I just sailed with no jib (wind was high and my 8 year old was tired/afraid/unhappy). Coming about was rougher than usual (no jib to back), so finally just jibed. No other trouble without it. Wind was 28-35 knots then, according to the buoy records. Dropped him off at the beach with my wife, and my daughter and I unfurled the jib and had a blast. Didn't feel that different.
Wings hit the water and slow you down a bit as you heel over, but the spray is not as bad or constant as the downwind stay from a Hobie 16 in the same weather. Overall, I like the wings, as they make the boat feel bigger/safer for newbie families we take onboard, and haven't taken them off in heavier weather, though tools are kept with the boat.