Broken mast: How do you get home in one piece without tearing your sail to shreds you ask? It’s time to do the on-water-derig; a seemingly complicated manoeuvre but once you’ve got the basics down it’s very straightforward and an important safety procedure to remember. Firstly, sit on the middle of your board with one leg over each side in the water for balance, then detach the sail from the board. Pull the sail towards you to the boom and untie the boom at both ends then remove it and place it on your board lengthways before resuming your seat on the board, sitting on top of it. Uncleat the downhaul and attach the mast base to your mast foot in the board standing vertically. Then try to wrench the mast out of the sail. If you have a cammed sail you’ll need to remove the cams manually and if your mast is still in one piece after the break you may have to twist the mast in circles to get a clean break from the top piece. Pull the mast out entirely then whilst still remaining on the board try to roll up the sail. It won’t be a tight roll because the sail is full of water. Once you’ve rolled the sail put everything on the board and sit on it to paddle home. The wider the board the easier this is to do. Don’t worry about crushing the sail you won’t do as much damage as you think. By the way, the broken mast section makes a good paddle!

Some of the other breakages I’ve come across in my career include:

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