Mast comparisons

Mast comparisons

See the previous thread on this topic

My opinion on masts, for what it is worth:

I get the feeling that the mast is now sensible to buy from a mast specialist. As foil design converges (in theory, or for now), this is probably the place where there is the most benefit to be gained for a mid level foiler - both in performance and flexibility. It is also the place where there is the most obvious variance in pure performance.

Building a good mast clearly requires some real depth of engineering across two very significant components:

  • foil selection/design/creation - impacting drag, ventilation, speed, agility
  • materials science and composite design - stiffness trading off against thickness, taper, notches, thickness variation, etc

It is also the most sensible opportunity for a “standard” - where you can buy a mast, and interchange the foil/plane setup, and keep the mast, avoiding vendor lock-in. Standards also enables foil specialists to build foils without needing to overcome the challenge, economic and technical, of building a mast.

Exciting times

Even a year ago I would have definitely agreed. Now though I’m not sure…

The OEM masts are mostly stepping up their game to match the stiffness of the aftermarket masts but they are also improving the quality of the connection fit.

I previously thought the design was the design on the connection fit and it wouldn’t get better but most brands are improving the quality of existing designs. From what I’ve heard even armstrong’s terrible connection is improving. This is happening through tighter tolerances on the tapered compression connection.

That tapered compression connection (uni, lift, code, Armstrong, etc) is the weak point of any of the aftermarket mast systems. It’s a great design for a carbon to carbon connection but with aluminum to carbon it’s awful because of corrosion. The solution is bonding the aluminum to the carbon on that connection (so the sealant displaces any water from occupying the gaps in the connection) but then you can’t easily change our wings.

Your really stuck taking apart and rinsing your gear every session and even then, corrosion will eat up the aluminum. Electrolytic corrosion between carbon and aluminum is intense. If your taking it apart every session it’s going to start wearing away at the tight tolerances of the female connection on the fuse, especially as it corrodes(aluminum oxide is used as an abrasive)

Aftermarket fuses are great for the connections like Takuma. (I’ve used that stringy fuse and loved it for takuma). Maybe there’s an answer there with the Cedrus fuse system. It looked fussy though and doesn’t solve the problem for systems like lift, uni, code, etc.

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Yes, good point. I presume that the interface is to be solved, but the point stands - huge opportunity for improvement when you get it right, and as you say, mostly unsolved, and my experience matches yours, slop at the fuse/mast interface amplifies any other flex in the system.

Which is why an engineer needs to pay specific attention to the materials science. OEMs are spread too thin across a million other priorities and have zero incentive to change their interface even if it is an improvement as it would almost certainly not be backwards compatible.

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I have takuma with an alu fuse, and use proper tef-gel on the connections. Not the grease, but the white pasty stuff, and leave it assembled no problem. Takuma is coming out with a carbon fuse so maybe that’ll help too.

As for masts, I’m waiting on a cedrus since takuma is not as stiff as I want. But interesting that the taper on my takuma masts is similar to the code there, but he said cedrus doesn’t have as much drag increase from being low as code, so that should hold true for takuma too. That’s great considering the criticism from the foil shop video.

Great reviews.
I went for the Cedrus Evo mainly because of the versatility and ease of switching foil brands with minimal cost. The soft, non cutting, difficult to damage trailing edge was also a consideration.
It was a blind faith buy and I’m glad I did based on my own experience and on these more experienced objective comparisons.

Just like foils, wings, etc can’t really do wrong these days
Good times to live in.

The foil shop video might as well be a Unifoil video since he was a sponsored rider for Unifoil at the time. That’s kind of the problem with all these tests. The only guys who can make them are guys who are signed to a specific company. That being said, James coaches people on every brand and can be very brand agnostic in his replies because of that.

Omen didn’t want to recreate a mast if there were already good masts out there. So they collab’d with NoLimitz and they use a stainless steel fuse. Stiffest connection I’ve felt. To the point where I’ve taken the screws out and can’t even wiggle the fuse off the mast haha.

From what I’ve seen at the beach and riding Omen. The NoLimitz is light! The Cedrus has low drag. OEM masts fit together well and are very competitive. There’s no wrong way to go in foiling right now. It’s a great time to be a customer.

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