Recently, foil riders have been looking for ways to reduce drag and make their masts thinner. For this reason, UHM (Ultra High Modulus) carbon has become the material of choice for mast construction. This type of carbon is 10 times stiffer than aluminum and allows for thinner masts, while increasing stiffness.
Carbon fiber is characterized by its Young’s Modulus, which relates the force applied to a mast of constant cross-section to its deformation. The higher the modulus, the stronger the fiber and therefore the less the mast deforms for the same force. The quality of the foils is therefore greatly affected by the quality of the fibers. A full carbon foil of brand A will not necessarily have the same stiffness as a full carbon foil of brand B. It all depends on the carbon fibers used…
At AFS, we mainly use two types of carbon fiber for our masts: HM (High Modulus) and UHM (Ultra High Modulus). For comparison, a UHM fiber will be 10 times stiffer than aluminum. On our UHM fibers, we work with a supplier recognized in the sector, NTPT, for the quality of their fibers. In comparison on two masts of our range: HM and UHM, the use of ultra high modulus fibers allows to increase by 46% the torsional stiffness and 25% the bending stiffness.
This stiffer mast is perfect for pumping and leaning in curves because it allows a faster response. It is also preferable for high ratio wings as it allows for more stability and therefore more glide.
UHM carbon is therefore the ideal material for designing thin, strong and high performance masts.