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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 » Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:40 am

frequentflyer wrote:
Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:30 pm
I recently bought a new foil and intentionally went with aluminum for my mast. Everything else is carbon, but I went with the aluminum for two reasons: 1. It is stiffer than its carbon cousin for the brand that I bought and 2. I want my board to track downwind. I can’t believe nobody’s brought this up yet. The carbon cousin is only slightly lighter, but enough so that it floats. My current setup floats for a while but then the mast sinks and it comes downwind. Perfect. Given the brand I went with, I wouldn’t “upgrade” to carbon even if it were the same price.
My two wings at the moment are 660 (1.1m2, 1.6L) and 820 (1.5m2, 2.6L). The 660 tends to end up board flat on the water, the 820 almost always on its side ... and sailing upwind :lol: needs a careful body drag in light wind, but the advantage is that I tend not to stack it up so hard when the wind is weak, far from the board.

Had a 1020 for a demo, 2m2 area and 4.1L volume. It floats with the wing entirely on the surface, board nose up in the air :lol:

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Re: Aluminium vs Carbon Mast - Cost vs Benefit

Postby Flyboy » Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:55 pm

Kamikuza wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:34 am
Flyboy wrote:
Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:39 pm
the connection between the mast & the fuselage is subject to flex
Depends how they do it, I guess. Using a tongue-in-groove type join will eliminate that I reckon. As will a big, wide connection into the wings...
My Gong foil has a "tongue-in-groove" type of connection. However, there is still some movement there - it's impossible to make a completely tight connection without making it very difficult to take it apart. I notice the 2nd generation Gong alu foils have an extra piece that inserts to make the mast fuselage connection more solid (as well as a thicker mast ... however this presumably also adds to the weight.

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Re: Aluminium vs Carbon Mast - Cost vs Benefit

Postby jumptheshark » Wed Jun 09, 2021 3:29 pm

Having had both a Zeeko and a Lift, I have always been puzzled by the elaborate mast to fuse connections that are out there. Slingy, Armstrong, and F-one with their strange systems all seem like they are trying to reinvent the wheel. They are are also the ones that seem to have the most play in them.

Keep it simple and use quality hardware.

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Re: Aluminium vs Carbon Mast - Cost vs Benefit

Postby sedelito » Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:36 pm

Nobody writes about feeling of the mast?
I think alu feel kind of dead undernerh while on carbon you feel more response of whats happening with foil.
Also a good carbon mast should be lighter than alu.
I think the best right now is SS Phantasm mast and it's also 100% carbon not foam or wood core.

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Re: Aluminium vs Carbon Mast - Cost vs Benefit

Postby Flyboy » Wed Jun 09, 2021 6:23 pm

I owned a 2017 LP carbon foil. It had an "elaborate mast to fuse connection" - beautiful design, beautiful quality & very light. Absolutely no play possible between the different components ... however: assembling & dismantling the foil was a fairly awkward & time consuming process (LP has since changed the system & beefed up the mast). The mast was quite slim in profile & width and at 100cm this resulted in some noticeable flex while foiling. This gave more "feel" to the foil for sure. I have no idea if that was a good thing. It felt somewhat alarming at the time, but I didn't have enough experience to judge. It seems to me that you want the response of the foil to be solid & predictable so that you can understand what the water is doing.

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Re: Aluminium vs Carbon Mast - Cost vs Benefit

Postby Flyboy » 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.
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Kamikuza
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Re: Aluminium vs Carbon Mast - Cost vs Benefit

Postby Kamikuza » Sat Jun 19, 2021 10:32 am

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.
Let us know what you think of the difference in feel, yeah?

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Re: Aluminium vs Carbon Mast - Cost vs Benefit

Postby Flyboy » Sat Jun 19, 2021 4:15 pm

I will report my impressions - quite interested to see how it rides. As I mentioned, I used to have a 100cm LP foil (mine was black, not red). It was a beautiful foil - super light & "elegant". However, the mast was quite narrow & the cord was short & the tapering to the attachment point meant that it was especially thin where it attached to the fuselage. The plate at the top of the mast was also much less beefy than the new Gong. It's not hard to imagine that the new thicker masts are going to perform differently.
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Re: Aluminium vs Carbon Mast - Cost vs Benefit

Postby rnelias » Sun Jun 20, 2021 2:12 am

from a practical point of view, for people just freeriding in light wind, any cheap aluminum mast with a large and cheap wing made of fiber glass and a kite with good low end will put a smile on his face. No need to ultra-high-end expensive carbon masts besides people trying more elaborated stuffs like jumping, racing, etc... or, of course, if you can afford and would like to ride on good stuff. Here in my country, where things are usually 5x more expensive than in other parts of the world (considering currency exchange), we have aluminum profile mast, selling on sites like eBay, by lenght. It's dirt cheap, stiff like a rock and heavy like a ballast but, for people learning and freeriding, it's the cheapest option and works very well. I've learned hydrofoil on a cheap setup like this and do not regret.

btw, a Core SLC setup has the same price of an Alpine titanium foil :o

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Re: Aluminium vs Carbon Mast - Cost vs Benefit

Postby Flyboy » Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:51 am

Had my first session on the new 85cm Gong carbon/fuselage. Used the same Carve (MPro) wing set I have been using for the last year & a half.

The foil definitely feels lighter to carry ... but not dramatically lighter. I'm assuming that the major part of the lower weight would be from the fuselage rather than the mast, as the alu Gong fuselage is pretty heavy.

It was a short session & I was somewhat underpowered as the wind steadily dropped. On the water the carbon performs the way you would expect: it feels more solid & stable than the alu foil. When you're foiling there are always little wobbles & twitches & it's hard to know if these are due to flex in the foil itself, or due to turbulence in the water.

When I have the opportunity to push the foil harder in turns & on swell & faster I will have a better idea of how significant the improvement is over the alu foil. It's certainly easy to imagine that the added stiffness would make a bigger difference with larger wings.


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