Surf foil mast: carbon vs aluminium

How to make the choice between aluminium or carbon mast when looking for your next foil setup?

Most brands offer both carbon and aluminium masts for their foils. But what to chose for your setup?

The first difference between carbon vs aluminium is the price. Carbon masts are more expensive compared to the aluminium masts. But is more expensive always better? Let's take a closer look!

First of all, don't simply pre assume carbon is stiffer than carbon! It all depend on the quality of material that is used in production. You can have high quality aluminium mast that is stiffer compared to a carbon mast made out of carbon sheets from lower quality. Which means it's important to compare each mast from every brand individually.
For example, the aluminium masts from Axis are among the stiffest on the market these days! Most riders prefer the aluminium Axis foil mast over the current Axis carbon mast for their foil setup.
For carbon masts, the carbon masts from Shinn are very highly appreciated by the riders and known for their extreme stiffness and can be count among the masts with least flex on the market.

Another difference is the carbon mast is made out of one piece, while for the aluminium mast you'll have a connector plate or doodal to connect mast and fuselage, and a mast base plate to connect the mast with the board. Extra parts is extra chance of creating some space and movement in the connections, but most important, it means you need screws which can oxidate with the aluminium. Aluminium masts needs more care: lose the screws and rinse your mast after every use, and make sure to put grease, tefgel or other anti corrosion onto the bolts and into the threaded shafts.
The advantage of a mast in several pieces, is that the mast is interchangeable. You can easily change to a shorter or longer mast for a reasonable price as you can still use the same connector and mast base for all lengths.

It might feel like a silly point, but the sound the mast makes is also different! While most carbon mast are silent and doesn't make any noise while cutting through the water, an aluminium mast will make a little whistling sound. Maybe unimportant for most people, but some riders report it's been bothering them ;-)

The aluminium mast is made out of 1 profile that is cut at the right length. This means the profile is the same over the full length. As carbon is made in one piece and can be made in a mold, this also offers more freedom to the designers. Some carbon masts for example are progressively thinner in the bottom which can help improving your top-end speed.

You still hesitate which mast is best for your setup? Just give us a call (+32474/04.09.35) or email, and we'll be happy to assist you and share our experiences.