To Wing or Not to Wing? That is the question...
Is one rigger better for “stronger” athletes or one inherently more appropriate for novices?
Should hand clearance always take priority when choosing wing riggers vs. Euro?
Making the big decision on which rigger system to use can be a dicey one with no real “right” answer. So much depends on the athletes driving the boat, the rowing conditions and the philosophy of the coach. Thus, in some ways, the matrix of benefits and trade-offs are bound to come down to personal preference. What is the crew's developmental stage and technical ability? How frequently does the boat need to be adjusted and trimmed? How critical a factor is weight or the aerodynamics of design? Can the crew "feel" power transmission and, therefore, benefit from the greater stiffness of carbon? What are the water conditions like most of the time?
A wing may provide a feeling of greater responsiveness / stiffness and prove better for crews who find themselves in bigger waves (as the rigger naturally sits higher), and be easier to rig/derig. But what about crews who are still learning and practicing their hand positioning? Some coaches would say that teaching an athlete from the beginning in the set-up they’re most likely to race in is more advantageous; others would hate to lose an athlete to a busted-up hand too early in the game.
Our newest of the bunch, the carbon fiber wing riggers, are by far our lightest, strongest and most durable offering. They have also been designed to allow maximum hand clearance so that experienced rowers and novices alike may have a better experience than in other customary wing riggers. Crews are also likely to find that they are easier to adjust and rig/de-rig by an order of magnitude. Nevertheless, some crews may still find that the traditional models are a better fit — and that’s ok, too.
At the end of the day, the riggers are only as good as the satisfaction of the crews who race them. The choice of whether to wing or not to wing comes down to comfort, speed and adjustability.
Here’s a chart showing RESOLUTE’s rigger options and their features. You’ll quickly see that our carbon fiber wing riggers were designed to check all the boxes to help your crews achieve their highest potential, yet there are certainly cases where a crew may not opt for them. Only practice and on-water testing can help identify the right answer for you. Our Z Sales Team is skilled in asking the right questions to help you make that choice and ensure your crew’s boat is kitted out in the best way to reach their maximum potential. And that includes custom rigging right from the factory.