Chinook Pro 1 Alloy 2010 Review

In May 2010 Chinook launched a new Aluminum boom, the Pro 1 Alloy. I was in the market for 2 new wave booms, so I bought 2 Pro 1 Alloy booms (150-212cm and 165-227cm)
Because there is so little information on the internet about these new (2010) booms from Chinook I decided to make a review. In this review I will compare the Pro 1 with my old Neil Pryde X6 145-195cm (2007) boom.
When you put both the booms on top of each other the most noticeable is the boom shape, the Pro 1 is a new school curve where to X6 is an old shape. The front of the Pro 1 is straight. The widest point is a bit more forward then with the X6. Also the widest point is a bit smaller, Pro 1 is 47,5cm vs. the X6 with 49,2cm. The tail of the Pro 1 is bigger then any non-race boom I have ever seen.

If you ask mee the best part of this boom is the head. Well engineered, solid feel on the water. Very little flex. The snap-in RDM adapter is really good, feels solid. I don`t think this will break. The hight of the shim is not as high as the X6, but almost 13cm still a good connection with the mast. Only drawback might be the width of the head over the tubes. That is not even 9cm. This might lead to a lot of load/momentum in the boom arms, which could result in breakage of the arms.

The tubes are 29mm, compared to the 28mm of the X6, you really feel the difference, I think that 28mm is a lot better. I have had my hands on a 26mm Pro-Limit once, that seems a bit to thin. 28mm seems just spot on, so 29mm is a bit too thick, but not much. Most booms now a days are 29mm.
The tubes do not feel very stiff, compared with the X6. I would have expected the Pro 1 to be equally or even more stiff the X6. With the shortest extension the difference is not that big, but at 195, the max for the X6, the difference is very noticeable. And at 212cm it is some much that I will never try this boom at that length, I think it is useless over 200cm. On the water, with 12cm extension the flex in the arms was not that noticable, I still have to try the booms at longer extensions. Maybe the quality of the head makes up for the softness/flex in the arms. Chinook claims: "The Chinook Pro 1 is much stiffer than the Triple Clamp ever was..We use a much stiffer alloy on the Chinook Pro 1, and our testing proves its stiffness is greater." I still have to compare the boom with a Triple Clamp. The X6 and also North X-composite are much much stiffer.
The grip feels good in you hands, also when wet. There is a nice blue line on the top site of the tubes, facing the rider for trapeze line positioning. (Some of the better brand aluminum booms do not have this. Which is really handy when checking if both are located on the same spot.)

The extension is in the well known Chinook blue. What is really, really nice is that they have put the absolute length of the extension, not the relative as almost every other brand does.
The clips ar single pin, not double as is the standard these days. The pins are a lot thicker than most. The clips are very easy to operate, especially compare the very flimsy handles on the X6, which are almost impossible to operate with very cold hands. I have only seen these with Chinook, so spares have to come from Chinook, that could be a problem when you break one in say a year or 10. (North Sails has had this problem with their Carbon booms a lot of years ago. Very strong boom, almost none broke, but the clips broke so often that currently non are available in the world to replace it) the clips feel very solid and the plastic is thick and doesn‛t have to bend that much, so will probably not break as much.

The tail is really something special. It is wide, a lot wider than most. It has the clamcleat part molded to it, which looks really nice and seems stronger then the OEM solution were they use 1 rivet to hold the plastic tailpiece in place. But, the construction around the clamcleat is really odd. There is no hole for the rope to be threaded through. As soon as there is no pressure on the rope it will fall away from the clamcleat. That combined with the fact that the clamcleat and loop go are placed on the bottom of the tail seems illogical. Rigging the tailpiece takes some getting use to because the rope falls of easily when there is no tension. But with a bit of tension it works.
The rope suplied by chinook is very stiff and feels hard.

I have some mixed feelings about this boom. I looks like a well engineered boom. Lots of parts are better though about then the standard OEM booms lots of brands are selling. But some parts just don‛t seem logical: The clamcleat in the tailpiece for example. And also the stiffness is not what I would expect from it.

- New School curve
- Good boom head
- Absolute length indication in extension

- Feels not very stiff
- Clamcleat in the tailpiece
- 29mm tubes

Note: I‛m not sponsored or paid by any windsurfing brand or shop.