This blog is mainly for oversized windsurfers, but sometimes you have a pearl for any size windsurfer. Many years ago, I saw a small ad for a Y-shaped plastic tool to help remove a tight mast base in the back of one of my windsurfing magazines. It seemed relatively expensive to me at the time, and since it was made in the UK, I suspect it may not have even been available for sale in the USA. It was called Easy-Undo.
I have an old thumb ligament injury from an intramural football game as a freshman in college.
If I get enough force in my thumb joint, it will displace and hurt pretty bad. Normally, this does not happen often at all, because most of my joint is stable. In recent years, I have also switched to Streamlined mast bases because I just find them easier to remove than the Chinook. The Chinook mast base plate I find the most difficult to remove if it gets too tight. I think all bases can get tough at times to remove especially in cold weather with cold hands.
So long ago, I made my own version of the tool with plywood, nuts and bolts. I love this thing, and although I don’t have to use it often, it is so awesome when I need it. I works great every time.
Sitting in my gear bag for over a decade, you can see the acorn nuts I used to cover the exposed bolt threads have developed surface rust. I originally thought I would use that side for removal of the base, but it did not grip the edges of the mast base as well, and it would sometimes slip. So, I flipped the tool and I used the bolt head side, and it has always worked great.
I was stoked to find an original Easy-Undo on Canadian eBay last week and snapped it up for cheap. It is really nicely finished and light. It looks like it is made from the same plastic as K4 Fins. I don’t know if these tools are still available. The listed website is no longer up. I will retire (and happily give away) my functional but heavy, lame looking homemade one. As you can see it is easy to make one on your own.
Not as universally great top tip as using vinyl tape over the mast joint before inserting your mast in the sail, but a great tool to have in your windsurf duffle bag. You will really appreciate it when you need it.