Some throwing errors come up again and again. Here are the classics, and some ways to avoid them:
A boomerang is always thrown overhand like a baseball. Never, ever throw your boomerang side-arm. It will climb straight up in the air, then swoop back down and hit you, your friend, or the ground and break in half! Always throw overhand! Why does this poor throwing style happen? Primarily, it probably shows a lack of faith in the boomerang. Beginners throw too high because they are trying to guide the boomerang to its destination. If thrown at the right angles and with appropriate amounts of strength and spin, the boomerang will do all that automatically: LET IT DO SO.
Don’t throw while standing still. Similar to throwing a ball, your opposing foot should be stepping forward as you throw. Try to stop your throwing hand in front of you. This will also help make more consistent the elevation you throw at — try to finish with your hand around eye level. A test of whether you are doing this is to concentrate on your wrist snap, where the spin for the throw comes from. If you’re using a pinch grip, this will basically be like knocking on a door (try it; stick your arm out in front of you, and do the snap; see how unnatural the sideways snap is). If you’re using a full grip, the correct snap will be as if you were playing the game “Rock, Paper, Scissors”.
There are two basic ways to grip your boomerang, the pinch grip and the cradle grip. The pinch consists of simply pinching the boomerang between your thumb and forefinger, allowing friction to keep the boomerang in your hand during the throw. Snap your wrist at the end of the throw to create spin, and momentum will help pull the boomerang from your hand. The cradle grip is similar to the pinch grip, the difference being that you wrap your forefinger around the front of the boomerang. At the end of your throw, snap your wrist and “pull the trigger” to create spin.
Creating spin is essential for a successful throw. So which-ever grip is most comfortable and allows you to create maximum spin is the one to use.
Direction of the throw, relative to the wind is critical. The boomerang must be thrown across the direction from which the wind is blowing at about a 45degs to 90 degs angle. To determine the proper direction of the throw, pick up some leaves or grass clippings and drop them. Observe which way the wind blows the clippings.
A boomerang is designed for only one direction of rotation, it will not fly if thrown backwards or upside down. A right handed boomerang is designed to be easier for a right handed thrower to throw and will fly in a counter-clockwise circle. A left hand boomerang is made to fly in a clockwise circle. You must have the correct boomerang.
A boom’s flight can be greatly influenced by the tuning of the boomerang itself. First off, don’t try tuning a boomerang until you can throw decently, and consistently (unless you KNOW the boomerang is poorly tuned). You will not be able to assess the effect of your tuning if there is no consistency between your throws. Concentrating on tuning to the detriment of throwing technique will get you nowhere.
The following adjustment tips are easy to do. you’ll be amazed with the results, once you begin practicing how to adjust your boomerangs.
The control wing of a boomerang is the lifting wing. . The other wing is called the “dingle wing”, and is the trailing wing and is seldom adjusted (unless it’s badly warped).
1. If the boomerang dives down as it begins its return back to you, try bending the control wing . . . UP. This adjustment causes the boomerang to rise and hover much closer to you.
2. If the boomerang turns back too soon, seems to rise too fast, or needs more outrange, or the wind conditions are too strong, bend the control wing . . . DOWN, or simply put, whatever you do (bending/twisting) to one wing of the boomerang, the result takes place at the other wing.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of adjusting the control wing of your boom, try adjusting the dingle wing. Except in rare situations, you’ll have better results by adjusting the control wing rather than the dingle wing. Generally, only one wing needs adjusting. If both wings are adjusted UP, range is reduced, but the boomerang may tend to hover longer. In very high winds, try adjusting both arms DOWN (usually a very poor adjustment).
NOTE: As you bend each wing, you will need to adjust the TILT ANGLE.
CAUTION: Use only slight bending and twisting, when first adjusting your ‘rang’. You might break your boomerang! Never adjust any boomerang in cold or freezing temperatures! Adjust boomerangs at your own risk.
Another way to adjust the flight of a boomerang is by adding weights, flaps, or drilling holes in the boomerang. On days when the wind is just slightly too much, rubber bands can be added to the boomerang to act as a kind of flap, this adds drag and slows the boomerang down as it comes around.
Click here for a print sheet of Troubleshooting Tips (pdf file)
WARNING: Please read this before purchasing or using any boomerang
Boomerangs are dangerous, when used improperly. Responsible adult supervision is recommended for youth throwing at all times!
NOT RECOMMENDED for use on playgrounds, and such places where other people, pets, or objects may be struck.
DO NOT USE IN WINDY CONDITIONS. Boomerangs are uncontrollable under these conditions. Never throw in such a manner so as to cause possible injury to other persons or objects. WINDY . . . GO FLY A KITE!
THROWING AREA RULE OF THUMB: (an approximate guide only) Allow a distance of not less than 2-1/2 times the out range of the boomerang you are throwing from you to the nearest person or object, or a circle of a radius of 2-1/2 times the range of your B. Allow not more than 3 persons to throw from the same general throwing area.
CATCH AT YOUR OWN RISK!