In this article, we are going to tackle an important question: “How long does windsurfing equipment last?” Read it to find the answer.
The essential windsurfing equipment:
Among the most important pieces of windsurfing equipment is the windsurfing sail. It is a wing-shaped canvas made from synthetic materials or a durable film that is attached to the windsurfing board.
There are two predominant sail designs: camber-induced and rotational. A cambered sail has 1 to 5 camber inducers at the ends of the battens that cup against the mast. The stiff aerofoil shape allows the sail to move faster and be more stable, but manoeuvrability and lightness are sacrificed. Most recreational sails do not have camber inducers, while racier sails do. Additionally, battens contribute to the stiffness of the sail.
Windsurfers stand on the board to which the mast is attached.
The original windsurfing board consisted of a polyethylene body filled with PVC foam. Later, hollow epoxy designs with glass reinforcement were used. Modern boards are typically made from expanded polystyrene foam cores reinforced with composite sandwich shells using carbon fiber, kevlar, fiberglass, epoxy, plywood, and thermoplastics.
Boards used in racing and wave surfing are usually extremely light (5 to 7 kg) and made of carbon sandwiched together. For better shock resistance, veneer may be used on boards like these. Beginner boards are usually heavier (8 to 15 kg) and more robust, containing more fiberglass.
A windsurfing mast is the key part of the windsurfing equipment. Most masts are available in either SDM (Standard Diameter Masts) or RDM (Reduced Diameter Masts) types. Constructions vary from Epoxy composite to Carbon of 40 to 100%. The bend curve type, stiffness and compatibilities vary from mast brands and sail type compatibilities.
Each type of mast has its own benefits, specific uses, and unique performance aspect. You may find that it’s helpful to consult with experts when making this decision and working out the details. The bend curve type, stiffness and compatibilities vary from mast brands and sail type compatibilities.
SDM masts are normally available in lengths of 370-550 cm in increments of 30 cm and have a larger diameter from the base up to the two-thirds length of the mast. The diameter of RDM masts is small throughout their length. Their smaller diameter allows them to bend further, making them ideal when windsurfing in waves. In increments of 340-490 cm, RDM masts are available.
When windsurfing, a boom provides structural support to the sail by attaching to the mast.
There are booms with larger diameter tubes (about 29 mm), smaller diameter tubes (about 26 mm), V-shaped or even elliptical shapes. The diameter you choose depends on the size of your hands. The 29 mm tubes should be better for those with large hands, while the 26 mm ones should be better for those with smaller hands.
How Long Do Windsurfing Sails Last?
Roughly windsurfing sails last up to 4,000 hours of active use. The exact lifespan of sails depends on many factors, including:
- Sails are made of polyester materials. If impacted by ultraviolet light from the sun, the strength of sails reduces. While sailing, avoiding the sun is almost impossible; however, you can constantly inspect the sail for tears. Your sail will last longer if you fix a tear. Failure to check for material damage may result in sail damage.
- Salt and other dirt debris are the main enemies of sails. It is therefore important to wash off salty water from your sail periodically. As a general rule, you should wash your sail as soon as possible if it has been exposed to saltwater.
- Using the proper halyard tension will help your sail withstand the wind’s power and last longer.
- A precision recut can restore the shape of up to 90% of sails that have lost their shape, according to statistics. Recutting is especially important for sails that have been out for two, three, or more years.
- If you take care of your sails, they should last you a good long while, but how long is subjective. As a careful owner, you should store your sails equipment in a cool and dry place that is protected from UV (i.e., direct sunlight).
Based on accounts of many windsurfers, it’s not unusual that sails last for more than a decade.
It is time to consider changing the sail when the performance of the sail is reduced, and sailing for you becomes more challenging. On top of that, you can identify an inferior sail by the shape, stitches breaking, the bolt rope shrinking, and damage to the batten pockets.
How Long Does A Windsurfing Board Last?
Boards can last for many years, even decades. Board’s lifespan depends on how many hours they are used and in which conditions.
The lifespan of a windsurfing board largely depends on the type of windsurfing board. For example, if you have a slalom board, it will last for about 2-5 years. Whereas, if you have a longboard, it will last for about 10-15 years.
A windsurfing board can also be damaged by various factors such as salt water and UV rays.
How Long Do Windsurfing Mast And Boom Last?
The mast will last for many years if it is made from quality materials, but anyway it will wear out over time and lose its effectiveness. In spite of the fact that you may have had the mast for over 5 years, and it still rigs well, the performance of the reflex could have worn out with long hours of operation. The best way to keep it performing longer is to keep it out of the sun or de-rigged and in a straight position when not in use.
The boom needs a grip to protect it from damage and rubber patches to alleviate tension on the boom cables. If you take good care of these features, your boom will last for many years.