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Forearm fatigue and boom characteristics

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Created by thedoor 28 days ago, 9 Jun 2020
thedoor
389 posts
9 Jun 2020 4:08AM
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Since I have been foiling, I sail a lot more (more sessions and longer sessions) and I also unhook much more and sometimes ride swell one handed unhooked riding with a partially powered sail which is fatiguing. Anyways, my forearms are a bit sore, certainly more than normal and as I am on the market for a new boom, I am considering reduced diameter and wondering if it would be less fatiguing

Currently using chinook pro alloy, and not at all likely to purchase a carbon boom, so I am weighing up the pro alloy RDM versus regular.

For those who have tried different booms what factors minimize forearm fatigue the most? Diameter, weight, alloy versus carbon, other...

Imax1
QLD, 2745 posts
9 Jun 2020 7:12AM
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V grip.

9 Jun 2020 6:24AM
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It's a good question Thedoor

I would say in the following order

1) Reduced diameter: Helps a lot and your grip is more relaxed around the smaller diameter. You can also easier 'hang with your finger tips' on the boom (mixing up the grip a little).

2) Thin and 'rigid' grip (EVA boom grip). Here I mean if the grip is a softer and slightly thicker (EVA), then you squeeze more with your hands to hold onto the boom and it create more arm pump. Most booms are good, but just have it in mind.

3) Slippery EVA grip. Make sure your grip is not on the 'slippery' side of things as you would then again squeeze more on the boom to hold on and create arm pump. Compare a few booms down the beach and see if there is a difference.

4) The shape of the boom. Especially with foiling we grip the boom a bit further on the front section. Some booms have a more 'extreme' curve in the front and if you move the hands closer to the front when your unhooked, then there is more strain on your wrists and then more strain on the arms. If you have a real problem here, then the more shallow curved booms (at the front end) can work better.

5) Carbon vs Alu: Carbon is great as it is stiffer and should be lighter. Also it will outlast any Alu boom. For the underarm pump - there is no difference. But saying that, then it is a lot easier to make a reduced carbon boom that is stiff and to last, than a reduced Alu boom.

6) Weight is less important for the arm pump (well a tiny little bit). But is is nice with a lighter boom for the overall rig weight.

My arms are 'pumping' after writing this :)

thedoor
389 posts
9 Jun 2020 8:58AM
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Sail Repair WA said..
It's a good question Thedoor

I would say in the following order

1) Reduced diameter: Helps a lot and your grip is more relaxed around the smaller diameter. You can also easier 'hang with your finger tips' on the boom (mixing up the grip a little).

2) Thin and 'rigid' grip (EVA boom grip). Here I mean if the grip is a softer and slightly thicker (EVA), then you squeeze more with your hands to hold onto the boom and it create more arm pump. Most booms are good, but just have it in mind.

3) Slippery EVA grip. Make sure your grip is not on the 'slippery' side of things as you would then again squeeze more on the boom to hold on and create arm pump. Compare a few booms down the beach and see if there is a difference.

4) The shape of the boom. Especially with foiling we grip the boom a bit further on the front section. Some booms have a more 'extreme' curve in the front and if you move the hands closer to the front when your unhooked, then there is more strain on your wrists and then more strain on the arms. If you have a real problem here, then the more shallow curved booms (at the front end) can work better.

5) Carbon vs Alu: Carbon is great as it is stiffer and should be lighter. Also it will outlast any Alu boom. For the underarm pump - there is no difference. But saying that, then it is a lot easier to make a reduced carbon boom that is stiff and to last, than a reduced Alu boom.

6) Weight is less important for the arm pump (well a tiny little bit). But is is nice with a lighter boom for the overall rig weight.

My arms are 'pumping' after writing this :)


Haha, cheers. I spent $400 on a carbon boom back in the 90s, but I think the difference in stiffness between carbon and alu was greater back then. Seems a bit hard to justify $800 now, but if it helps the economy get back on track....

stehsegler
WA, 3094 posts
9 Jun 2020 9:11AM
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Just get a Severne Enigma Wave 150-200 or 140-190 and be done with it... ultra stiff boom, bullet proof construction, awesome grip and small diameter arms make this probably one of the best booms on the market and it has a really good resale value.

The other boom I have heard people talk highly off is the Aeron Wave Slim Carbon. It's a bit heavier but has narrow diameter arms as well. Once you tried a boom 25 or 26 mm arms you won't go back.

Other brands such as Simmer Style, Duo Tone, Goya etc make similar high end booms. They all have a high end price to match but you have to look at it in terms of how many years of use you will get out of it. In that regard get a brand were you know you can easily get spare parts down the track. Even the most expensive booms will have small parts that need to be replaced due to wear and tear. A lot of times the plastic clamps will break due to the constant change in temperature and exposure to UV light.

Grantmac
316 posts
9 Jun 2020 9:41AM
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Most booms use Aeron components. I'd get a boom which uses them for that purpose.

I was in the same position and decided to get a carbon boom that should last 3-4x as long as an aluminum one. Not one that but it'll be lighter and stiffer than those 3-4 alloy booms.

Personally I much prefer RGD and the modern arm shape for both foil and fin use. Not the super extreme shape like Streamlined, but Goya and Simmer have been excellent.

stehsegler
WA, 3094 posts
9 Jun 2020 11:48AM
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Grantmac said..
Most booms use Aeron components. I'd get a boom which uses them for that purpose.


I have heard that from several people. Many booms seem to be look strikingly similar including weight and dimensions with slight difference in front end design. Perhaps someone can shed some light on this.

petermac33
WA, 6241 posts
9 Jun 2020 12:37PM
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90 plus percent of the difference comes down to weight.

My Maui carbon wave boom has a reduced diameter and is similar in weight to a Fiberspar boom I also have which has quite a thick grip.

I do not notice any difference in fatigue on my forearms using the two.

Go to a aluminium boom that tend to be around 400g heavier I am guessing and I notice fatigue on my forearms.

I remember borrowing a few rigs that had large carbon booms (200-260 cm) rigged on relatively small sails of around 7m and I noticed my forearms were killing me after a few reaches.

Bigger guys notice a lot less strain for sure.

My 190-250 North Platinum Aero boom is far and away my best purchase ever.

No lighter than my Maui or Fiberspar carbon but the difference in stiffness is huge especially when used with 20cm or more of extension.

JakeNN
166 posts
9 Jun 2020 5:05PM
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You can get booms 1mm or 1.5mm thinner booms than the 25mm AL360 carbon .. but with a V-grip at 25mm this will be the easiest boom to grip and will transform your arm-pump into pleasure ...

www.al360.it/windsurf/index.asp?pag=prodotto_scheda&ID=39

.. and yes, i have tried the Severne and the DuoTone MegaSlim 24mm and others

JakeNN
166 posts
9 Jun 2020 5:07PM
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petermac33 said..
90 plus percent of the difference comes down to weight.


My experience has been nothing like this .. I can't even tell the difference in weight when hammering along holding the boom with my full bodyweight of 80kg .. not sure how you can pickup a weight difference in your hands of 300g out of an 80kg weight on the boom.

Try some Vaseline on your boom grip (any boom) and report back if you get sore forearms.

JakeNN
166 posts
9 Jun 2020 5:09PM
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Sail Repair WA said..
It's a good question Thedoor
I would say in the following order



This Sail Repair WA dude is on the money .. very well thought through.

petermac33
WA, 6241 posts
9 Jun 2020 5:30PM
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When you are planning of course the difference is less but I can still feel it.

When you are not planing I can feel a huge difference with a light boom and also a 100 percent carbon mast.

Gybing as well it makes a big difference.

I remember using a 7m Severne R3 from memory many years ago that was rigged with one of the larger sized Enigma booms and when I took it for a quick sail I struggled bigtime with the weight. Was so relieved to get back on my own gear.

Women especially benefit more from using light booms and other light components.

Can you imagine a women trying to windsurf using the old Maui 190-240 carbon boom that is possibly the heaviest carbon boom on the market?

Imax1
QLD, 2745 posts
9 Jun 2020 7:46PM
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petermac33 said..
When you are planning of course the difference is less but I can still feel it.

When you are not planing I can feel a huge difference with a light boom and also a 100 percent carbon mast.

Gybing as well it makes a big difference.

I remember using a 7m Severne R3 from memory many years ago that was rigged with one of the larger sized Enigma booms and when I took it for a quick sail I struggled bigtime with the weight. Was so relieved to get back on my own gear.

Women especially benefit more from using light booms and other light components.

Can you imagine a women trying to windsurf using the old Maui 190-240 carbon boom that is possibly the heaviest carbon boom on the market?


Depends if the woman is an ex shot putter or not

JakeNN
166 posts
9 Jun 2020 6:14PM
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petermac33 said..
When you are not planing I can feel a huge difference with a light boom and also a 100 percent carbon mast.
Gybing as well it makes a big difference.


yes .. agree there is a big and noticeable difference when gybing due to the boom weight difference .. but this is usually pretty quick and hence not a big factor in forearm pain.

i have most forearm pain problems when planing (guess I could use my harness more effectively) and don't spend too long (a) gybing, (b) jumping, (c) wave-riding.

petermac33
WA, 6241 posts
9 Jun 2020 6:32PM
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My opinion on windsurfing booms and masts compared to 10-15 years ago - not much if any improvement.

On the performance of a R3 compared to a Mach 3 - top speed probably similar if a little slower.

The biggest difference in sails by far is in a much lighter feel due to them being a whole one kg or so lighter.

Hi tech materials in sails have made the biggest difference to enjoying windsurfing and this has happened mostly in the last 5 years or so.

I never experience any forearm fatigue unless my harness lines are in the wrong position or I borrow a rig with a heavy boom and mast.

JakeNN
166 posts
9 Jun 2020 6:41PM
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petermac33 said..
I never experience any forearm fatigue unless my harness lines are in the wrong position or I borrow a rig with a heavy boom and mast.


I wish we could swap hands and you could have my tiny hands :(

segler
431 posts
10 Jun 2020 12:12AM
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For me the solution to forearm fatigue has always been...harness.

mark62
353 posts
10 Jun 2020 3:37AM
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Hi Thedoor, I'm not into foiling, so don't fully understand the technicalities, but if your getting forearm pump because your spending more time unhooked when foiling, I guess the obvious solution is to stay hooked in more of the time.

failing that, spend 20 minutes three times per week doing some basic forearm strengthening exercises. You'll notice a big difference within 5 or 6 weeks. There's a ton of exercises/info on YouTube.

i doubt if you'll get big improvements by buying a new boom, you will still get some forearm pump.


forceten
1163 posts
10 Jun 2020 5:10AM
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JakeNN said..
You can get booms 1mm or 1.5mm thinner booms than the 25mm AL360 carbon .. but with a V-grip at 25mm this will be the easiest boom to grip and will transform your arm-pump into pleasure ...

www.al360.it/windsurf/index.asp?pag=prodotto_scheda&ID=39

.. and yes, i have tried the Severne and the DuoTone MegaSlim 24mm and others


The Al360 is the way to go. Prob much too pricy. I have 2. If someone makes a Vee, that's not an additional weight, that's a plus.
I felt that the narrowest is best on anything else, but not that much so. I have problems so I know the feeling.
It really may depend on how wide your grip is, I don't think one can say this will be best for you. I do think the weight up there matters , but that's money.

so iam not sparkly like jake in that it will transform, what may be an inherent muscle , injury or old age, which money don't fix.
Al360, not know for the arm covering durability, but mines are 4-5 years old, since improved ?

forceten
1163 posts
10 Jun 2020 5:11AM
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petermac33 said..
My opinion on windsurfing booms and masts compared to 10-15 years ago - not much if any improvement.

On the performance of a R3 compared to a Mach 3 - top speed probably similar if a little slower.

The biggest difference in sails by far is in a much lighter feel due to them being a whole one kg or so lighter.

Hi tech materials in sails have made the biggest difference to enjoying windsurfing and this has happened mostly in the last 5 years or so.

I never experience any forearm fatigue unless my harness lines are in the wrong position or I borrow a rig with a heavy boom and mast.


Remember you wrote this when you are 70 plus years old

forceten
1163 posts
10 Jun 2020 5:22AM
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stehsegler said..

Grantmac said..
Most booms use Aeron components. I'd get a boom which uses them for that purpose.



I have heard that from several people. Many booms seem to be look strikingly similar including weight and dimensions with slight difference in front end design. Perhaps someone can shed some light on this.



Select to expand quote
stehsegler said..

Grantmac said..
Most booms use Aeron components. I'd get a boom which uses them for that purpose.



I have heard that from several people. Many booms seem to be look strikingly similar including weight and dimensions with slight difference in front end design. Perhaps someone can shed some light on this.



I have Al360 made in Italy. I have Chinook made in Hood River, they look different. They have different engineering concepts, are made in their own factory. Many booms are made in the same factory's, doesn't mean they have the same specifications , like a board coming out of Cobra, not the same materials. It's difficult to find who makes a boomthey don't want you to know you can purchase one cheaper if sold by company F instead of company A, whohave deep pockets and huge advertising.They may go so far as to have a non disclosure agreement , oh someone knows who makes most .

JakeNN
166 posts
10 Jun 2020 10:32AM
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mark62 said..
i doubt if you'll get big improvements by buying a new boom, you will still get some forearm pump.



in my experience (and admittedly I feel the forearm pump more than most) ... I got a massive improvement with a new boom ... massive as in completely resolved!

- i bought a brand new carbon boom at 27mm and could only sail for about 10 minutes before the pump was so bad .. even in the harness .. just a 5.0m and 90L bump & jump day.

- i used that unsuccessfully for a few months, then bought a 25mm AL360 carbon v-grip (as above) and the difference was a massive improvement .. now back on the water for a few hours .. no issues.

thedoor
389 posts
13 Jun 2020 4:08AM
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JakeNN said..

mark62 said..
i doubt if you'll get big improvements by buying a new boom, you will still get some forearm pump.




in my experience (and admittedly I feel the forearm pump more than most) ... I got a massive improvement with a new boom ... massive as in completely resolved!

- i bought a brand new carbon boom at 27mm and could only sail for about 10 minutes before the pump was so bad .. even in the harness .. just a 5.0m and 90L bump & jump day.

- i used that unsuccessfully for a few months, then bought a 25mm AL360 carbon v-grip (as above) and the difference was a massive improvement .. now back on the water for a few hours .. no issues.


good to know

Faff
VIC, 765 posts
13 Jun 2020 10:10PM
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Could your arm pump be wetsuit related?

JakeNN
166 posts
13 Jun 2020 9:36PM
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Faff said..
Could your arm pump be wetsuit related?


In my situation, it is definitely a factor ... regardless my experience above with the 27mm vs 25mm v-grip was sailing with a full length steamer and short-arm springy .. both were tested and resolved with both wetsuit alternatives.

forceten
1163 posts
13 Jun 2020 10:55PM
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Both wetsuit and the Vee , narrow grip could help with forearm soreness, as could a exercise problem designed to augment muscle tissue.
its possible that any could solve issues . I have the AL360s, and think they were / are of benefit . Unlikely I would recommend spending that much on a could a , would a , should a

forceten
1163 posts
13 Jun 2020 11:02PM
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Remembered this test from a few years back.

interesting ::

www.surfertoday.com/windsurfing/why-reduced-diameter-windsurf-booms-minimize-forearm-fatigue

petermac33
WA, 6241 posts
13 Jun 2020 11:38PM
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I try to take as close to 100 percent of my weight thru the harness as possible.

Sailing without a harness I could only plane for 500 metres or so then my arms would start to experience serious fatigue.

When non planning I try to stay hooked in as I feel it improves my sailing and also saves my energy as well.

According to the article two thirds of windsurfers experience forearm pain. I thought it was like five percent tops.

If you cannot sail at least 500 metres with your back hand off the boom there is a good chance you are not powering your harness up to the fullest.

Not fully powering up your harness is obviously going to result in arm fatigue.

I see a lot of less experienced windsurfers not fully powering up their harness.

Powering up your harness fully is possibly the key to enjoying the sport much more.

thedoor
389 posts
14 Jun 2020 1:24PM
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Faff said..
Could your arm pump be wetsuit related?


it might be a factor but its the same wetsuit I have used for 5+ years,and its cold where I sail so going without is not an option. The big change is the increased sailing time (cause foiling isn't half as tiring as windsurfing) and the increased unhooking while "riding swells" on the foil. I imagine wave sailors unhook much more than bump and jump sailors and foiling I seem to unhook more than I do while windsurfing (bump and jump).

I am probably going to purchase a narrow alloy boom tomorrow as we need to replace an old one. Will report back if it makes any difference

JakeNN
166 posts
14 Jun 2020 3:55PM
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thedoor said..
I am probably going to purchase a narrow alloy boom tomorrow


If you would like any seabreeze opinions (and occasional facts), then let us know which one you are buying :)

Imax1
QLD, 2745 posts
14 Jun 2020 6:36PM
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Re v grip your existing boom.
Its not that hard , and works a treat.
Better than a skinny boom .



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"Forearm fatigue and boom characteristics" started by thedoor