When I started Project Cedrus in 2016, the foil industry was very small and fragmented. In fact, some of the most popular brands today didn’t even have foils in 2016… and some of the popular brands back then, don’t exist today…

I didn’t launch adapters for Project Cedrus until 2019. The most popular adapters at that time were Moses (now SAB), Slingshot, and Liquid Force. Prone/Surf foiling hadn’t really taken off yet, so I was mostly targeting kiters. ¬†With limited foil options and a small market, I had to offer custom adapters in order to sell masts. It was a major investment in my business, as each adapter required at minimum 4-5 hours of design, multiple 3D printed iterations, and 1-off machining. Now some interfaces are so complex, that I depend on 3D scanning in order to obtain the most accurate data. In short, I lose money on one-off adapters. I estimate the value of a 1-off adapter to be around $1,000 in time, engineering services, and manufacturing. If I continue to sell them for $120, I go out of business. This is not a good thing for me or my clients, so I want to take this opportunity to explain the situation I am in and be transparent with current and prospective clients.

 

Aluminum foil tape is the perfect shim material

Some adapters I cannot design/manufacture due to technical constraints. For example, the new MFC fuselage has two barrel-bolts which enter from the side of the fuselage, which interfere with the cutouts I have for the main mast attachment screws. I have stared at my computer screen for an hour trying to figure out how to make this work, but have concluded that it’s not possible. In this incidence, the client was understanding of the situation and decided to go with Unifoil instead. I would like to publicly thank him again for his support and willingness to work with me. Please understand that I have no control on other brands’ foil designs, and there is a risk that future mast interfaces may be un-adaptable for me and Project Cedrus. This is outside of my control, and cannot make any guarantees. So if you have concerns related to this, please do not buy a mast.

This being said, if there is a clear demand for an interface, I am usually creative enough to solve the problem. Whether it’s a custom fuselage, or a new adapter design involving special cutters, I have been able to interface with pretty much every brand out there. Unfortunately in the case of MFC, I have only had 1 request, so it is not financially viable for me to solve this problem. And please understand when I say “financially” viable, what I really mean is time. I am currently the only one behind Project Cedrus, and my time is extremely limited. I cannot afford to spend hours on a 1-off part at the risk of reduced quality to another adapter which is far more popular.

Another challenge I run into can be related to design around foreign brands. I have recently had a few requests for compatibility with Gong. Unfortunately, Gong is an EU based direct-to-consumer brand. I have no access to their equipment through shops, and again it is not financially viable for me to buy a setup in order to sell a couple adapters at loss. In this case, the client is willing to ship me his setup from Germany, but I will still lose money in time designing this part. It is a frustrating situation for both the client and myself.

 

Applying tape the to Lift Adapter

75% of my adapter business is for 6 brands. Please note this data is only from the last couple months after I implemented a customer intake survey. I believe that between custom fuselages from Jim, and with the launch of the Cabrinha adapter, at least 90% of interfaces will be covered with my off-the-shelf offerings. My time is better spent improving the designs of popular adapters and ensuring that the major brands are well supported. I will happily sacrifice 10% of my business in order to make the 90% better. And to be honest, you should want me to as well. Economies of scale are real, and if I continue to invest time in less popular interfaces, I will have to raise prices of everything else in order to compensate. If I focus on the most popular brands, manufacturing costs come down and quality goes up. If there is a clear demand for a new interface (eg. Cabrinha) of course I will make it happen. And as any of these brands above introduce evolutions to their interfaces, I will do my best to update adapters and ensure a better-than OEM fit with Project Cedrus.

Moving forward, “semi-custom” adapters will be RFQ only. There will be updates to the website in order to reflect the necessary changes to my business. I guess it’s an unfortunate aspect of growth, depending on how you look at it. On the other hand, I can tell you the latest adapters for Axis, SAB, Unifoil, etc. are so much better designed and manufactured then they were in 2019. I promise to continue innovating in mast and adapter design, but cannot do so making 1-off adapter parts. Thank you for your understanding and support.

PS, I just want to clarify that keeping Project Cedrus a fully universal mast is still a goal of mine, but at this time with very limited resources I need to cover my costs. If you are desperate for an adapter, there are things you can do to help. First, ask the brand for their CAD (computer aided design) file of the interface. Some brands have given these files to me, which saves hours of reverse engineering on my end. It improves the quality of the interface, and also helps said brand sell more wings! So it’s really a win-win. Maybe someday Project Cedrus will be a more formally supported interface standard:) Secondly, you can pay the true value of the adapter. As stated above, a new adapter costs me about $1,000 in time and cash. It is also saving the client up to $1,000 in a new mast. Not suggesting I will charge $1,000 for one-off parts, but selling them below my costs is not sustainable and at a price of $150-$200 is more fair to both of us.