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Freeride mast: aluminum or carbon and why?

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Freeride mast: aluminum or carbon and why?

Aluminum
9
29%
Carbon
22
71%
 
Total votes: 31

rnelias
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Freeride mast: aluminum or carbon and why?

Postby rnelias » Thu Sep 22, 2022 12:12 pm

I've been foiling on aluminum masts since when learned HF but already had the chance to try a carbon mast from a local brand and did not like it. It did not feel as rigid as the aluminum mast. I know there a bunch of expensive and rigid carbon masts in the market but, do they worth the money for freeride? What do we actually gain by using carbon masts? From my understanding, I can list the following:

Aluminum: cheap, rigid up to <100cm, resistant (to hit solid objects/trash) the down side is the weight.

Carbon: expensive, light and, maybe, repairable when suffer some damage.

Another doubt we were discussing on our local groups is if carbon masts get less rigid over time since it's constantly flexing (fibers "working"), which can cause micro fractions in the resin.

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Re: Freeride mast: aluminum or carbon and why?

Postby StellaBlu » Thu Sep 22, 2022 2:06 pm

Aluminum has different ride characteristic - I would say the feedback is more harsh, but the flex characteristic is more "dead". In my opinion, you are better off with an aluminum mast (stiff and solid, but heavy) than a cheap carbon mast (flexy), but better off still with a well engineered carbon mast.

As Kyle from Project Cedrus says "Pick Two":
- Thin profile (glide)
- Lightweight
- Stiff

The compromise you make scales with cost, but every mast will prioritize some characteristic over others, so it depends on what kind of riding you are doing. Also depends on what kind of foils you are riding and your size - bigger guys and/or higher aspect foils need a stiffer mast. on a 1m+ wingspan flex is very noticeable.

Compare two premium carbon masts that prioritize different characteristics:
Cedrus - prioritizes stiffness and durability over glide (putting aside adaptability)
NoLimitz - prioritizes glide over durability and stiffness

https://projectcedrus.com/cedrus-develo ... imization/

The Project Cedrus episode of the Progression Project podcast also unpacks this topic a bit.
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Nelis
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Re: Freeride mast: aluminum or carbon and why?

Postby Nelis » Thu Sep 22, 2022 2:15 pm

May I lift on this topic..

I'm wondering whether the latest gen carbon masts - that are supposed to be way more rigid for handling big winging frontwings - bring any noticable advantages for kiters?

Examples:
Sabfoil > Kraken
Armstrong > New 93.5cm carbon mast
Gong > Carbon V2 non-monobloc
Levitaz > New 90cm (instead of 96cm)

Personally I'm already on previous gen carbon, and love it, however I think my old alu Slingshot setup was both extremely heavy and had sloppy connections which introduced wobbles. But if I see for instance the F-one connections on their alu system, they seem to be much better engineered interfaces.

Now wondering if it's worth it upgrading to the latest gen carbon stuff.

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Re: Freeride mast: aluminum or carbon and why?

Postby Jyoder » Thu Sep 22, 2022 2:27 pm

My Moses carbon masts don’t ventilate like my Liquid Force and Zeeko aluminum masts would when charging hard upwind in choppy water.

That single characteristic points me toward carbon being superior for me for kitefoiling.

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Re: Freeride mast: aluminum or carbon and why?

Postby StellaBlu » Thu Sep 22, 2022 2:31 pm

Nelis wrote:
Thu Sep 22, 2022 2:15 pm
May I lift on this topic..

I'm wondering whether the latest gen carbon masts - that are supposed to be way more rigid for handling big winging frontwings - bring any noticable advantages for kiters?

Examples:
Sabfoil > Kraken
Armstrong > New 93.5cm carbon mast
Gong > Carbon V2 non-monobloc
Levitaz > New 90cm (instead of 96cm)

Personally I'm already on previous gen carbon, and love it, however I think my old alu Slingshot setup was both extremely heavy and had sloppy connections which introduced wobbles. But if I see for instance the F-one connections on their alu system, they seem to be much better engineered interfaces.

Now wondering if it's worth it upgrading to the latest gen carbon stuff.
Connection stability is different than mast stiffness and has nothing to do with the mast material. This is a matter of engineering and both aluminum and carbon masts can be poorly or well-engineered. I've dealt with unstable connections - any play in the connections is going to drive you crazy. They aren't rideable. Even the tiniest amount of play can make a foil very unpredictable and this is exacerbated with speed. I also like the F-one monoblock connections (similar to Cabrinha) - they seem super solid (although this isn't the mast). In general, you want m8 connections in high stress locations (mast > board, fuse > mast) wherever possible. m6 is more susceptible to sheering, stretching threads and play over time. If its m6, use the longest bolts possible, use high quality bolts, and use torx.

Im only winging these days, so I can't really comment on firsthand experience with current gen carbon for kiting. While wing foils are generally wider (putting higher stress on the mast), winging is often slower than kiting. At kite foil speeds, I would have to imagine that mast stiffness is noticeable, even if the foils are smaller. In the same vein, drag is more noticeable as speed increases, so mast thickness would be more noticeable at higher speeds.

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Re: Freeride mast: aluminum or carbon and why?

Postby rnelias » Thu Sep 22, 2022 2:54 pm

StellaBlu wrote:
Thu Sep 22, 2022 2:31 pm
Im only winging these days, so I can't really comment on firsthand experience with current gen carbon for kiting. While wing foils are generally wider (putting higher stress on the mast), winging is often slower than kiting. At kite foil speeds, I would have to imagine that mast stiffness is noticeable, even if the foils are smaller. In the same vein, drag is more noticeable as speed increases, so mast thickness would be more noticeable at higher speeds.
winging, besides slower, also uses shorter masts and do not have to edge against the propulsion system, not in the scale required for foil racing guys on big foil kites, however, my point here is try to focus just on the "average Joe" like myself that just mown the law doing foot switches at low to moderate speed :D for these riders, carbon masts seem overkill to me.

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Re: Freeride mast: aluminum or carbon and why?

Postby leeuwen » Thu Sep 22, 2022 3:22 pm

The weight difference is enough of a reason for me to go carbon.
There are spots that require quite a bit of walking eg crossing the dunes and having the lightest possible setup is a big pro for me.

Also having less weight = less kinetic energy = a foil that will stop sooner after a crash. Also if it does hit you there will be less weight behind it.

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Re: Freeride mast: aluminum or carbon and why?

Postby Peter_Frank » Thu Sep 22, 2022 8:26 pm

Besides being lighter, and less drag, carbon has one key point others havent mentioned:

No galvanic corrosion, so you can let it stay fully assembled, or partly assembled, as long as you want - stainless screws wont get stuck, like they do on everything with aluminium.

Good carbon masts has a high pricetag of course, but it is worth it IMO.

Unless you are learning, as then go with an alu till you find your niche.

8) Peter

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Re: Freeride mast: aluminum or carbon and why?

Postby ieism » Fri Sep 23, 2022 8:19 am

The v2 gong carbon is as stiff as the v2 alu as far as i can tell kiting. Its noticeably lighter but also 6x more expensive. If you kite a lot and keep your gear a long time id say its worth the upgrade.

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Re: Freeride mast: aluminum or carbon and why?

Postby bragnouff » Fri Sep 23, 2022 10:36 am

Good thing with aluminium is that you can cut it down to whatever size you want, or being affordable, you can have the luxury of having a short and a long mast.
The weight difference between a very stiff strong carbon mast and an aluminium one is actually not that big. You can also have super light noodly carbon masts, but that's only a viable option for light riders with small foils. Wing and Sup foiling have made large high aspect ratio wings very common, and for those, stiffness is critical.
Carbon masts can also be tapered, thicker and wider next to the plate, and thinner near the fuselage, offering a better glide than a constant thickness alu extrusion.
No point in having a carbon mast if you have a alu fuselage and G10 wings. But if everything else is light, then a few hundred grams shaved on the mast will always be welcome and noticeable.
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