?
The old two-boom trick is not recommended, and it may not work. Sand can really be your worst windsurfing nightmare, and many sailors have stuck masts for over ten years.
If there's not a sign of loosening, don't lose hope. Ask for help. Call friends or anonymous beachgoers, and divide them into two groups. Five, six or seven people will do it.
First of all, get soapy water over the connection. Then bend and bounce the mast continuously for five minutes. You can do this yourself by finding two elevated surfaces and bouncing the mast vigorously.
Now, get at least two friends in the lower piece of the mast, and at least three in the higher part of the mast. Prepare for a tug of war test. Both sides should work cooperatively. That means twisting their part to the right, and pulling each mast piece at the same time, and with all strength possible.
In less than one minute, you'll hear the crunching sound from the sand locked inside the intersection. Pop. Done. Your windsurfing mast in unstuck.
If you were not able to unblock your mast pieces, take your time. Pour some olive oil in the joint, wait a couple of days, and call your friends once again. In the end, clean the mast ferrule, and remember to mount it free of sand.
The alternative solutions include the "two-boom twist," as well as the prusik knot, tree and car towball formula. In both cases, there's a good chance you'll end up damaging gear.