Wings are extremely subjective, and not something to be “optimized” in the same sense as a primary structural component like a mast or fuselage. What is stable and smooth to one rider can be slow and difficult to control for another. Like surfboards, fins, and kites for that matter, I want to leave this job to the shapers and test pilots, those who get hours on the water and can feel fluid flow travel up the mast through their toes or down the tensioned lines through the bar to their fingers. I respect their skills and artisan craftsmanship, which is why I set out to create a platform for all of them. Working off the Liquid Force wing bolt spacing pattern and lower fuselage surface, Project Cedrus can accept their various wing sets. It was the fastest way for me to market, and it offers the most options for riders. Their “Rocket Wings” are a great learning platform, but some riders may outgrow them faster than others. Whereas the lightweight mast and fuselage will be appreciated at all levels, and a worth investment given the ability to accept a diverse range of wings.
Complex wing attachments beyond basic screws are unnecessary. The conical connections found on various brands require expensive tooling and tight tolerances, both of which increase cost. They also have a tendency to bind and corrode; you should not need a sledgehammer to assemble your foil. Furthermore, these joints generally result in more destructive failure modes. If you break a wing running into the sandbar, that’s a fairly cheap fix. But if the wing is connected in such a way that the loads destroy your fuselage and mast as well, that’s a real bummer. Having repaired a number of foils, I designed Project Cedrus with damage tolerance and repairability in mind.
Shortly after I finished my first prototype, I reached out to Jim Stringfellow, who is well known for his Stringy Wings. Jim has a cult-like following for his foils, and it wasn’t until I rode them myself that I began to understand why. I am honored and excited to partner with him on this first batch of Project Cedrus foils, with a limited edition wingset. I don’t have any detailed analysis or FEA contour plots to show why they’re better, I have to let his customers speak to the ride quality and offer assurance that they perform just as well on Project Cedrus as the typical Liquid Force mast they are commonly found on. Jim also much appreciated the lighter weight setup of Project Cedrus, but couldn’t get the foil back after letting his girlfriend ride it in Baja. In all honesty, this is a great setup for women who can benefit from the lighter weight foil and very stable wingset. I don’t think my wife could have learned on anything heavier, given that she weighs only 100lbs.
I can’t thank Jim enough for not only partnering with me on wings, but for his endless hours testing and valuable product feedback. I think he too was a little reluctant at first to boost a carbon foil that weighed half what he was used to, but in the end I think he’s developed confidence in the setup and pleased with the ride.
In closing, I like to think of Project Cedrus as the first “open source” foil. I encourage others to fabricate their own wings, and am happy to provide bolt patterns, fuselage mounting surfaces, whatever one might need to make their own wings. I hope someday the industry can converge on a mounting method, giving us the freedom enjoyed by cyclists and skiers. While I may refrain from shaping my own wings for the foreseeable future, I do have interest in deploying my mast technology. Wings could certainly benefit from soft edges and lightweight architecture, and I will definitely continue to collaborate with wing designers to introduce these features someday.