Hi Yak! The new masts have been out for a couple of years at least now, so the only way you'd get the older version is if your dealer has some unsold old stock. Don't know about the sprocket guards. I think part of the problem is that the threaded sprockets are marginally larger than the "V-1"s, so the old sprocket guard holes were slightly misaligned if you were re-using them. You almost had to re-drill or leave one side unscrewed or leave them off altogether. Hopefully they now come pre-installed to eliminate the problem! You can always have your dealer inquire with Hobie if no answer shows up here.
I've been meaning to ask -- how have your brass inserts and zerk fittings been holding up on your drums? Any difference in performance? How often do you grease? Are you using marine axle grease or just standard lube grease? Any difference in wear characteristics, especially on the axle?