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is carbon much better?

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Qiter
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Re: is carbon much better?

Postby Qiter » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:29 am

tomtom wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:10 pm
You dont feel weight.
I do not agree. Like on a bike, you DO feel weight on a hydrofoil.
Light equipment so much more agile on the water, independent of shape.

But as mentioned above, its about personal preferences...

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Re: is carbon much better?

Postby tomtom » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:04 pm

I mean you dont feel that light equipment is unstable or twitchi. The lighter the better. You feel weigth of things more as they are closer to your feet. So you feel board most and front wing least.

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Re: is carbon much better?

Postby SolarSet » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:23 pm

never rode Hydrfoil but have a bit experience in bikes, it not good analogy as MTB carbon Bikes benefit a lot from lower weight, could be something like 4-5kg difference and when going uphill it's a large difference plus lighter bike is more agile in corners for going down. Carbon frame are often more stiff but on bike with full suspension this might not be noticeable.
Biggest downsize of carbon frame is price and more difficult to repair. Also when you put chip on carbon frame it will probably propagate over time weakening frame.

Not sure what is a main benefit of carbon hydrofoil as riding on TT I don't see a great difference in board weight. More important size, flex and shape.

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Re: is carbon much better?

Postby drsurf » Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:24 pm

As soon as someone feels the weight of a good carbon foil assembly and board kit compared to any heavier non carbon based gear there is generally an immediate positive psychological impression in my experience. This is then backed up by ease of handling in the water, and if you jump your foil gear, then the lesser dangling weight is also a positive benefit.

If you can't figure it out from this thread, try a carbon setup and make up your own mind, as this thread could be argued forever theoretically. Practical experience can remove much doubt.

Have fun, Dave

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Re: is carbon much better?

Postby jumptheshark » Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:13 pm

For sure Dave, but like preferring strapless to strapped, speed to carve, foil kite to light Lei, there is context to flesh out.

There will be many new foilers in the next few years. Lots of them will be on large wings and go the strapless carving route. I think it’s important for them to know that unless they want to air, they are not really missing out on the fun with a good alloy set up. I would say more of the joy is contingent on wing and general design than weight. More so in foiling than other forms of kiting at least as the wing supports the weight while riding. Dry land handling, jumping and corossion, are the main issues. I’m sure the ride is better too, but it’s more marginal a difference as compared to something like bikes.

Even in cycling there are aspects where weight is less critical, ie downhill and fat bikes are two types of riding where momentum and inertia are valued over feather light weight.

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Re: is carbon much better?

Postby drsurf » Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:40 pm

jumptheshark wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:13 pm
For sure Dave, but like preferring strapless to strapped, speed to carve, foil kite to light Lei, there is context to flesh out.

There will be many new foilers in the next few years. Lots of them will be on large wings and go the strapless carving route. I think it’s important for them to know that unless they want to air, they are not really missing out on the fun with a good alloy set up. I would say more of the joy is contingent on wing and general design than weight. More so in foiling than other forms of kiting at least as the wing supports the weight while riding. Dry land handling, jumping and corossion, are the main issues. I’m sure the ride is better too, but it’s more marginal a difference as compared to something like bikes.

Even in cycling there are aspects where weight is less critical, ie downhill and fat bikes are two types of riding where momentum and inertia are valued over feather light weight.
Hi jump.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that a decent alloy foil is no good, the original question was "is it better". I started on an alloy, G10 based foil like many people have, who were not sure how much they wanted to spend. And if they had the money why put it into carbon? A percentage of people always want the best, even if it's just a perceived best, which is why there will be many carbon fibre bicycles owned by people whose needs would be easily met by an alloy bike.

As I sell foil gear I usually offer to a beginner a good alloy foil kit with some different mast lengths to aid the learning process. One beginner I spoke to today was interested in going beyond that to a carbon based foil as he perceived that in the long run he would ultimately end up with the best foil he could buy so he wasn't necessarily interested in something that was just for the interim. And considering there are some positive features of a carbon based foil for learners he is probably right. It's just that most people don't want to spend top dollar on something they may not follow through to being competent on.

There's a lot more choice out there than there was 12 months ago so, as I said before, try some different foils and make up your own mind!

Have fun, Dave
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Re: is carbon much better?

Postby jumptheshark » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:08 pm

I hope you would remind any novice foiler that just like starting out kiting, or getting a first surfboard, they might not really know what they're going to want from their gear three years down the line. Like selling a newb a full carbon twin tip, selling a newb a top shelf carbon foil might not be in even the richest clients best interest. I bet there are those that know what they want to do right from the outset, but most of us will end up changing wings, boards, or complete set ups a few times before we settle into a preferred style. Especially in light of the rate of evolution in foiling. For some of those styles, weight is not the main concern.

Very hard to mount any argument that carbon is not better. That is absolutely NOT what I'm saying, but context is everything and for many, the difference is marginal enough that it's not that important.

As the field of available foils grows and matures, I am far more interested in the evolution of wing and overall planform than I am shaving weight. In some aspects I really appreciate the robust nature of my alloy gear. Does not require kid gloves and I feel no anguish over a scratch here and there. Likely won't be quite as cavalier with my kit if I ever go carbon. For that jump, I'll wait until I have settled into a particular set up for a few years without wanting to change much. Starting my fourth season this spring, Im on my third wing that's more than twice the size of my first and drastically different in planform, have changed boards three times and am still dialing in mast length by cutting off a couple inches this winter. (not really an option for commercial carbon masts). I've made all these changes to my original Zeeko Alloy set up and apart from learning on a full length mast feel it has been phenomenal value and has not held me back. I'm really looking forward to getting back on that chunk of metal this spring in its latest incarnation.
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Re: is carbon much better?

Postby Flyboy » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:15 am

Thanks for the various responses.

Like sharksy I have a Zeeko alloy foil. I was shocked at first at how heavy it was (& it's by no means the heaviest alloy set up out there). Combined with a converted race board I found it impossible to water start - the combined bulk & weight made it really difficult (for me as a beginner least) to get in position to water start, so the rig sat there for more than a year unused. Recently, paired with a 4'6" Dwarfcraft & a Carver wing I got it up & foiling & I'm hooked.

The thing is, in the last 2 years foil manufacture & design has come a long way. There are a lot more options available & prices have dropped a lot for new gear (& even more, of course, for all the used gear that it now on the market). Zeeko was probably the best quality alloy foil available 2 years ago, but now there is a lot of competition from other brands - including brands offering more wing & mast options at cheaper prices. The Carver wing, which was a "big" wing a year ago, is now a modest sized wing compared to a lot of the new wings available. It's hard to know what direction things will go in the future as the foil market is going through rapid development as foiling becomes hyped across a number of different disciplines. It's going to be hard for the average foiler to try these different design options, so feedback from other users is helpful.

The trend seems to be for bigger, slower (& heavier) foils & also shorter masts (for which the issue of weight is probably less significant). So, perhaps more significant than carbon construction, light weight & low drag, is the price & versatility of options available from a particular brand, because (of course) there isn't much compatibility between different brands, as they all have different systems for watching the various parts of the foil.

I just bought a "high-end" carbon foil because it was for sale at about a quarter what it retails for (& about half what I paid a year & half ago for the Zeeko), so I figured - may as well. At the very least, the lightness will make it easier for traveling, as it knocks about 6 or 7 lbs off the weight of the Zeeko alloy. I'll report back when I get the opportunity to compare it ...

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Re: is carbon much better?

Postby bigcane » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:59 am

I think what is missing from this conversation is the main point about carbon which is the stiffness of the mast. Once you have a bit of experience and then get to ride an UHM carbon low drag mast there is no going back.

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Re: is carbon much better?

Postby Huib » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:18 am

I have an Alpine with an alloy mast. Last year I changed several times on the water with a friend who has exactly the same setup but with a carbon mast.
The difference with foiling was not or hardly noticeable for me.
Last edited by Huib on Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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