Roger, should I go for carbon?
Hello guys, Roger.
I need your advice with an equipment issue.
I'm intermediate windsurfer, three years of experience - I can plane using harness and straps, perform waterstart with smaller sails and can handle 116l board for short time after ten days sailing in Egypt =)
Last year I bought my own fisrt gear - GO 165 with 8.5 camless Rushwind Strike. We have quite a few really windy days here, so, apart from improving my brilliant-perfect(not =) low-wind planing technique, I decided to go for cambered freerace sail to squeeze maximum from the board and any air movement we call "wind" here. I will be freeriding mostly, and maybe take part in free-for-all races some day.
I bought Tushingham Lightning 9.4, and since it is requires quite long boom (246) I have to replace my old one. I'm a bit short on money, so I can only afford something in price range of good AL boom.
Narrowed down options for now are:
- new Chinook Tripple Clamp Formula boom (stiffest AL race boom according to our local racers of our local "low budget" racing class =)
- used Fiberspar Race Carbon (70%) "in ideal condition"
Pros for carbon - it's stiffer and should have no "fatigue". Racers mentioned above are breaking one AL boom each season with similar sails, but their performance is far better than mine and they race winds when I would take 115l board.
Cons for carbon - I'm not experienced enough to handle it with proper care - I expect some crashes to happen during my progression and Fiberspar booms are said to be quite fragile.
What should I do? Go for cool-race-stiff-carbon or stick with weekend-warrior-abuse-prone AL?
RE: Roger, should I go for carbon?
Very interesting question!
If you live where there are alot of sailors, or WS shops, I'd look around for a good carbon race boom as this should provide you with the best long term performance.
If your local racers are "breaking" alu. booms in one season, I'd check to see what the failure mode is for the booms that have broken.
Be sure to look for a boom that's significantly longer than you need.
For a 246 cm nominal recommended boom length, I'd think you need a boom that when fully extended goes out to around 260-270 cm.
The Chinook is good, just be careful with the "triple clamp" and not get it too tight as the triple clamp has a bit of a reputation for having a little "too much" leverage, which can allow you to "crush" your mast.
The Fiberspar is pretty good also, but you may need to get a kit to repair the back end if it has the locking ring setup. Be sure to check the used boom to ensure that the locking rings and collars are in good shape.
Hope this helps,
RE: Roger, should I go for carbon?
Thanks for your help, I will take a look at that second-hand Fiberspar then.
About broken AL booms of local racers - I know about two G and one P - breakage in the clamp (the had the same) and two broken Ch - tubes just after the clamp (one even reinforced from the front - broken just after reinforcement, probably bad batch - next year was OK).
I beleive they knock them loose while pumping and then stress-load in high winds.
There is a limitation to 60% carbon for the masts in their racing class - that could also produce more stress on the boom in gusty or choppy conditions with large sail I guess.
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