Whether a person is eight or 80, American or Australian, a businessman or an artistic type, a good ol’ boomerang can make even the grumpiest of people smile. The throwing stick can function as a toy, to be put to use for fun in the backyard, or as a hunting tool, often used for hunting birds. No matter what the purpose, a boomerang is the perfect gift for any type of person.
History of the Boomerang
For many thousands of years, people across the globe have used traditional boomerangs. Originally created by Australian Aborigines, they were used as a sporting device and hunting tool. Even older throwing sticks, dating back several thousand years before that, were used by Stone Age people as weapons. Different types of throwing sticks have been found in archaeological ruins of many of the most influential cultures across history, including in ancient Egyptian tombs. However, it was early Australians who perfected the flat, curved, multi-purposed boomerang that we are familiar with today.
Current Uses for the Throwing Stick
Modern boomerangs are often used as sporting devices. While they often function as toys and are played with by children and the young at heart, these days they have plenty of other uses as well. Hunters sometimes use boomerangs to help in the hunt. Throwing the wooden device into trees can drive out birds to be hunted. Some hunters use throwing sticks to take down heavier prey. Also, artists recently have been using the boomerang as a canvas for artistic endeavors.
In 2008, an experiment was conducted during a space shuttle mission to see if a boomerang could work its magic in outer space. The throwing stick was designed specifically for space, so astronaut Takao Doi found that the tool was indeed useful in microgravity.
Design Makes All the Difference
The curved shape of the boomerang may seem simple enough, but its shape is perfectly designed for its purpose as a returning throwing stick. The boomerang’s flat surface allows the stick to travel farther, while its curved wings permit it to lift and spiral.
Besides the basic, simply designed boomerangs, there are several other varieties of returning throwing sticks, each with its own function. One type features bumps on the top of the boomerang, often called turbulators, which are used to increase the lift. There are also question mark–shaped long-distance boomerangs, three-winged fast catch sticks, and throwing sticks with one longer wing that allows for longer time in the air. While the more intricately designed, artistic sticks are beautiful, some of them are not functional for flying.
The Competitive Side of Boomerangs
The world of boomeranging is not just limited to the backyard or hunting grounds. Yearly competitions are held across the world to determine the top dogs in the boomerang universe. A world cup is held every other year, with contests between hundreds of countries. The U.S. and Germany are among the best countries in these competitions. Tournaments test competitors’ skills in the areas of accuracy, catching, endurance, long distance and overall boomeranging ability.
What to Look for in a Boomerang
When purchasing a boomerang there are a lot of things you should consider before putting your money down. Here is a list of some of the most important elements to look at in boomerang shopping:
You should know how much you are willing to spend before starting to shop. For higher-quality throwing sticks, assume that you will likely need to spend more money. If you are willing to settle for a lower-quality stick, you can easily find cheap boomerangs. Either way, you are going to get an amazing tool for fun and sporting.
2. Weight and Size-
Depending on the intended purpose of the boomerang, you are going to need a particular weight and size. Heavier, bigger sticks are useful for sporting events, hunting or collecting. Smaller sticks are great gifts for young people or anybody who wants to use the boomerang for playing. No matter what your purpose, there’s a perfect shape and size for you.
Much of the decision regarding this comes down to personal preference. Do you want a traditional wooden boomerang or a more modern-styled plastic one? What about leather? High-quality sticks are made in both styles for every price range, so choosing is mostly about aesthetics.
4. Country of Origin-
For a traditional boomerang, you can’t go wrong with buying from Australian sources, especially since the art of the boomerang was perfected down under. However, other countries, like the U.S., create great, useable throwing sticks.
If you know what to look for, there are plenty of choices when it comes to boomerang shopping.