Will it really come back? Do boomerangs really work and were they used for hunting?
There’s nothing new about this mysterious, amazing, flying invention that comes in many shapes and sizes. Who can believe that the oldest boomerang in the world was discovered in the Carpathian Mountains of Poland and is estimated to be some 20 000 years old?
Even so, to get this question answered, we should ask the Australian Aboriginal people who have used these boomerangs for thousands of years in hunting and warfare. They didn’t want to waste time retrieving the thrown boomerang if it missed a target. Therefore, they looked at ways to design it in such a way that it would return.
The Returning Boomerang
We won’t go into boring, technical details, but a phenomenon known as gyroscopic precession is the mysterious secret that makes the boomerang return to its thrower. Boomerang wings are fashioned somewhat like aeroplane wings─flat on the bottom and rounded on the top. It’s not all about the shape─you have to know the right technique for throwing the boomerang in order for it to return back to you. You throw it somewhat vertically, holding it by one wing, with the other wing pointed up.
To add to the returning boomerang’s awesomeness, when it spins through the air, one wing is actually moving faster through the air than the other as it propels forward as a whole. Today, the boomerang is used for sport and recreation. Throwing one of these missiles is a skill which requires a specific technique which is honed with plenty of practice.
The Australian Aboriginals used boomerangs for hunting, but at first, these throw-sticks, as they were referred to, were generally a heavier, non-returning type. These non-returning boomerangs were carved for straight flight. The hunter would throw the primitive boomerang far distances and hit an animal to be eaten. Even kangaroos were sufficiently injured by these heavier boomerangs.
Conflicting Views on Returning Boomerangs and Hunting
There are some conflicting views on returning boomerangs, and there isn’t hard and fast actual evidence to back claims that hunting boomerangs were returning boomerangs.
Professor Geoffrey Blainey dismisses the boomerang as an insignificant hunting implement. The boomerang certainly has made a long journey from the hands of Aborigines to becoming an Australian icon, and along the way, the history surrounding it has definitely become distorted.
We know for sure that there are non-returning boomerangs used for hunting and digging. Returning boomerangs are actually believed to be light for hunting, and their flight path is also too difficult to predict.
Aborigines called their hunting boomerangs kylies, and these are bigger and heavier than returning boomerangs. These non-returning boomerangs have one arm which is significantly longer than the other. They don’t fly in a circular path, they are easier to aim, and they’re also lethal weapons when used for killing animals.
During colonial times, those who witnessed Aboriginal cultures have left different accounts of what they saw and experienced. One thing is sure, the boomerang has a long history in Australia and you can find images of boomerangs in rock art. Today, there are still Aborigines who use the boomerang as a traditional weapon to hunt kangaroos and emus. Throwing with skill, the no-return boomerang immobilizes an animal and then is still used to disembowel the animal.
Used in Outdoor Sporting Events
Returning or non-returning boomerangs, whether they were used for hunting or not, today, are made of wood or plastic and have aerodynamic qualities.
For outdoor sports, the best boomerangs for beginners are the traditional, lightweight boomerangs which don’t require a strong throw and which will travel about 10 to 25 meters before returning.
Let’s take a look at some fun boomerangs you might want to try out:
Speed Racer Fast Catch Boomerangs
This boomerang from manufacturer Colorado Boomerangs, has dimensions of 10.75″ x 9.5.”It’s a good buy for a beginner so it’s great for kids. Suited for anyone 10 – 70 years of age, this particular boomerang is for right-handed throwers only. Learners can use the 24-page manual and “how to throw boomerangs” video which comes with the boomerang. Users who had bought this product like the sturdy molded plastic, the easy-to-learn tutorials, referring to it as a great warm-up boomerang. No negative reviews for this racy boomerang.
16 Aboriginal Hand Painted Boomerang
This is a grocery store and gift shop in San Jose, California which specializes in “Bringing Australia To You.” They’ve got more than 4,500 products, supplying expats and the American community with a “taste” of Australia. Their gifts and souvenirs include, among others, boomerangs.
This particular boomerang is a wonderful gift for someone. It is hand made and crafted with very attractive hand painted Aboriginal art on its semi-gloss wood features. This cool sports and outdoors item hasn’t yet been reviewed, but judging by its looks, its guaranteed to solve any gift-giving dilemma you have.
Left Hand M17 Australian Wooden Boomerang
Eliminate the frustration of battling with a boomerang designed essentially for right-handers. This wooden boomerang comes from Stones Throw, a local business in Bundaberg that handcrafts authentic, lightweight boomerangs which return. This easy to throw boomerang has been meticulously handmade and individually tested, and also comes with throwing instructions.
This particular boomerang is used to teach many left-handers how to throw a boomerang the right way so that it returns. Also, it makes a great gift and is genuinely Aussie, coming with the official “Made in Australia” sticker. Made well, quick to learn, and easy to get the hang of things, customers only give positive reviews on this nifty returning boomerang.
A Growing International Sport
Today in Australia, heralding in a new year sees many classic boomerang events in Australia, but also in other parts of the world. It’s a fast-growing international sport, and just in Paris alone, there are several boomerang clubs, and the Boomerang Association of Australia’s membership is steadily growing.
Do boomerangs really work? A resounding “yes,” they do. We have looked at just 3 types of boomerangs, and through years of tried and tested research, manufacturers bring out fantastic shapes that all fly amazingly well in their own way.
Users of boomerangs today use them for sport and leisure. The knack is to find a nice, large grassy field where you can use your boomerang with good sense, and with exciting practice, you can throw your boomerang and watch its controlled flight safely back to you.