May 11, 2010
Author: Mike "Fish" Fischer
Mike "Fish" Fischer is an active blogger and Windsport contributor that purchased a couple of Aeron V-Grip booms and here is his review. For more check out his blog page known as "Fish's Windsurf Journal."
Just had two weeks in Hatteras with lots of winds using a couple of new 140-190 Aeron V-Grip continuous alloy booms.
The summary: I like them.
It is quite simple: if you have never been a fan on splashing out $500+ on carbon but have been tempted by the V-grip's extra inherent stiffness, these might be for you. I've always ridden alloy (aluminum) booms and have maybe, at most, bent or broken one on average every couple of years. I'm 165-175 lbs and I play fairly hard on the gear... land on them, loop them, etc...
What about the V-Grip shape? Well, I found it neither irritating, nor beneficial in terms of hand/forearm stress/strain and palm and finger blistering (something us less-frequent sailors have to deal with when we go on intensive windsurf holidays). I would not say I rate the v-grip cross-sectional shape any better or worse over plain round (i.e. it's pretty neutral).
What about stiffness? They are definitely stiff. Not sure how they compare to carbon, but if all you have ridden prior to these is typical two-piece arm alloy booms, then stepping to continuous (one-piece tube) V-grip shape is definitely a large improvement.
From what I can tell, by feel only (not having weighed them), they seem a touch heavier than most other standard booms out there. This is to be expected as there is some additional material in the tube cross-section, so the stiffness may come at a small price. BUT, the weight never bothered me at all (if indeed they are really any heavier) as stiffness is the critical atribute of any good boom. Maybe one day I can actually weigh them side by side with others to do a factual comparison.
Oh, did I mention the boom head? I really like it! Since switching to RDMs nearly seven-years-ago now, a problem has always been the need for a shim. I did ride a couple of older booms without shims and crushed two RDMs trying to get them to grip enough without dropping while riding. So, since then, I have always used shims in fear of repeating the same mistake. But, the Aeron's have such an excellent RDM adaptor included in the boom head, that there is no more need for after-market shims! YEAH!
In the end, yes, I definitely like them and look forward to putting on lots of mileage.