Thanks for your post and for the opportunity for me to discuss the V2’s design more in depth. Have you ridden our V2? There’s a very small amount of V2s out in the world currently, so I’d be surprised if you have. The Proof Is In The Riding, so I highly suggest taking the V2 out for a rip to experience the V2 difference. In response to your question, how much stiffness is actually necessary? The V2 was designed for high level performance. We worked for one of the top foilers in the world, Kane De Wilde, for about a year to dial in the stiffness of the mast.
Kane tested several iterations of V2 prototypes until we arrived on the current stiff version, which he found to have the stiffness he needed to excel in his foil disciplines of winging, prone surfing, and down win SUP foiling. Notably, Kane used the V2 in racing this year around Hawaii, winning both the Maui to Molokai and the Oahu Wetfeet x Voyager race, as seen here: Kane De Wilde wins the Voyager X Wet Feet - by Matt Arderne
We do agree that for increasing stiffness, after a point, a mast becomes stiff enough. There are masts stiffer than ours on the market. But, they are also thicker and substantially heavier. The V2 is very stiff, and it’s stiffness meets the performance standards of top riders such as KD and the rider in the youtube video I shared above.
As to your comment “I’m simply not convinced that mast thickness is more important than wetted surface area regarding drag.” How draggy a mast is results greatly from its thickness. Our riders won’t touch masts thicker than 16.7mm because of their drag. The designer of the V2, Steve Maier, has explained it to me in the following complicated way:
"Chord length affects the Coefficient of Drag of a given section but Cd is usually in the 0.02-0.03 range. If you change the Cd from 0.02 to 0.03 that is nearly meaningless compared to changing the thickness that is measured in mm - 15 or 16 mm thick. That is a number that is 4 orders of magnitude larger than the Cd, so the calculated drag is changing a lot with that larger magnitude number, very little with that 0,0x number.
Drag = Cd*(pV^2)/2A
Cd = Coefficient of Drag
V = Velocity
A = cross sectional area or the frontal area that the water sees as the mast goes through it.
You can see that the biggest influence to Drag is Velocity. Next biggest influence will be Area, as that is a much larger number than Coefficient of Drag. Frontal Area of the foil is the biggest impact on Drag after Velocity, the chord length effects the Cd of the section but that number is around 0.02 or 0.03 compared to thickness of the mast (which drives frontal area) being 14 to 19mm depending on the mast. That is the big driver in how fast a mast is."
He has also explained it to me in the following uncomplicated way: “A simple way to think about this, please try to stick with me here, is try to push something wider than something else through the water. The wider it is, the harder it is to push through the water as you have a huge increase in drag. Stick your hand out the car window – what has more force pushing on you, one finger out or three? Now, if you take two items the same thickness with one being twice as long as the other and push them through the water, the longer one will take very little more force to push along…Nowhere near the drag increase you see with making something thicker.”
The V2’s thickness of 15.5mm was designed for speed.
In response to your last comment, (too bad there’s no 80-82cm), thanks for bringing that up as an opportunity for me to clear up a common misunderstanding about the lengths of NoLimitz foil masts.
The NoLimitz foil mast has four different length options: 72, 78, 85, and 93. The length of the NoLimitz mast does not account for the length of the fuselage adapter. The length of the foil mast is the length from the top of the board adapter down to the top of the fuselage adapter. Therefore, the fuselage adapter adds 4-6cm of length to the total length of the mast depending on the length of the fuselage adapter.
If you want your total length of your foil mast to be 76cm, you should buy a NL 72cm mast. If you want an 82cm mast, you should buy a 78cm mast, and etc. An 82cm mast is the most commonly used size for prone surfing, so that is why we have our 78cm mast available.
I do hope you have the opportunity soon to strap up a V2 to your foil of choice so your finely cailbrated feet can put the mast to the test