When Kyle Lobisser first learned to foilboard in 2014, it quickly occurred to him that his engineering background gifted him the perfect set of skills to build the ultimate foil spar technology. It was during a winter vacation to Baja that his first foil attempt put a solid slice in his foot and while helping other foil beginners, he discovered firsthand how sharp, fragile and surprisingly heavy the carbon designs were at the time. Having worked at Boeing and then Apple as an engineer, Kyle began watching the early evolution of foilboards with a critical eye.

The term ‘black aluminum’ is frequently used by engineers to describe products that are designed to be built in aluminum but are upgraded into carbon without much thought to the structural properties of the composite black material. To the technical mind, it’s like putting lipstick on a pig, and that is what Kyle found in the first generation carbon foil constructions.In his early professional work at Boeing, Kyle was responsible for designing structural components to optimize load requirements and minimize weight while adhering to the design parameters he was handed by aeronautical engineers. In his following job, he worked in Silicon Valley at Apple where his job was to fixate on the minute construction details of the iPad. Using computer simulated iPad crash tests, Kyle worked to maximize the device’s structural resistance to impacts and stress loads towards the aim of minimizing the dreaded cracked glass faux pas. It was precisely because of his education at Boeing and Apple that he knew when he first learned to foilboard that there were huge improvements in weight, strength and safety to be made in the foil parts that connect the wings to the board.

The concept beating around in the back of Kyle’s mind was to build a mast with two molded carbon U-shaped slats that sandwich together around an aluminum base plate and aluminum fuselage mounting cap. The mast’s leading and trailing edges could be machined out of PVC or some other material more impact resistant than carbon. With a hollow center, the true properties of carbon construction could yield the lowest weight mast on the market with a structural design that offered incredibly stiff performance and softer edges for greater safety. Referencing the oldest composite material used by the Pacific Northwest’s earliest dwellers who used cedar trees to make dug-out canoes, the project got its name early on. Combining his love of his home in the Pacific Northwest, composite materials and the water, Kyle’s idea to revolutionize foilboarding was dubbed Project Cedrus… To read the rest of the article, become a subscriber of Tkb Magazine.

 


Tkb’s Vol. 16, No. 3 fall 2019 digital issue is available now. The print issue will be landing in mailboxes soon!