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Alu or Carbon booms?

When it comes down to buying a boom, the first question that comes into our mind is, ‘Carbon or Aluminium?’

For the price everyone would love the Aluminium boom, but when it comes to performance no one will say ‘no’ to a Carbon boom? Is this true though?

Not always. There are many things which need to be considered. For a moment, let’s forget about many details that a boom can offer.

The main fact of a boom is the stiffness. So, if we take a carbon boom fully extended, will it be stiffer than an aluminium boom fully closed? Will a small wave boom be much stiffer than an aluminium boom? Maybe if you take a long enough alu boom, and not use it fully extended it will be stiff enough to make you happy.

Therefore, the first thing to look at in a boom is the stiffness, and not the weight. If a boom is too soft, it widens up in the gust, and becomes shorter. Automatically this causes the sail to be squeezed between the boom, therefore like loosening up the outhaul even up to 3-5cm. This is exactly what you would not want in a gust: to release the outhaul, and have more power. This power you could confuse as weight…., well it is kind of, as it becomes useless power!  This is where the carbon boom has its main advantage. Imagine if you use a bigger size alu boom, so that you would have very little extension for the sail you will need to use. At this point, will you find it as stiff as a carbon boom?

The weight of a boom can be important, but nowadays the alu booms are also quite light. Weight is again a figure which is important on land. On the water, there are more details which make the value of the boom: the diameter, the stiffness, the shape, and the curve.

In smaller sizes, you can find alu booms with a small diameter like our Point-7 140 and 160. A small diameter is nice as it puts less strain on the forearms, especially when less trained. Even our carbon booms in all their sizes have reduced diameters against what is available on the market, on top of having a octatube diameter, which makes the tube feel even smaller.

The reflex of a boom, determines the performance of the sail. If a boom is too stiff, in waves, it could be to reactive and hard on your arms while landing big air jumps. Slightly softer, will be more comfortable and more forgiving.  In slalom, also too stiff locks in the mast from breathing and it makes each chop lose control.

The curves of the booms are very important, and this is why, if you check our boom range, not one boom size is the same. They are all developed to give the right stance on the board according to the average sail size and width of the board, each will be used in.

You can find more info on our site regarding our boom range. We are totally proud of each single size!

Our riders and development team all have different opinions on your choice of boom type. Have a look at what they all say :

Andrea Cucchi
I worked a lot on developing booms in the last years, and it’s just amazing how a good boom gives you the same advantage performance as a good mast. The main thing a boom needs to give is the comfort on the stance. It need to allow you to have the arms parallel and allow the sail to flow through the wind, without having to stand on the board in a funny position which determined how much weight to put on one leg or the other. A boom which gives you the wrong stance, just gets you tired much faster, or makes you back leg go on fire, or tweaks your back in an uncomfortable position.

We have discarded very light booms, very stiff booms in our development to search our final product. I was surprised in the differences, the different details in stiffness and curves were making in the performance. We had also a boom that just by feeling the stiffness and weight, it would have sold on the paper, but would you believe that it was the worse boom I ever sailed on? Discarded straight away!

My advice is to be very careful when you spend money on a carbon boom, as if the reflex, the curve, the stiffness is not tested by pros properly, you might end up buying a carbon boom which is not what you would expect from the price. With Alu booms, I believe that in slalom there is a limit. Under 7.5 I enjoy them myself with over 90kg. They do bring the fun you expect, and it’s not bad at all. Sure, a carbon boom which has the right reflex will be more direct, and efficient in the gust for the acceleration, and would help you hold longer the sail in over powered conditions, but if you are freeriding, and you don’t like to be over powered, the aluminium can do a great job. I do not like them so much in bigger sails than 7.5, but just imagined, that I won the Defi wind in 2014 on 5.6 racing sail using an alu boom. It was super comfortable in the choppy conditions.

If you are freeriders, my tip today, check our 170-carbon boom, it may cover your full freeride/slalom quiver sail range, and then a 140 alu boom for your wave sails.  If you are specialists, if you chose any of our carbon boom combining them with the right size of sails, you will love the extra power and drive they do donate to the rig!

Ricardo Campello
Well I think Carbon boom for any discipline is the best option, but I know sometimes the question is? do you have the budget to spend on a boom? My recommendation to you is, if you can, get a carbon boom here are some of the reasons:

It is stiffer then aluminium so once you are sailing an aluminium you will feel much more the boom moving around when going thru the chop and it is much more flexible them a carbon boom and you DO NOT WANT that in a boom!

The other thing that will make the difference is the weight, even if you don’t feel much difference when you take the two booms on your hands, while you are sailing there is a much lighter feeling on a carbon boom then on an aluminium boom!

The aluminium boom usually lasts more them a carbon boom though!

Basically, the carbon boom is way more expensive, sometimes even too much but honestly if you can extend your budget or even swap that getting a cheaper mast instead of 100% carbon, get a carbon boom!

At the end of the day what is important is that you are out there on the water having fun, but the better your equipment is and the better tuned it is the more you will enjoy!

Yentel Caers
The big difference between carbon and aluminium is that a carbon boom is way stiffer what makes the boom more direct, what really important while freestyle, especially in light wind you don’t want to lose any power. If you’re doing just sliding moves an al aluminium boom works perfect, but when you’re starting to improve more you would need a carbon boom to lose any power during the moves!!
 

 

Lena Erdil

I would always prefer carbon its lighter and stiffer. But Aluminium is not a bad option if you are looking to minimise the equipment budget.
Weight wise it can make a big difference too. Especially on your light wind equipment normally you want minimise the weight as much as possible so that you can get planing earlier. So I would definitely recommend the carbon options here. If you are heavy, aluminium booms are more likely to bend or break, so again heavy people should opt for Carbon in my opinion. If you are facing a situation where you can only afford one carbon or want to use one aluminium I would recommend to make this your strong wind sails boom. As in this conditions the rig weight will not matter as much.

 

Check out our whole range of new booms, which will cover any sort of demands and compromise by clicking here

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