17 Feb The Benefits of Using a Wing with Hard Handles – SlingWing V3 Hard Handle
Most of us wingers know the benefits of having soft webbing handles: they provide a cushy suspension-like ride, limit grip fatigue, and allow wings to be packed down into a small, convenient package.
But what are the benefits of hard handles? That answer depends on what level of rider you are.
This wingtip wrist control that hard handles offer solves one of the first frustrating issues with learning to wing: the wingtip hitting the water and causing a crash. Plus, having more control over your wingtips is especially useful when using larger wings with longer wingspans.
Intermediate riders who are just starting to learn to luff the wing and ride swell often have a hard time getting their hands all the way forward to the leading-edge handle and back again. With the pistol grip front handle on the new SlingWing V3 Hard Handle wings, riders can use the front handle to luff the wing by holding the pistol grip instead of moving their hands all the way to the leading-edge handle. Not only does this make the transition from powered riding to luffing easier, but the angled pistol grip front handle also allows you to regulate the power in the wing. By twisting your wrist you can engage power in the wing to give you a little extra speed and keep up with the fast-moving swell. This ability to regulate power when luffing with the hard handle also helps to keep the trailing edge of the wing from dipping toward the water and getting in the way.
Advanced riders who are doing carving 360s and working on riding backwinded will find it immensely easier to control the wing in those situations. Having hard handles to push against gives you a ton more control when backwinding instead of soft handles, which require you to push directly on the large diameter of the strut. When learning aerial maneuvers, like frontside 360s, advanced riders will find that the hard handles allow them to force the wing through the wind more effectively.
While soft handles are certainly a go-to for their cushy feel, convenient packability, and easy grip when using gloves in cold water, there are certainly a host of advantages to the hard handles on the new SlingWing V3 Hard Handle wing. The choice is yours!