May 2015, updated September 2015.




The North Platinum 190-250 cm boom.


A review  - wrapped in a general boom discussion.




In the late autumn of 2014 I got a brand new North Platinum 190-250 cm boom for use with my big slalom gear. Due to my fragile body sustaining some smaller injuries, the boom was not wetted until early in 2015, but although I haven't used the boom that much, a clear image of its function and performance has certainly been formed. So far, the boom has solely been used with a North Warp F2013 9.2 on a RRD X-Fire 129 and a Fanatic Falcon 152.









A North Warp F2013 9.2 sail with the North Platinum 190-250 cm boom.


Click the picture to enlarge.






There'll be plenty of words below, so I'll not tire you with a description of the key features of the boom. Instead I can refer to this (coloured) description from the North homepage: and this presentation of the general boom technology of the company:




The review.



In this review I'll use my experience with booms from other brands as a reference. That is, the Platinum boom will be "measured" by comparing it to other solutions, both good and flawed, that I've come across over the years.


With a personal, but rather vague, order of priority, the most important qualities for booms this size are listed below. They are as follows:





1.    The main parts of booms this size must be manufactured from carbon fiber.


Generally, carbon booms are stronger, more durable and stiffer than aluminum booms. And furthermore, if a carbon boom weakens, you'll very often have a chance of noticing unhealthy noises and locating cracks before any fatality, whereas aluminum booms have an unfortunate tendency to explode without warning. Contrary to carbon, aluminum develops fragility from continuously bending, and broken aluminum isn't repairable. However, if you locate some cracks on a carbon boom, it's sometimes possible to file/sand down some of the bad material and add new layers of carbon or glass fiber weave. And of course, you can also strengthen sound areas of a carbon boom as preventive measures.






The remains of an exploded Neil Pryde X6 boom. The

 aluminum made X6 boom has an extremely bad reputation -

and a well deserved one!





Click the picture to enlarge.




The front piece of a Fiberspar carbon boom has cracked. Judging from

where the cracks are located, Repairing the front is actualy feasible.

- although perhaps not advisable.


Click the picture to enlarge.



How does the Platinum boom meet this demand?


Well, my new  Platinum 190-250 cm boom is indeed made from carbon fiber - but more than that: Carbon is not carbon - in the sense that carbon fiber laminated with a lot of resins is not nearly as strong as carbon fiber laminated with just enough resins. A (say) 2 millimeters carbon laminate consisting of relatively few layers of fiber, bonded together with lots of resins, is not nearly as strong as lots of layers of fiber, bonded together with very little resins.


North claims that the Platinum boom is manufactured from pre-wetted (prepreg) carbon weave, so apparently the carbon weave contains only a minimum of resins. Simply from feel I can say that the exposed carbon on the Platinum boom is a lot more scratch resistant than any carbon boom I've owned. I see this as a clear sign of a very tough boom, probably the toughest boom in my arsenal. And just an interesting detail: Some of my carbon booms have signs of casting, indicating that two halves of tubes are glued together, but not precisely aligned. The Platinum boom has no such signs ...





2.    The boom front must be integrated with the tubes (a monocoque construction).



Among the carbon booms, to my knowledge only the Nautix carbon booms still have a "loose" front section/head that's connected to the tubes with glue (epoxy?). The old Fiberspar carbon booms also had a separate boom front that was glued to the tubes.


Although seemingly old fashioned, I'll always prefer this system if there's any risk that the boom front of a monocoque construction will crack. For instance, if the front cracked on a Fiberspar boom you could always buy another front and glue the boom together - while the frequently cracked fronts on (only earlier?) Neil Pryde X9 booms imply trashing the entire boom.






A Fiberspar carbon boom (with Maui

Sails head) reinforced with glass

fiber weave for preventive reasons.






Click the picture to enlarge.




A Neil Pryde X9 boom front shows

some ominous cracks. Repairable?

Look at the next picture.




Click the picture to enlarge.




The head das been removed from

the NP X9 boom front. The location

and the seriousness of the cracks

tell that there's no salvation for

this boom.


Click the picture to enlarge.





A couple of old-type Nautix

integrated boom fronts/heads.

The front/head to the right is meant

 to be laminated into Nautix carbon

 tubes. Compared to a fragile

monocoque construction, I'll

always prefer this system.


Click the picture to enlarge.



How does the Platinum boom meet this demand?


The Platinum boom is a monocoque construction, where you'll have to hope for durability of the boom front as there's no possibility for renewal. However, to my knowledge boom front cracking problems isn't widespread these days, and with the very strong appearance of the Platinum boom I foresee no problems in this respect.





3.    The boom head clamp mechanism must grab the mast with NO tendency to slide down.


I've very seldom possessed booms that didn't slide down the mast with 7.8'ish sails and bigger. Frankly, I don't understand why this issue isn't discussed more among windsurfers, and I suspect that many sailors simply are not aware, and don't give it a thought, why the control of the sail gets better and why the speed and liveliness of the board get worse during a session. In short: Booms slide down without many sailors giving it a thought.


One of the very few exceptions from the enervating sliding-down problem is the Nautix booms (with a "loose" front piece, not a monocoque construction). And from the other end of the spectrum my Maui Sails booms have always been sliding down. And mentioning the Maui Sails booms - attempting to tightening the head, the only consequence is to crack it. I've used fortunes on renewing cracked MS booms heads, and I'm very surprised that the MS people think they can get away with blaming the costumers for this defect: There's simply no way to avoid boom head sliding and at the same time avoiding cracks for the Maui Sails heads. You'll have to choose - a cracked boom head or a sliding down boom head.






The classic Maui Sails boom head problem: You'll have to choose

between boom slip or a cracked head. Here are e few heads from

my personal collection.



Click the picture to enlarge.




In desperation over the waste of money for replacement for the

 cracked Maui Sails heads I've tried to come up with alternatives

 for trashing them. Please note that there're no "overlapping"

 heads in the two pictures.


The final solution was to replace the heads with the very rugged

Streamlined boom heads that fit perfectly to the Maui Sails

boom fronts.


Click the picture to enlarge.



The boom sliding problem is monstrous irritating, and I've made it to a procedure to put on an anti-skid coating in the boom area of all my masts as soon as they arrive from the shop. This helps, but for some of my booms (Maui Sails, Streamlined, Neil Pryde and others) it only reduces the problem.







A couple of ways to increase the friction between boom and mast. In

both ways the boom areas of the masts are wetted with a thin layer

of epoxy. The areas are then either covered with a rough masked

 nylon cloth (the masts to the left and to the right), and the cloth

 are removed when the epoxy is hardened.


The mast in the middle is treated the same way as when putting

an anti-skid layer on your boards (epoxy sprinkled with sugar that's

washed away, when the epoxy is hardened).


More on the subject here:


Click the picture to enlarge.





An Aeron boom head equipped with pieces of rubber/soft plastic,

taken from an old Nautix boom head. I'm astonished why some

brands seem to think that hard plastic against a smooth mast can

create sufficient friction to avoid boom sliding.










Click the picture to enlarge.





Update September 2015.



The simplest mean's often the best: A string threaded through a couple of holes (made with a soldering iron) is tied to the boom front. In the picture the anti-boom-slipping line is used with a North Warp 8.6, rigged on a Platinum 490 with a Nautix boom with a Streamlined boom head (older type). Until this solution the Streamlined boom head ALWAYS slipped a couple of cm every 10 minutes - especially in bumpy conditions.


The "system" is quick made (a couple of minutes) and very, very effective. And so far I've noticed none negative effects on the sail whatsoever. A no-nonsense solution that works!


The picture's from the test session. No need to fasten the boom head in kind of double string. A single string will do.


Click the picture to enlarge.





How does the Platinum boom meet this demand?


Perhaps you think that having a boom that doesn't slide down your mast is a banality and truism. In my opinion it's not.


I've used the Platinum boom with two original heads (iFRONT 1.0 in the stiffest setup and iFront 2.0 in the "stiffness III" version). Neither of them showed the slightest tendency to slide down the mast. It's my experience that such non-slipping quality isn't that common.






Update February 2016.


Trimming boom height on the water.


As said, the Platinum iFront 2.0 clamps very securely onto the mast. It does so by almost sucking the mast with the friction pad - in fact the friction pad gets in contact with the mast way before the clamp is fully closed.


In a review of the Platinum Aero 190-250 boom, Andreas Wale (who is otherwise very satisfied with the boom) from Sweden has pointed out that the early contact between the friction pad and mast can cause a problem if you're the kind of guy that frequently adjusts the boom height on the water: To release the iFront 2.0 sufficient from the mast to allow boom height adjustments, you'll have to open the lever fully, and by doing so you risk (or: You're damn sure) that the tightening string gets loose from the cuff.


It would be unfair to criticize that the Platinum boom head ties firmly to the mast very early when operating the lever. In fact, this is probably the cause why it isn't member of the annoying "sliding down the mast syndrome family" - a family way too big!


However, if you're the kind of sailor that use to trim the boom height on the water, it would be nice if you could open the lever without the string falling off the cuff, and thus avoid the fiddling issue to replace the string before clamping the boom in a new position.


Without going into details I think it would be pretty easy for the gifted North people to help the guys with the habit of trimming the boom height on the water - for instance by "locking" the string better to the cuff. By doing so North would satisfy sailors that focuses on easy boom height trimming on the water (like Andreas) and sailors that focuses on boom heads that don't slide down the mast (like me).




The iFront 2.0 clamp has to be

almost fully opened to allow the

boom height to be adjusted.


Click the picture to enlarge.




When opening the clamp fully, the

string almost certainly falls off the

cuff - unless you keep the string

tight by simultaniously pullling

back  the cuff (as done here).


Click the picture to enlarge.








4.    The boom head clamp mechanism must not crush the mast.


The Platinum 190-250 cm boom was delivered with a iFRONT 1.0 boom head. The head can be stiffened up by moving around a couple of screws, and as the boom was intended for use with a race sail, it was  stiffened max. For curiosity - and for this review - I ordered the new 2015 iFront 2.0 boom head ("Stiffness III" version) and have been using this head the last couple of sessions.


No need to go into technical details, but from the view of the user the main difference between the heads seems to be that the new head accepts different mast diameters somewhat better than the iFront 1.0. As said, also the iFront 1.0 sits firmly on the mast, but it seems that it point loads thicker masts more than the new iFront 2.0. The iFront 2.0 simply seems to be more careful to larger diameter masts. As I (for reasons described here: am tied to use the older large diameter pre-drop shape Platinum 490 cm masts for my Warp 9.2, I've decided to use the iFront 2.0 boom head.






The Platinum 190-250 cm boom

with the iFront 1.0, it was delivered

 with - placed behind the new 2015

iFront 2.0 boom head.





Click the picture to enlarge.




The ability of the iFront 1.0 boom

 head to fit tight to an older North

Platinum 490 cm mast and the

new Platinum 490 cm mast.





Click the picture to enlarge.




The ability of the iFront 2.0 boom

 head to fit tight to an older North

Platinum 490 cm mast and the

new Platinum 490 cm mast





Click the picture to enlarge.




It always comes as a surprise just

how time consuming it is to fit a

new boom head to a boom front.

Fitting a iFront 2.0 boom head to

a Platinum boom front certainly

isn't an exception - indicated by

the tools used.


 Click the picture to enlarge.



How does the Platinum boom meet this demand?


I don't foresee any problems with durability of my masts when used with the iFront 2.0 boom head. With the iFront 1.0 I'm a bit afraid of its mast crushing ability when used with a larger diameter mast.





5.    No water in the boom, please!


Water in the boom is annoying - and unfortunately pretty common. Objectively I'm not sure that it means a lot to have a boom that drinks some water. But mentally it's very de-motivating to listen to the gurgling noise of water from the boom and see the water pouring out of the tail when coming ashore.


It's not a problem to cork the tail end of a boom to avoid this kind of water entrance. However, it's a real problem to fix the most common source of the water entrance problem - the holes (hollow depressions) for the adjustment pins. Holes that are intended not to give access for water to the interior of the tail end - but holes that due to lousy manufacturing quality very often suck water.


As said, it's a very elaborate work to try to repair the leakage in the pin holes, and often it's much better to simply to drill some holes for draining water out in back of the tail end or underneath of the tail end. This way, of course, water can get into the boom, but it also gets out again as soon as you lift the boom from the water.










The gurgling noise from this almost new Neil Pryde X9 tail end indicated

water entrance. A pressure test revealed that 6 pin holes leaked (here

encircled with a white marker). Result: The water gets in easily - but is

almost impossible to get out.



Click the picture to enlarge.






How does the Platinum boom meet this demand?


The North people has taken the consequence of the trapped-water problem and have given water free access to get into the tail end of the Platinum boom - and more important: Free access to get out as soon as it gets out of the water. This is a no-nonsense solution, that furthermore allows the tail end to be very light (no need to laminate extra material inside the tail end tubes to place the pin holes in) and allows the tail end to fit outside the tubes for stiffness reasons. Simple and elegant!





6.    The width of the boom shall accept the profile depth of the sail - but only just.


I think many of us have experimented with shortening booms - for several reasons: Substituting an older race sail with a new one in the same size often imply an 10-20cm shorter boom length because of the trend with cut outs at the clew. Another source for boom shortening experiments is the large stock of very long booms - up to 310 cm on length - that some shops sell very cheaply because of the diminishing market for very big formula sails; carbon booms of high quality that only have a chance for being used and sold if shortened. About boom shorteníng:


Anyway, from the boom shortening business I have several times ended up using a boom that felt too wide. The trim simply were wrong, and the manoeuvres felt awkward. My son and I have 7 booms for sails in the 6.3 - 9.2 sizes, and the width of the booms (inside the tubes, between the harness lines) vary from 50 - 59 cm. Personally, for a 9.0 - 9.5 sail on a large slalom board, I feel that a boom width between 50 cm to 55 cm is best. A little dependent of the tail width of the boom, I prefer that the sail touches the boom tubes slightly from the outhaul clam cleats backwards when releasing the outhaul for a downwind run.



How does the Platinum boom meet this demand?


The Platinum 190-250 cm boom has a width of 50,5 cm between the harness lines (for a Warp 9.2). That's relatively narrow, but for me that's spot on. Also because of the outline of the boom (see later).





7.    The shape of the boom must be classic with no "new-school" bend curves or the like of the tubes.


For larger booms I don't fancy "new school" shaped booms. Bigger sails have the draft a long way back from the mast, so I find no reason to drastically change the proven boom shape forward towards the boom head. With smaller sails, where the harness lines and your hands are placed closer to the mast, perhaps it's another story.



How does the Platinum boom meet this demand?


The Platinum 190-250 cm boom has a reasonable classic shape. The tail is moderately wide, and the shape from the front to the wide point is certainly not what can be called a "new-school" shape. However, the shape of this section is kind of segmented in a couple of fairly "straight" curves, that allow the front hand to be almost in line with the back hand. This segmented curve is subtle, I must admit, but I think it's there. Perhaps that's the reason why the boom simply feels nice to have in your hands.









The Platinum 190-250 cm boom is placed upon a Maui Sails boom.

The shapes of the tubes between the harness lines end the boom

 head differ a little, giving the Platinum boom perhaps a little

more natural feel for your front hand.


Click the picture to enlarge.






8.    The boom must be stiff, also fully extended.


The stiffness issue isn't as urgent as earlier. The need for very long (formula) booms kind of standardized the contemporary appearance of bigger carbon booms, so that in the harness line area the diameter is "grab-friendly", while the diameter towards the front and tail is oversized. This boom style has proliferated down the slalom sizes, although the need for oversized tails isn't that urgent here. Frankly, sailing with 7.0-7.8 and smaller slalom sails I prefer to have an ordinary old-style carbon boom in my hands - like the good old Fiberspar booms without the heavy oversized tails, that often feel a bit un-balanced.


However, for sailing with slalom sails bigger than 7.8 meter, the stiffness of the oversized tails is a benefit. Before receiving the Platinum 190-250 cm boom I sailed my Warp 9.2 with an old Fiberspar boom (with Streamlined head) without oversized tail, and it felt very light and balanced in the hands, but also somewhat wobbling.



How does the Platinum boom meet this demand?


I've done no "scientific" test of the stiffness of my Platinum boom compared to other of my carbon booms. However, the carbon quality of the boom, the unique end piece, the large overlap between tubes and end piece, the extension mechanism and (most important) the feel of the boom on the water give reason to say, that this is a very, very stiff boom. I'm in no doubt that it's the stiffest boom I've had.


One further thing to notice is that the unique and very light tail end gives the Platinum boom a more balanced feeling than other booms with oversized tail ends. The boom simply doesn't feel more tail end-heavy than old-school carbon booms.





9.    The boom must be prepared for outhaul trim - and a little about the outhaul lines/pulleys in the clew  

         grommet hooking.



Using a boom for slalom sails, outhaul trim is a must. Personally I have outhaul trim on all of my booms (for sails down to 5.0 meter). An outhaul trim requires pulleys in the tail end, and I think that almost all serious boom brands have this feature these days. If your (older) boom doesn't have the required (3) pulleys in the tail end, you'll have to make it yourself, and in fact that's not a big issue.





A Nautix carbon boom with a homemade end piece connecting

the end tubes. Using large pulleys reduce the friction and

allow more clearance between the outhaul lines and the

pulley in the clew grommet.


Click the picture to enlarge.




Another homemade end piece, this time for an old Fiberspar carbon

boom. An end piece is exposed for a lot of stress and has to be

strong anchored in the end tubes and made from strong material.

This end piece is made from an old G10 fin.


 Click the picture to enlarge.


One thing that even the newest carbon booms normally don't have is a kind of guidance, so that the line between the outhaul clam cleats and the tail end pulleys doesn't get hooked by the (Chinook or Nautix) pulley that many of us place in the clew grommet. Luckily this doesn't happen that often - but when it happens (mostly after a jibe) you're often in a hurry and are not in the mood to use time to get the lines free. And getting the lines free is almost impossible, unless you let the sail go and swim out to the clew.


As said, very few booms (if any) are prepared for outhaul line guidance, so you'll have to fix it yourself - if you think that it's a problem.





Homemade guidance of the outhaul line to avoid it from being

hooked by the clew grommet pulley. Here placed on an Aeron

carbon boom.



Click the picture to enlarge.




Another simple way for outhaul line guidance. As can be seen the lines

are guided by a couple of outhaul clam cleats where the "teeth" have

been removed to allow the lines to run freely. Here placed on a

 Maui Sails carbon boom.


Click the picture to enlarge.


How does the Platinum boom meet this demand?


The pulley system in the tail end of the Platinum 190-250 cm boom is very ingenious and allows looping the rope through the clew grommet (but not if using a Chinook or Nautix pulley). There's a slight asymmetry in the way the outhaul line connects to the pulley in the clew grommet (if you use this device), but more important is that the tail end pulleys run with very little resistance. It's pretty effortless to operate the outhaul trim.


Along with most (all?) other boom manufactures North hasn't prepared the Platinum boom for any outhaul line guidance.






One of the reasons for using pulleys in the grommet is that you

can loop the outhaul line around the pulley without having to

dismantle the line and thread it through an eyelet every time you

rig the sail.

However, the Platinum boom in fact allows looping the outhaul

line through an eyelet without dismantling/threading the outhaul



Click the picture to enlarge.




Nevertheless I've chosen to use pulleys in the grommets and place

 some outhaul line guidance on the tail end of the Platinum

190-250 cm boom, mostly because

of presumably lower friction.





Click the picture to enlarge.



Update September 2015.



Don't know what I've been thinking, not using the very special loop-loop-go outhaul system of the Platinum boom! A couple of weeks ago I finally tried it on the water, and it works extremely well.


One thing is that it's a very quick loop-loop-go system. Another thing is that the system works with very little friction. But the best thing is that you never have to use the Nautix or Chinook pulleys in the grommets any more. And consequently that you never more risk the very annoying outhaul line catching incidents that are associated with the mentioned pulleys.


Click the picture to watch the video.




10.    The extension system must be smart, strong and tight.


The bigger carbon booms normally expand the diameter of the tubes back towards the tail end, so that the oversized diameter tail end can run inside the tubes. This way the booms are stiffened up - but it follows that you'll have to cork the tubes a long way up the tubes to leave room for the tail end. When you extend such a boom, there's a possibility that water can be trapped in the tubes.


This classic shape also creates restrictions on how long tail ends the boom can be fitted with. Or at least, with extra long tail ends the boom cannot be fully collapsed, as the tail end either hits the corks or the walls of the conic tubes.



How does the Platinum boom meet this demand?


One of the key features of the Platinum 190-250 cm boom is that the tail end runs outside the tubes. This way it's possible to cork the tubes at the extreme ends, so that no water can be trapped inside the tubes. And as discussed earlier ("5."), with the special Platinum tail end system no water can be trapped inside the tail because of this being open and drainable.






The unique "outside.tail" of the Platinum 190-250 cm boom

allows corking at the extreme ends of the tubes.


Click the picture to enlarge.



The Platinum extension system also allows more freedom in the sizing of the tail ends. North has made use of this possibility to offer different sized tail ends to the racing boom.


I can't tell about the durability of the extension lock system of the Platinum boom. But for the time being I can say, that the lock mechanism seems very reassuring in perceived solidity and finish.





11.    The grip must be of a reasonable quality and must be bonded in a durable way.


Perhaps surprising, but a lots of (the very expensive) carbon booms are fitted with extremely vulnerable grip - or the grip is bonded to the booms with lousy glue. How complicated can it be - a very high priced pieced of gear of course has to be fitted with quality grip, using quality glue.


The worst booms I've come across in this respect are Maui Sails booms and Neil Pryde X9 booms (Neil Pryde in fact found it necessary to launch a re-gripping program!). Also pretty bad were some (not all) Fiberspar booms, while I've generally had no problems in this respect with Nautix and Aeron booms.





My Maui Sails carbon booms all look like this - in spite of

numerous attempts to fix the problem.









Click the picture to enlarge.




This very old and well used Nautix carbon boom (with a Fiberspar front

 and a Streamlined head) shows no sign of grip delamination because

of poor bonding. And the grip itself seems to be of considerably higher

density than for instance the Maui Sails booms.


P. s.: Please notice the line that are fixed on the tubes and runs

through the boom head ahead of the mast. This

 precaution ensures that you can in fact sail ashore,

 should the boom front loosen or break.


Click the picture to enlarge.



How does the Platinum boom meet this demand?


This isn't a long term test, but from the rather restricted use of my Platinum boom so far, I am confident as to the quality of the grip. The grip seem to be of fairly high density, and I've found absolutely no evidence that the grip will peel off.





12.    A place to fasten the uphaul line, please.


A place to fasten the uphaul line ought to be too self-evident to mention. But nevertheless you repeatedly meet obstacles in the discipline to tie the uphaul line to the boom head or the boom front. Often you have to find a very thin line and thread it through a long and extremely narrow hole - and then tie it to the uphaul line (Maui Sails and Fiberspar heads). Other times you're left to tie it directly to the boom front, so that it restricts the clamp on mechanism (Streamlined head). And probably numerous other "solutions".


Of course, it's not rocket science for us to find a way to tie your uphaul line to the boom. But why do we have to bother?





To fasten the uphaul rope to this

Fiberspar boom head, you'll have

to find a very small diameter line,

thread it through a tiny hole, and

tie it to the uphaul rope.




Click the picture to enlarge.




A Maui Sails boom head with the

same unnecessary complex procedure

 for securing the uphaul rope.






Click the picture to enlarge.




This Aeron boom is perhaps a little

 better in this respect than the

Fiberspar and Maui Sails way -

but not much.





Click the picture to enlarge.




At this Streamlined boom head/

front you're allowed to tie the

uphaul rope directly to the front

without using a small diameter

line. But now the uphaul rope

interfere with the clamp lever!



 Click the picture to enlarge.



How does the Platinum boom meet this demand?


The Platinum boom head simply present for you an eye big enough for you to thread the uphaul line directly. It's placed where it belongs - just beneath the clamp mechanism.







The North Platinum iFront 2.0 (and iFront 1.0) way to fasten the

uphaul rope directly in the boom head. A BIG eyelet under the

 clamp lever. Simple and effective!


Click the picture to enlarge.





13.    The boom head must either be hinged to the boom front - or have a little play that allows different

           angles relative to the mast.


I think all modern booms allow different angles to the mast. The "Nautix way" to obtain this is by letting the boom head be suspended from the boom front by means of a elastic connection. This way, the boom can pivot up and down, but it always seek back to a kind of equilibrium.


The other and usual way is to hinge the boom head to the boom front. The boom has no equilibrium but stays in the position it's left. How easy and smooth the hinging works depends on how much you tighten a couple of bolts. Usually, to obtain more friction (and to take care of the boom front?) some rubber/plastic shim(s) are placed between the head and front.





The Nautix boom head is connected to the boom front with some

torsion bars. The boom can change angle relative to the mast, but

it always seek an angle of 90 degrees when not under load.














Click the picture to enlarge.




The normal way for suspending the head in the front by means of a

hinging mechanism. The Maui Sails system (upper picture) implies

 shims between head and front to have some friction. The North

Platinum system (lower picture) have no shims, but the textured

 surface of the front seems to compensate for the apparent lack

of friction.


Click the picture to enlarge.


How does the Platinum boom meet this demand?


The Platinum boom belongs to the hinged type of booms, but contrary to most others it hasn't got some shim material to create a little more friction. However, as the carbon material in the boom front is slightly texturized, too little friction doesn't seem to be a problem. If there'll be some long term grinding effect on the boom head because of the lack of shims, I don't know.





14.    Preferable the boom front must have a "standard diameter" that allows boom heads from other brands

           to fit.


The Platinum 190-250 cm boom front has a diameter of approx. 35 millimeters. That's almost in line with Aeron booms and (probably) others - but it's a lot narrower than the fronts of for instance Maui Sails and Fiberspar booms (approx. 40 millimeters).



How does the Platinum boom meet this demand?


This certainly isn't a big issue, but from experience I know that from time to time it's convenient to be able to switch boom heads from brand to brand. And in this respect it's reassuring to know that in an emergency situation you can take a take a boom head from other brands and place it on a Platinum boom - and vice versa. The Platinum boom front diameter doesn't seem to be that unique.










To summarize according to the listed criteria and findings:


1.  Made from carbon? ....................................................... Yes (a very high quality carbon).

2.  Monocoque construction? ............................................. Yes.

3.  No boom sliding. .......................................................... Check (iFront 1.0 & iFront 2.0).

4.  Clamp mechanism friendly to the mast? ....................... Yes (at least iFront 2.0).

5.  No water in the boom. .................................................. Check (very convincingly).

6.  Relatively narrow between the tubes. ........................... Yes.

7.  Classic shape. ............................................................... Yes.

8.  Max. stiffness. .............................................................. Check (very stiff).

9.  Prepared for outhaul trim. ............................................ Check (prepared for loop-loop-go)

10. Smart, strong and tight extension system. .................. Yes (paramount!).

11. Quality grip. ................................................................ Check.

12. A place for fastening the uphaul line. .......................... Check (very userfriendly).

13. Pivoting boom head. ................................................... OK.

14. Front diameter allows boom head interchangeability. . OK.


This is no durable test, but in this early stage of the life of my Platinum boom it has indeed proven a very, very promising performance. It's pretty seldom I've taken some new windsurf gear into possession without finding any major flaws. But that's the case with this boom.


The North Platinum boom certainly doesn't come cheap (in my country). But with the current experience I'll rather save up money to be able to buy a North Platinum boom tomorrow than buy a cheaper carbon boom from any other brand today.