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Aluminium vs Carbon Mast - Cost vs Benefit

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Kamikuza
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Re: Aluminium vs Carbon Mast - Cost vs Benefit

Postby Kamikuza » Mon Jun 28, 2021 11:18 am

double post
Last edited by Kamikuza on Mon Jun 28, 2021 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Aluminium vs Carbon Mast - Cost vs Benefit

Postby Kamikuza » Mon Jun 28, 2021 11:19 am

BayAreaKite wrote:
Mon Jun 28, 2021 4:42 am
@kamikuza for you carbon masts are not worth the cost. I respect that. But you can't speak for everyone. You can absolutely feel a 1lb weight difference in the mast when foiling... and walking on the beach, and flying commercial airlines with your gear, and starting strapless, and jumping. Weight is the enemy of everything.

I don't know why I have to repeat myself, but light and stiff is not a myth. What is your definition of light? My mast is 30% lighter than the Axis aluminum mast and just as stiff. I could trade more weight for stiffness, for example I could design the mast to be 15% lighter than Axis and 15% stiffer. That is lighter and stiffer. As a designer/engineer I simply chose to allocate more to weight savings than increased stiffness. But the mast is still much stiffer than many carbon and aluminum masts on the market. You will never see carbon masts that are more than 40% lighter than an aluminum mast of equivalent stiffness, so not sure what you mean by the future looking promising. Based on the mechanical properties of the materials it's simply impossible.

So again I respect your opinion that carbon masts aren't worth it for you. Not going to argue. But for some riders, a well-designed lightweight and stiff carbon mast is worth the premium, and they do exist.
Right, and I'm not trying to speak for everyone when it comes to what to buy.

Lake pumping guy couldn't notice the weight difference, and I can't notice the difference between my two wings when riding either. Walking on the beach -- sure, I can tell when I've got the bigger wing at the end of the mast without looking at it. I'm still very agnostic on that.

I'm specifically talking about carbon masts on the market ... there are none both lighter AND stiffer than the stiffest aluminum masts on the market. Theoretically it may not be myth, but in reality it is, isn't it ... and those who claim carbon masts are, have been pretty well proven wrong, I think, thanks to your posts and product testing.

Another 10% less of the enemy of everything isn't promising? :o

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Re: Aluminium vs Carbon Mast - Cost vs Benefit

Postby nothing2seehere » Mon Jun 28, 2021 12:48 pm

BayAreaKite wrote:
Sun Jun 27, 2021 2:33 pm
No, it is not 100% carbon and for very good reasons. For example the edges being flexible PVC make them lighter, cheaper, and less prone to chipping and cracking than carbon. They are also safer, and the aluminum mount plate is stronger than the the top mount of any carbon masts (and lighter). So marketing a 100% carbon mast that is inferior to a hybrid design by nearly all metrics makes no sense to me. and 600g is not insignificant! People pay a lot more for less weight savings in a lot of other sports (cycling, sailing, flying, etc). When I used to race road bikes people would spend $2,500 on a set of carbon wheels which weighed 1200g vs. aluminum hoops for less than half the price at 1600g.
Interesting on the wheels but with bicycles the saying is 1lb off the wheels is worth 2lb off the bike (rotational weight) so the apparent 400g should really be compared as a 800g saving. Also weight savings are more critical if you can't change the power source to compensate (Gruber assist anyone :lol: ) so its not a totally fair cost vs benefit comparison in terms of weight.

Out of interest - why don't you think the way Shinn make their top plate to be good? I was under the impression that the majority of the weight savings in their carbon mast comes from the carbon top plate design they use. The connection certainly seems strong - or are you meaning 'resilient to damage' when you say aluminium top plates are stronger?

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Re: Aluminium vs Carbon Mast - Cost vs Benefit

Postby JoelLikesFoil » Sun Jul 25, 2021 2:20 pm

Flyboy wrote:
Sat Jun 19, 2021 7:23 am
Just received my 85 cm Gong carbon mast/fuselage. The immediately noticeable thing is that the new mast has a much thicker cord than the older Gong alu mast (or the older Gong Carbon mast). As a result it's not all that light - I guess Gong has made the decision that stiffness is more important than light weight. It seems like most of the foil brands are now going with a similar beefier construction. This might be intended more to handle the load created by the large wings people are using to wing & surf with.

The 85 cm mast fuselage combo weighs in at 2.3 kg, while the 95 cm alu mast with fuselage & plate attached weighs in at 3 kg. 30% difference, which is exactly what Gong lists in their tech info.

Gong.jpg
I agree that stiffness is more important than weight, so I would prioritize carbon, fewer connection points/parts, and the quality/method of connection points. Except for how the board+foil assembly might float in the water for a water start, I'm not sure weight matters. Why care about 1/4 or 1/2lb when the guy on top is 200lb? But, the direct feeling from foot-to-foil is key. This allows for greater sensitivity to what's going on underwater, and for me, over time, allows my body and senses to become more predictive than reactive. Whenever I try a lesser foil rig (per my priorities above) it feels sloppy, but more importantly, a bit unpredictable.

I've been happy with the Slingshot Phantasm 92cm mast, which has a generously-size mounting plate and the butt/fuse connection has a lot of surface area and 3 bolts. Also, the core is all-carbon; the carbon foil skin is essentially built around an inner carbon beam. This must add some stiffness compared to other core materials, but it definitely enhances that direct feeling with the water - there's nothing to dampen the connection. Similar to using an all-carbon road bike compared to Al/Steel - you feel every little feature of the road.

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Re: Aluminium vs Carbon Mast - Cost vs Benefit

Postby vanart » Sun Jul 25, 2021 10:46 pm

My only concern what is the longest aluminum mast one could get? 91 ?
I know the carbon's 111sm...

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Re: Aluminium vs Carbon Mast - Cost vs Benefit

Postby vanart » Sun Jul 25, 2021 10:47 pm

p.s. in a blind test i don't think there are many people out there who could easily distinguish Alu VS Carb...

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Re: Aluminium vs Carbon Mast - Cost vs Benefit

Postby grigorib » Mon Jul 26, 2021 6:08 am

vanart wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 10:47 pm
p.s. in a blind test i don't think there are many people out there who could easily distinguish Alu VS Carb...
I think I can easily distinguish price difference, strapless waterstarts difference and feeling of carrying the foils

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Re: Aluminium vs Carbon Mast - Cost vs Benefit

Postby bragnouff » Mon Jul 26, 2021 7:14 am

JoelLikesFoil wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 2:20 pm
Why care about 1/4 or 1/2lb when the guy on top is 200lb?
It comes down to the concept of unsprung mass. And it does make a noticeable difference in terms of feel and reactivity. See your legs as the spring/shock absorbers that deal with the body weight (sprung mass).
A foil that floats is also a pretty cool feature for strapless waterstarts on buoyant boards, and for the one time when you rip your foil boxes off after hitting something nasty.

Cheap, Stiff, Light. You can only pick 2 out of those 3...

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Re: Aluminium vs Carbon Mast - Cost vs Benefit

Postby vanart » Mon Jul 26, 2021 11:47 am

grigorib wrote:
Mon Jul 26, 2021 6:08 am
vanart wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 10:47 pm
p.s. in a blind test i don't think there are many people out there who could easily distinguish Alu VS Carb...
I think I can easily distinguish price difference, strapless waterstarts difference and feeling of carrying the foils
:D you are right!
I meant once you are up and riding

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Re: Aluminium vs Carbon Mast - Cost vs Benefit

Postby Flyboy » Mon Jul 26, 2021 4:36 pm

I'm very happy with my carbon rig from Gong. I think I would have to have another session on the alu set up to see how noticeable the difference is compared to the carbon. Regardless, it's nice to have the carbon: carrying it, getting it in & out of my car (I keep it assembled), swimming with it, strapless water starts, falling around it, touching it - all are nicer than the alu. I would say that for someone looking for entry into foiling at a reasonable cost, the current crop of alu foils are completely appropriate. Once you're hooked you maybe lured into spending extra for a carbon set up, even if the performance differences for the average (non-racing, non-jumping) foiler are not great.


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