In praise of SDM masts
Nowaday all is focused on RDM mast, brands pushing them and sometime making rdm-only sails. Luckily my wonderful HSM sails can be rigged on both, SDM and RDM.
I've all (almost) Fiberspar masts and I've also bought two (400 and 430) RDM for wave situations, but i've kept also the SDM, as selling them I would have gain few money compared to their real value.
As Fiberspar declare and write on their mast al the specs (weight, carbon content, reflex), it's easy to see that:
- a SDM mast of same carbon conteht is LIGHTER than the same RDM
- a SDM mast of same carbon content has way HIGHER reflex index of the RDM with the same carbon content.
So, yes an RDM mast is or should be more durable and waveproof than a SDM, but to get the same reflex of the old sdm brother you have to choose a way higher carbon content, and the more the carbon content the more it's fragile...
More: a SDM mast can be easily carried with the top inside the base, so less room inside the mastbag, you cannot do this with RDM. I'm able to carry 4 sdm masts in 2 hard-case FS mast bags, and only two rdm more in their dedicated soft case (all then inside the big tube mastbag)...
More and more: for us (middle?-)heaviweight riders a 490 is often necessary, sometime also more (520) as we need bigger sails to plane in low thermal winds, but even a 460 RDM is hard to find, not to telly a longer one...
Finally I've seem that in my windsurfing is way easier to find flat or choppy water conditions, where I use only the SDM's as I get a more lively feeling. Using RDM surely I feel greater handling and a softer response, but when I want to push hard on lake or sea and there aren't waves or shorebreak, no question, SDM is the best choice!