BEEFED-UP MAST EXTENSIONS
Heavy Duty usually refers to increased wall thickness in the extension tube, or the connection between the plastic foot and the tube.
This should, usually, involve the use of Stainless Steel or extra alloy to help spread forces, resist against wear and provide resistance to salt and sand.
You can often see some of the HD material inside the first few holes of a reinforced carbon or aluminium extension.
‘HD’ can also feature extra protection inside the foot where the ‘U-Pin’ is inserted.
HOW MUCH HEAVIER GRAM-FOR-GRAM?
And what about weight?
Of course this varies by brand, but think up to 2-300 grams difference like-for-like (HD compared to regular), even in the larger sizes of both RDM and SDMs.
That represents a 25-30% difference in overall weight increase – which is also pretty much about the equivalent weight and percentage difference between most aluminium and carbon extensions of equivalent lengths.
In any case, an HD Carbon model should still be slightly lighter than a basic aluminium model.
In our opinion, since mast extensions are not on the ‘swing weight’ extremes of your board and rig package - but in the middle of that bundle’s momentum, where weight is less critical – it’s always advisable to ‘go HD’ in whatever material you ultimately choose.