Walk in to any windsurfing dealer worth their salt and they’ll recommend you buy the mast the sail you’re interested in was designed on.
And for a 100% carbon spar for a performance race or wave sail this is absolutely the right selection if the sail designer’s intended handling behaviour is your top priority - and providing the manufacturer has a consistent manufacturing method. (Read on for more on that.)
But once you get into the realm of considering 80% or lower carbon percentage masts, this becomes less of an issue.
Is a Sail Manufacturer's Mast Better than an Indepedent, Specialist Mast-Maker's?
Do you want to be ‘stuck’ with Brand X’s mast when you switch to Brand Y? Will you have to sell the mast with the sail or, even worse, risk having to sell both separately and wait - and be out of pocket - longer so you can get the new ones?
And, even if Brand X’s masts are also the same bend curve as Brand Y’s, will you be left with inferior performance, especially if one brand is ‘on the edge’ of the bend curve spectrum?
Plus there are other general build quality arguments, such as whether the sail-brand model has integrated ferrules or specific radial compression layers for racing masts or not and so on. (More mast spec FAQs.)
Law of Averages
Unlike most aftermarket brands, Unifiber produce masts based on an average of all the bend curves that they continually measure, so that you can rest assured that a constant curve (CC) model for example, will equally suit all brands listed as favouring CC masts. And so on for flex top (FT) and hard-top (HT) varieties too.
Buy Once and Hold
This way you can confidently buy a mast and keep it to use on any brand’s sails and gain added value for money over it’s lifespan.
Even 100% Carbon models by Unifiber will have superb response compared to the recommended brand. In fact, all manufacturers have production tolerance variances - meaning nobody is producing masts - at any carbon content percentage - with consistent behaviour. (Mainly because most sail brands do not have a dedicated program and mostly rely on off-the-shelf, generic OEM products from their suppliers.)
Unifiber too will have some production tolerance range as well, although their pre-preg manufacturing method is the most consistent technique to ensure all fibers have accurate resin impregnation levels compared to other processes.
You should carefully evaluate those techniques and consistency levels when considering that recommended sail-brand mast, or any aftermarket choice, regardless of carbon content.
It could just be that the aftermarket/Unifiber choice makes the best sense in the end.