In 2016 I set out to change the landscape of carbon foil masts. I was very clear from the onset: Project Cedrus was to be 30% lighter with greater stiffness and strength than any other mast on the market, or I had failed. Now in 2022, in the last few months alone, every major brand has come out with a carbon mast that is “stiffer, lighter, and stronger,” which also happens to be a blatant copy of my previous website. But I’m not into marketing, I’m an engineer. So now that the carbon mast landscape has changed, it’s time to do the same for aluminum.

aluminum mast profile

A lot of engineering went in to optimizing the production drawing

Aluminum is an awesome material. Great stiffness:weight ratio, high strength, good corrosion resistance when anodized, cheap, and easy to machine. There’s a reason they build airplanes out of it, and some of the most high-end cars from Audi and Tesla feature lots of aluminum throughout the body structure. Trek has also found that their Aluminum frames have 1/3 the carbon footprint of their carbon bikes. This may not be the case with Project Cedrus, since our carbon is all repurposed aerospace material, but it’s important to note. Unfortunately just like with composites, bad design can ruin a good material. So now that carbon masts are getting stiffer, there’s no reason we can’t bring the same benefits to aluminum masts.

While weight was an initial motivation for Project Cedrus, it’s no longer the reason the mast is so popular among riders. Based on recent surveys, it’s the compatibility of Project Cedrus that makes the mast so attractive, followed closely by stiffness and strength. With wing boards generally higher volume than the old kite pocket boards that were so popular when I designed the mast, and downwind prone rigs also having higher mass and buoyancy than ever imagined, weight has turned out to be less critical than I initially estimated. With aluminum, I can offer the same stiffness and compatibility as the carbon mast at 25% of the cost and weight penalty.

3 Point Bend Test

Colors will come from mounts

Foiling is a rapidly growing and evolving sport. And because I have been fortunate to live around saltwater most of my life, I am guilty of ignoring a massive market of inland lakes and rivers that are accessible to those looking to wake foil and go for world record pump foiling attempts. These riders may have expensive boats, fuel bills, and lots of other toys… a $1,000 carbon mast may not be in the cards. But for $230 they can now have the flexibility to learn to foil on the wings they want, and swap them out as their style evolves. Ride wings only available on carbon masts, from Armstrong to Lift. Cedrus aluminum is going to change the mast market, again.

Like all of our products, this aluminum mast is made in USA. While some may love surfing freighter waves, the environmental destruction of shipping is impossible to ignore. Manufacturing locally benefits¬†the communities in which we live, work, and play, reduces the environmental footprint of manufacturing and distribution, and improves quality. The aluminum mast features the tightest tolerances in the industry, ensuring that mounts, fuselages, and adapters perform as intended. Threaded holes feature stainless steel helicoils, ensuring compatibility for years to come. Finally, the innovative mid spar architecture increases buckling load by 8x compared to a mast with a hollow center. Stronger masts mean less waste. One downside to local manufacturing is that it’s hard to source a complete finished good from one partner. For example in China, I have worked with final assembly vendors who can source parts that are cast, machined, or injection molded. In the case of this mast, I am working with a metal shop only, which means it’s up to me to apply the decals and perform finishing tasks. For this reason, and others, the mast is not sealed for water ingress. The metal shop was not open to working with silicones, spray foams, or other sealants. It would add considerable cost to the product for a reliable seal, as most seals do fail in time. So I’m leaving this a DIY, and will hopefully have blog posts on recommended best practice for proper sealing. On the other hand, it’s arguable easier and better to make it easy for water to get in and out of the mast, rather than try to keep it out. H2O is a very small molecule and can ultimately find its way into anything, except the carbon mast of course.

3 Point Bend Test

Adapter connection is seamless

The aluminum mast will have a much larger retail presence than carbon, and ship direct within days of ordering. Available in standard lengths of 70, 80, and 90cm, the mast is anodized clear to show raw aluminum in it’s true form. Custom lengths up to 90cm can be fabricated for an additional cost and with a slight increase to leadtime.

monochrome mast

Inverse color scheme to the carbon mast

I’ve had many clients mention they want a shorter mast for certain conditions, but can’t neccassarily justify the cost of carbon for a setup they don’t plan to use as much. The aluminum mast will allow them to use all their adapters and mounts, if they’re really trying to minimize, further saving money. I’ve also had a number of perspective clients reluctant to spend so much on a mast whether they are beginners or long time foilers: I get it. But there is no reason to sacrifice control over your foil wings in order to save some money, as your time is valuable. In the shorter lengths, we are talking about a very minor weight increase for the aluminum mast. With e-foiling becoming increasing popular, especially among the DIY community, I’m excited to offer this mast which can be drilled and modified at a lower cost and risk than carbon. Finally, if you are interested in a carbon mast but can’t afford to wait 2 months, talk to me about buying or borrowing an aluminum mast to get you on the water with the wings you want.

Project Cedrus Assembly weights

In the shorter lengths, weight increase of aluminum is less noticeable

In closing I want to thank my clients for their continued support, and especially my retail partners who have been patient with me while I try to scale my carbon production. Please see Mackite online or talk to Josh at The Foil Shop if you are interested in the new aluminum mast. They will have stock on hand, and I will be fulfilling their orders first, as soon as next week. But it may take some time for them to update their websites/etc. so your patience is appreciated. I too am still familiarizing myself with this new shop, and will do my best to get these out in a timely manner!

Detailed Technical Specifications (weight, profile, etc):

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Thanks again, Kyle