That seems to be the question.
Big question! In this video, we give it some thought.
In our Wingspecial in issue 18 (Summer 2020), we took an intimate look at the subject:
I had the opportunity to try three different wings. First, the 4 meter Duotone from Bobo with boom, then the “Wasp 4” from Annie with loops and finally the 4.5 meter from ENSIS. As a beginner I really have to say that the boom suited me better. I could slip my hands without losing my grip. When I was on Annie’s Wing and had loops for the first time, it was not so easy. Whenever I wanted to change my grip, I had to watch that the Wing didn’t slip away from me. In contrast, however, my windsurfing colleague who switched to Wing told me that the loops didn’t even bother him. The only thing he found is that the boom is thicker and it’s a little more comfortable when gripping because you have “more” in your hand.
But on the beach I noticed that most producers have loops. I have only seen Bobo with a boom so far. I assume that if you master the Wing, the ease of use of a Wing with loops outweighs the advantages of a boom.
But since I can’t commit myself, I asked around in the community:
Annie Reickert (Maui)
I like the loops because I find the Wing lighter and because lighter and because I have more possibilities to hold the Wing.
Mario Stecher (Bavaria)
From my point of view, there are certain advantages and disadvantages for both, but they don’t really matter to me personally. Ultimately, it’s just a matter of habit. I personally prefer loops because of the small pack size when traveling.
Klaas Voget (Kiel)
Boom versus loops is not a question for me.
Loops just don’t come close to the intuitive handling of a boom. There are applications where loops make total sense, because you can save weight and design a minimalist wing that can be used for downwind and pure wave riding etc., because light wings usually “float” better when you just hold them on a loop next to you. Furthermore, you can readjust your hand positions more precisely and have a more direct connection to the wing and you are much faster and more intuitive when reaching around during maneuvers and tricks with a boom.
Basti Langer (Kiel)
I have tried and tested both. Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages, however, the advantages of the loop wings outweigh not only by their but also in terms of handling, flight stability and safety! Personally, I prefer loops because the exact position of the loops keeps the wing in the right place right away. A search for the pressure point is therefore not necessary. The wing is automatically perfectly in the wind and the launch is made easier! In addition, there is no need to attach an additional or hard object to the wing, which could injure you or damage your board! It is also no trimming at the “clew” of the wing necessary. One has directly a perfect profile, at which nothing must be changed. Simply inflate and go.
Dirk Herpel (Hamburg)
I have been windsurfing for over 30 years and so for me a wing with a boom was completely logical. In the meantime I have also tried a few wings with loops, but for me the concept with fork offers many advantages: I can blindly reach wherever I want. Especially in maneuvers or when you’re on the water for a long time, that’s very comfortable. And when surfing, I can also grab the front of the fork, which makes the Wing very stable in the flight phase. The small disadvantage that you have to take the 150 boom with you when traveling, that makes up for it easy for me in any case.
Bart DeZwart (Maui)
I prefer to drive with loops, because then I know exactly where to reach. Even better in the future would be if you could make the loops with different colors. The loops are tighter, I do not slip and the Wing is so lighter.
Carsten Kurmis (Munich)
I love to ride with loops because I find the handling more comfortable. Also, my board and head is happy that when I make a departure in the wave, no hard parts fly around my ears. But also when Traveln convinced the small pack size and the fast and uncomplicated assembly. Pump and go!
Axel Bischoff (Oldenburg)
I prefer loops on the inflatable Middelstrut, although after 40 years as a windsurfer I am actually used to the boom. There are three reasons for this: 1. power transmission: With a boom, no wall is possible between the middelstrut and the canope. This results in an indirect and spongy driving feeling. 2. pack size: the Wing without boom is folded up hardly hardly bigger than a briefcase. 3. risk of injury: a fall on the boom is simply more painful than on a tube. The same applies to damage to the board.