common questions and additional details
Why a mast only?
Wings get all the attention, but the mast is the heaviest and most expensive component of your foil. While wing preferences among riders vary from fast and twitchy to slow and stable, everyone appreciates a stiff mast and lightweight setup. Project Cedrus was designed to cut the weight of a typical aluminum foil by up to 40%, without having to invest in an entire new setup. It’s compatible with any board, and many wingsets as your skill and preferences evolve. It’s designed to be the one piece of kite gear you don’t feel obliged to upgrade every season, handmade for you in the Pacific Northwest.
How many have you sold?
Design for first prototype began in 2016, shortly after I left Apple. Within 6 months, I was riding the first prototype in the SF Bay Area. Shortly thereafter, another batch of 3 masts was made and ridden by testers in Santa Cruz and the Gorge. Incorporating their feedback and additional lessons learned after a year of testing, the design was refined and a pre-production batch of 20 masts made sold as complete foils with Stringy Wings to launch customers and delivered late summer 2018. With extremely positive feedback, I’m excited to finally offer Project Cedrus to the foil community.
What happened to your carbon fuselage?
The first batch of Project Cedrus was designed to be compatible with Liquid Force, CloudIX, and Stringy Wings. This allowed me to design and fabricate an extremely lightweight carbon fuselage, employing similar design principles as the mast. As my launch customers began attaching bigger wings, and pushing the foil beyond the test envelope of the typical light-wind kite foiler, I quickly learned the limits of the design after a couple failures. Furthermore, immediate feedback from non-customers was the desire for compatibility with other wings, from Moses to Slingshot and beyond. However, it is impossible for me to design and fabricate fuselages compatible with every set of wings out there, thanks to all the proprietary connection methods and bolt patterns. So until the industry agrees on a connection standard, I decided to focus on a mast-only solution, and use machined adapters at the base to allow compatibility with various fuselages, which indirectly opens up many options for wings. Unfortunately there’s a weight hit, as most industry fuselages are solid aluminum, but the net benefit thanks to the lightweight mast is still significant.
How do you make a mast that's stiffer, stronger, and lighter? That seems impossible.
It’s basic solid mechanics. A foil mast is a beam, subject to bending and torsion loads. The most effective way to increase stiffness is to grow the moment of inertia, and more specifically the beam height. In a foil, this means a thicker section, which comes at the expense of drag. Mast drag is only one component of total foil drag, and the further out of the water you extend the smaller the impact. Working with an America’s Cup foil designer, I optimized the section shape Project Cedrus for stiffness, weight, drag, and separation angle.
Who is Project Cedrus designed for?
Basically anyone who doesn’t race, or foil at high speeds at aggressive upwind angles of attack in heavy winds and rough seas. As discussed in the above section, the lightweight design comes at the expense of drag. So if you race, you’re going to want the thinnest mast you can get, which will require a solid carbon laminate to provide adequate bending and torsional stiffness. At 19mm, Project Cedrus is a little thicker than most masts, which does reduce stall angle. But so far, Jim has been the only rider to experience flow separation (also known as ventilation), and it happened in 40+ knot winds at very aggressive angles of attack by his own admission. I don’t want to hide anything from my customers: Project Cedrus was designed for light to medium wind freeriding, or no-wind at all under a surf/SUP board. If you like to point it hard upwind, cruise at 30kts, or race competitively, this is not your mast. Designing for those activities would actually come at the expense of low speed carving, as thinner sections can actually have higher lift induced drag at low speeds. So if you love to carve, want a lightweight setup for traveling or strapless riding, you will find this design to be an exceptional balance.
What is the warranty & satisfaction policy?
Project Cedrus is backed by a 2 year structural warranty on any component. As an entirely self-funded small business, Adherend Innovations, LLC simply cannot afford to take returns for any other reason. Demos are encouraged, and we will do our best to facilitate them. Each mast is made to order, and uniquely serialized. Cosmetic blemishes may exist, but performance is guaranteed. The marine environment is incredibly harsh, and how the foil is cared for will ultimately govern the service life. That being said, any clear manufacturing defect causing failure under reasonable load conditions will be recognized as such and I will do my best to facilitate unsatisfied customers at any point of their ownership.
What have your Launch Customers had to say?
“First off the build quality is great. I agree that the stickers situation could be better but that’s not what I’m most concerned with. I wanted to know how it rides. Everything fit together very well and I do like the simplicity of the Stringy quick release to mount the mast to the board. Every minute saved rigging means more time on water!
I immediately felt a significant difference in overall weight with the new foil compared to my other Aluminum setup. It’s remarkably lightweight.
While dragging out to the deeper water the board I continued to marvel at how light weight it is. Setting it on it’s side and starting was very easy. I am riding with a single front hook on my board. I intend to remove it now that this setup is so light it’s really not needed and should allow me to go fully strapless.
I’m a heavier rider weighing in over 200lbs. I had some early concern that maybe the foil would be too light for me and exhibit some riding characteristics such as flexing or softness in the mast or fuselage but it has been any thing but that. Ride is very firm and super responsive, no softness or weakness. I like the your description as well that the mast has a dampening effect which I agree with.” -Hans, 90cm kite
“Finally got on the water! 20-25mph with big chop, 27” mast.
Everything worked great. The longer fuse position is the same as the shorter one on the Cloud IX fuse. I’d been using the longer one, so that was a slight adjustment but not difficult. About half the time the board actually set itself sideways after crashes, making strapless starts absurdly easy in the direction it was in and a little harder if you wanted to turn it around. Even without the shorter fuse distance, I *think* it had a slightly livelier feel, but it’s hard to isolate from the conditions.
Carrying the board through the marsh to the water was big improvement — that weight loss was noticeable, It made me want to get a light board (mine is about 10 lbs).
All in all, nothing negative and it’s all working great.” -Andy, 65cm kite
“I just received the box with the new toys — thanks so much! The parts look fantastic. The big black case showed up with the white Top Secret-style lettering here at the team boatshed and the builders were curious what was inside. I showed it off — they were really impressed with the concept and the finish. I can’t wait to try it.
I finally got out on the Adherend mast for the first time with the cloud 9 wings (and longer fuselage fasteners — thanks for the heads up). Anyway, just wanted to say it rides even better than it looks. Not that I’m very good on the surf foil yet, but the light weight definitely helps.” -Aaron, 65cm surf
“I have had approximately 10 sessions on it (maybe a few less). All sessions in SF Bay, no sessions in ocean yet. Overall, I love the foil. I love its performance, it’s aesthetics, it light weight and it’s concept.” -Paul, 90cm kite
“I could not have learned to foil without this. It was so much easier to walk up the beach, get past the break, and learn to water start. At 105lbs, the aluminum foils are just too heavy for me.” -my wife, 90cm kite
You've had no negative feedback?
Of course I’ve had negative feedback, but it was for the most part associated with the carbon fuselages. I definitely exceeded the limits of that design, especially when I told customers they could attach any wingset they want. In doing so, I broke the cardinal rule of good engineering and product design, as I could not test all the wing combinations before shipping product. But I saw it as a fairly low-risk learning experience, and replaced any failed fuselages with the new aluminum version at no cost to my customers.
As for the mast, I will be making a slight modification to the trailing edge profile and am excited to introduce updated decals designed by a First Nations artist that will lay more flush under the clear coat. The trailing edge modification should increase performance under aggressive riding conditions, but most riders, including myself, probably won’t feel a difference.