Erik spoke and said that the progression mast is a fair bit thicker and heavier than the Katana because it is much stiffer. Somehow this stiffness ends up helping him stay high on foil and offsets the extra thickness & weight, resulting in more performance than the Katana.
A few questions:
Is REALLY stiff good for prone foiling? I know that stiff is good becuase you want to feel the foil and it helps with pump efficiency. But my understanding is that EXTRA STIFF masts are only required with really big wings, especially HA ones with a wide span, so they’re more meant for downwinding and winging.
I’ve heard a few pros talk about how they prefer masts that are standard stiff, not extra stiff because the slight bending is nice in turns.
I don’t get this: “it’s heavier and wider creating more drag, but the stiffness helps you stay higher on mast so it ends up performing better than the lighter, less drag Katana mast” Can someone explain how that works? Wil going from one of the stiffer masts on the market (the Katana) to an extra still mast help with pumping or prone foil progression?
I feel like in order to answer this question you should have to post a video of your riding
You can really only answer this question if you rip. Not only do you have to rip, you have to weigh over 185lbs. So basically in Florida… you have Pedigo, Erik, and Laitham that are credentialed to answer this question
That is really surprising considering the Katana was already right up there in stiffness compared to other brands. I guess 185# plus folks on wider span foils thought otherwise. I thought it was already more than stiff enough.
You’ve probably just gotten used to it. If you can demo something stiffer. Katana or the new one coming out I think you’d be surprised at how much more connected you feel. There’s a lot of power lost in flex.
yeah… I’m with Erik on this. I think people get used to certain things and they don’t know better until they know better. we all do it.
I reckon for masts, stiffer is better. full stop.
pros liking flexy is probably just pros not knowing the ‘why’ of what they like. The tradeoff of giving up some stiffness for other benefits (ie. drag or whatever) is probably responsible for the good feels people could be feeling with al-dente masts. But Ideally you’d have stiff + the other goods. gotta find that sweet spot of ‘stiff enough’ for each person/purpose though.
For me, being a big guy, stiff still isn’t stiff enough.
Uni connections are generally super solid. But I’ve found any carbon to carbon connections will wear over time. For me it’s about 4-6 months but I probably foil more than most folks. Also not light or easy on gear. But I hate any wiggle in joints and at the first sign I use aluminum tape to keep it rock solid.
A few concepts at play here other than power loss due to indirect transfer of energy in the pump cycle that are interesting:
Power via confidence: As josh said in the AWSI video, it’s hard to deliver power into the foil if it isn’t a solid connection. So pumping or standup paddling, more flex means less power delivery due to confidence loss
Power via height in water column: I’m not a proner but for winging and especially downwinding (as Erik has uncovered with many of his pod guests) there is power magic to be found if you can keep your foil close the the surface. It’s like rocket ship if you can get your foil onto that top most top part of the bump. You can’t do this with a limp mast because (at least for winging and DW) the foil will hit a crooked pocket of water energy and breach, or just turn the other way, see #1. Maybe for prone the water energy is more predictable or there is less value in riding higher.
Efficiency: Mast can be a huge efficiency drain the lower you are in the column: just a ton more unnecessary wetted area. I’m not a good enough foiler to tell much difference, but as an engineer I can appreciate this vicariously.
I’m curious to know which one of these Erik was alluding to, or all, or if I missed one?
Caveat is I weigh 260, ride giant foils, and might be slightly above kook level when it comes to foiling… my engineering skills far outweigh the foil skills. Interested to hear opinions from other big guys.
Also seems like most brands are coming out with a new V2 even if they might not have needed it? Armstrong definitely needed it but not sure on other brands who had any stiffness to begin with.
I hope Erik and crew are rewarded for their hard efforts. Guys like him that hype the stoke and really push the gear to make it easier for us less than pros to be able to even consider trying to learn.
We need him to be able to afford more trips to the gorge and bring the style! Cool to see these rad dads getting their little rippers stoked out in the hood.