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Tuesday, October 14th, 2008
Boomerang Nationals in Dallas 

The 2008 National Boomerang Championships and Expo are coming to Dallas!

I am co-hosting the tournament at Eastfield College in Mesquite Thursday through Sunday. It's my bad luck that we finally got the tournament on the same year that the world championships were in Seattle. Lots of the regular competitors used up their travel budget for that tournament, so I.m not expecting as big a turnout as the Nationals usually have. We.ll have around thirty throwers, and some of these folks are the best in the world.

Andrew and I will be going for personal bests in all the events. Holly won't be competing, but she'll be working the sales table and giving throwing lessons to kids.

If you want to see something you.ve never seen before and may never see again, come on down to Mesquite on Saturday or Sunday and watch a bunch of guys and gals throw curved sticks at themselves. In addition to seeing some exciting action, you can purchase boomerangs and we'll teach you how to throw and maybe even catch them.

Here's the official web site with maps and schedules: www.boomsmith.com/boomerangexpo

 
Saturday, June 14th, 2008
Cameron Takes First at "LD in Big-D" 

Ace and Cameron ready for some LDFor the second year in a row, my nephew Cameron Kelsey was down from Oklahoma visiting during the weekend of the "LD in Big-D" long distance boomerang tournament. Last year Cameron, Ace, and I all competed in the tournament, and we were all disappointed in our performances. Cameron showed great promise, throwing incredible distances, but not quite getting those awesome throws to fully return.

This year was different. On Cameron's first throw, he got what looked like respectable distance, and a very nice return. The official measurement: 118 meters! This was the first successful return of the tournament, and it would stand through all 5 rounds as the winning throw.

LDinBigD Group. Photo by David HirschWe weren't able to be at the tournament for the second day so we only got in three rounds, but Ace and I didn't do too shabby ourselves. Ace set a new personal best at 106 meters and I set new personal bests with throws of 89, 94, 100, and finally 107 meters. (Yes, my best beat Ace's by 1 measly meter.) Not only did we all set personal bests, but we are finally in the "100 Meter Club". Our results should be up on the LD website, www.baggressive.com soon.

At the end of the second round, Cameron, myself, and Ace were in first, second, and third. This drew some good-natured ribbing and threats of finding something in the by-laws against that kind of family collusion.

We all have to thank the tournament host, David Hirsch for sharing his LD boomerangs with us, and helping tune them between throws. Thanks, David!

Since neither Cameron, myself, or Ace had ever thrown over 100 meters before, we were classified as "Intermediate" competitors. So not only was Cameron the Tournament Champion, he was also the Intermediate Champion. Ace was the Junior Champion, though there were only 2 juniors entered.

There was other excitement too. We had a storm blow in and cause a rain delay. I needed a break at that point, because I had worn myself out by chasing my wind-blown golf umbrella clear off the campus and into an apartment complex across the street. There was a also scary moment when one of my throws hit a range spotter, slicing his pinky finger to the bone. Glad to hear you.re OK, Larry!

I didn't have my good camera out much, but I did take a few phone-camera shots. A small gallery is available here.

Here's something I had heard about, but just now found. I don't know how long this link will remain active, but there's a pre-tournament news spot video on WFAA's site here: http://www.wfaa.com/video/?z=y&nvid=253881

Here are the full final results:

  • Cameron Kelsey - 118m
  • Tom Wythes - 116m
  • Joe Rader - 116m
  • Dennis "Juice" Joyce - 112m
  • Bruce Armstrong - 107m
  • Ace Armstrong - 106m
  • David Hirsch - 98m
  • Stuart Jones - 98m
  • Mark Wolff - 90m
  • Larry Burns - 86m
  • Bob Rudy - 86m
  • Roy Dempsey - 86m
  • Barry Burns - 72m
  • Walter Owens - 59m
  • Xee Rader - 50m
 
Monday, September 17th, 2007
Holly Shows Boomerangs in Art Class 

Holly with Aboriginal art boomerangs in Art classHolly's 7th grade Art class had a discussion on Aboriginal art and Holly mentioned that her family happened to have "a few boomerangs". The teacher wanted to see some, so the next day, Holly took a few to school. With all the questions of "Do they really come back?", the whole class soon ended up out on the football field with Holly giving an impromptu demonstration. Luckily, she had also taken a lightweight Carlotta to show how more .modern. paintjobs contrast to the Aboriginal. So she had something easy to throw to start with. After she threw and caught the Carlotta, the teacher and other kids wanted to see one of the bigger boomerangs in action. Though Holly had never thrown anything so large, she made a go of it and got some good returns. The class was very impressed and now know that yes, they really do come back. The teacher sent me this photo of Holly holding some boomerangs in front of some of the class.s aboriginal art.

 
Saturday, June 9th, 2007
First Annual LD in BigD Tournament 

Highlight for Album: 2007 LD in Big DAce and I, along with my nephew Cameron attended the inaugural LD in Big D boomerang tournament. This was a Long Distance competition that took place at Eastfield College in Mesquite. The three of us performed below our expectations, but several of the competitors got over 100 meters. The top three finishers were Tom Wythes with 130 meters, Stu Jones with 113 meters, and Joe Rader and David Hirsch tying with 112 meters.

Ace lets an LD flyAce was the family champion (2nd place in Intermediate), beating Cameron and I with his toss of 79 meters. This was 10-meter improvement on his personal best set in Houston in 2004 when he was also about 10 inches shorter.

It was blazing hot, and we went through water and Gatorade like crazy. One gentleman collapsed from the heat well before noon (he was fine after cooling down in the shade and being checked out by paramedics), and it only got hotter from there. Unfortunately, prior engagements kept us for coming back for Day 2, so we only got two rounds of throwing in, and I felt terrible about not being able to help the guys out on Sunday. The good news is that they were able to round up enough people to range-spot and line-judge, so they were able to get another official round in on Sunday, even though the 3 of us coulnd’t make it back.

Ace and Cameron's fake musclesIt was definitely a fun outing, and even though LD isn’t my strong suit, it sure whet my appetite for trying to beat my personal best at some point in the near future.

See my small photo gallery here, and here’s a link to the Dallas Morning News’ pre-tournment write-up

 

  XXXXXX
Thursday, September 7th, 2006
My Blog Entries about the Atlanta Nationals. 
bullet2006 Boomerang Nationals - Competition Day 1
bullet2006 Boomerang Nationals - Dinner, Design Competition Awards, USBA Auction
bullet2006 Boomerang Nationals - Competition Day 2
bulletOur USBA Nationals Awards
 
Wednesday, September 6th, 2006
Photos from Atlanta Nationals.  I've got my photos available here. I'll try to keep a list of all the Expo photo collections I come across. Here's what I've seen so far:
bulletRicardo's Gallery on Bumerangue.com
bulletMorri's Yahoo Photo Folder
 
Tuesday, September 5th, 2006
USBA National Boomerang Expo in Atlanta, GA.  Monday night we got back from our second-ever Boomerang Nationals. I am working on getting photos, blog entries, and video together. Check back soon to see the goods...
 
Friday, August 26th, 2005
We Missed the 2005 LD ShootoutAce and I missed the 2nd Annual Texas Long Distance Shootout boomerang tournament in Houston this year. Ace was not able to defend his junior championship from last year. Hopefully we’ll make it back in 2006.

I’m happy to report that a Boomerang Association of Dallas (BAD) member was the champion. Congratulations, David Hirsch, for throwing 126 meters!

Full results are here on the BAggressive site.
 
Monday, October 18th, 2004
The whole gangAce with his pick from the prize table2004 Texas LD Shootout.  The Armstrong boys spent the weekend in Houston for the first annual Texas LD Shootout, a long-distance boomerang tournament. Ace and I didn't expect to be able compete with our lone phenolic LD boomerang, but we knew we'd have some fun. It was amazing to see so many boomerangs fly over 100 meters with a full return. Everyone was super-nice, especially after our only LD boom ended up in two pieces. Roy Dempsey and David Bacque loaned us very nice boomerangs that we were able to achieve personal-best throws with (Ace-69m, me-83m), and I ended up purchasing a super-high-tech model from the tournament champion and new Canadian record holder, Andrew Cross.  Hopefully with it, I'll be joining the 100 Meter Club whenever I can make it to another tournament. 

Even though Ace  was the only junior  thrower, he represented himself quite well, and he definitely deserved to be Junior Champion. His pick from the prize table was a very nice "Anaconda" boomerang by Alberto Sabal of Mar del Plata, Argentina. My pick was a neat sport model that maker David Bacque says will go around 60 meters. I gotta find a decent field to try it out.

Though I didn't take as many photos as I'd've liked, I have put up a gallery of the pictures I was able to take. There is also an album of action shots taken by Danny Coppedge.

 
Monday, May 24th, 2004
Ace's Awards Banquet. The Sixth Grade graduation festivities included an awards banquet where each kid had a table decorated to reflect their interests and personalities. Of course, Ace's decorations included boomerangs. He and I spent many hours making miniature boomerangs which were used to mark each place setting at the table. His main display also included boomerangs and boomerang tournament medals.

Miniature boomerangs mark the place settings. Boomerangs and boomerang tournament medals decorate Ace's display. Bruce, Holly, Amanda, Andrew, Joe, Loretta, and Michelle standing behind the boomerang banquet table.

 
Wednesday, April 14th, 2004
Boom Swappin'.  I have recently made some boomerangs for exchanging with other boomsmiths. Here are a couple of them (click for a larger image):
Exclamation-Mark-1-640.jpg (169815 bytes) Dave-Hughes-Lefty-Boom-640-w-shadow.jpg (49621 bytes)

3-Blader going to Richard Bower in Seattle.

Left-handed 3-Blader going to Dave Hughes in Houston.

 
Monday, April 12th, 2004
Expo DVD. I have finally completed a DVD of the Houston Expo. It contains coverage by Houston TV station KHOU, video I shot myself, a slideshow of still shots I took, and maybe a surprise or two. I have also created a mock-up of the DVD menu system which you can check out here to see what the DVD is like.

Boom-DVD-w-label.jpg (57002 bytes)

This is a shot of the DVD label

DVD menu system mock-up

 
Wednesday, January 28th, 2004
Lighted Boomerangs.  I've put together a page on a few boomerang lighting techniques, including lighted Astrojax, Body Lights, Glow Sticks, and fireworks sparklers. Click here to check it out.
 
Tuesday, January 27th, 2004
Boomerangs--Whole-lotta-painting-going-on.jpg (661086 bytes)Whole Lotta Painting Going On.  This weekend saw the most paint being sprayed in my workshop since the beginning of Digital Boomerang Systems over 10 years ago. (At one point I forgot to open the garage door for ventilation and momentarily forgot my ABC's.) We experimented with some new masking techniques which turned out really good thanks to 3M's "Safe Release" Blue Masking Tape. We also did some basic color-blending paint jobs and finished up a neat looking "rubber-band masked" paint job. Clicking on the image to the right will bring up a very high resolution version where you can see the details better. Later, I'll post close-ups of some of the more interesting ones. 

We caught a weather break and were able to go out and throw these this evening a while before sundown, and I must say several of them look great flying. The random-looking 3-bladers in particular look spectacular when they come around and the sun hits those asymmetrical spinning colors just right.

 
Monday, January 19th, 2004
Rad New Designs with my Nephew Cameron.  My sister Chris and her 14 year-old son Cameron came down from Oklahoma for a visit this past weekend since they had Monday off for Martin Luther King Day. Lots of our time was spent making boomerangs with Cameron. This kid came up with some crazy new designs, and even though they may look like weapons of some sort, I'm happy to say that at the end of his visit, they were flying great. In case you're thinking the 3-blader's paint job looks too good to be true, you're right. We scanned in the boomerang and then used Photoshop to try out paint jobs until we found one we liked. I forgot to get photos of the finished products, but next time I see Cameron, I'll be sure to do so.
Camo-3-blader-boomerang-PS.jpg (11116 bytes) Cameron-Head-01.jpg (21989 bytes) Camo-2-blader-boomerang.jpg (12980 bytes)

It was cold and rainy most of the weekend and to get to the workshop, we practically had to wade through a pond in my back yard. After a couple of days of this, we were dying to try out these new designs. Luckily Monday (the last day of Cameron's stay) was a reasonably nice day. It was cold and windy, but at least the sun was out. I took the kids up to the field for a while and we were pleased to see that these radical new untested designs flew like champs. Thank goodness we didn't have to work on them after testing, because due to time considerations, we had already painted them. Soon Holly was ready to go home, but Andrew and Cameron wanted to stay. I left them at the field alone for a while and they made great use of that practice time. Cameron has only thrown a few times, but he has caught on quickly, and later on Monday he was competing quite respectably in a few rounds of GLORP with Andrew and I. 

 
Monday, December 22nd, 2003
New Power Tool!  For years, I shaped my airfoils with a mounted-upside-down hand-sized belt-sander. This has been reasonably effective, but since my latest outbreak of Boomerang Fever, I've been wanting something a little more powerful and versatile. The week before Christmas, I had taken my daughter shopping, ostensibly so she could buy gifts for her mom and brother. Somehow, we ended up at a Home Depot. I spotted this Ridgid Oscillating Edge Belt/Spindle Sander and thought it would sure be neat to have. When I saw that it was on sale for 20% off, I was even more interested. 

I knew my wife planned to do some Christmas shopping later in the day, so I called her up and asked if she'd like to get me something really nice, that would definitely see lots of use. Next thing I know, I'm loading this huge box up in the truck and the next stop is the hobby shop where I buy 3mm plywood. Even better, once I got it home, I was told I could open this one Christmas present early because my wife knows that since I'm on vacation, there's no better time to get some use out of this thing. 

Well, it turns out that it is really excellent for boomerang making. I can get my blanks smooth quickly using the unit's table top and shaping the airfoils takes a fraction of the previous time thanks to this thing's "very aggressive" sanding. I did pick up some 120 grit belts as the 80 grit included would have been too rough. I had to start using a particle mask more seriously too, since way more sawdust flies off this thing than I'm used to. I haven't really used the spindle sanding abilities yet, but it's nice to know I have them available when I get into a tight spot. 

This industrial strength unit may seem like overkill for boomerang making, but I'm still hoping to get into some other, more practical areas of woodworking some day.

Here's some links:

bulletRidgid's Product Page
bulletReview at WoodCentral.com
bulletSome reviews at Epinions.com
 
Friday, November 14th, 2003
Boomerang Man Partial Order - Nov 2003.jpg (336500 bytes)Got my Order from the Boomerang Man.  For many years, I've thrown my own creations almost exclusively. I have received some nice boomerangs as gifts now and then (mostly Colorado Boomerangs), and I've really enjoyed them, but I always find myself gravitating to my own creations. Down at the National Boomerang Expo in Houston, I got exposed to some amazing boomerangs. When I saw the specialization of the booms used in the competition events, I really got a hankering to make some purchases. I bought a few there at the Expo, most notably a Fast Catch I "won" at the auction. But I knew that if I wanted to make some mass purchases, the man to talk to was Richard Harrison, a.k.a. "The Boomerang Man".

Rich is super-knowledgeable and super-nice. I ended up talking on the phone with him for over half an hour before finally placing my $80+ order. He promises "Fast, Personal, Service", and boy, does he deliver! I had my order within 48 hours, well-packed, and exactly what I had asked for. In the photo to the left, you can see a sampling of what I received. In order from the top are a Roger Perry composite MTA (Maximum Time Aloft), a graphite Spinback 55 LD (Long Distance), and a sampling of the several Tri-Flys I received. Let's talk about each in a little more detail:

bulletI've tried making MTA's before, but without great success, mostly because of the complex tuning required to get a good flight. This Perry MTA is much smaller than what I've made in the past, and is pre-tuned for a good flight right out of the box. On the cold-weather outings I've taken this on, I've had some 20+ second flights and am hoping for 30+ seconds when the weather warms. 
bulletThe graphite LD is a nice flyer, but its ~60 yard flight doesn't really seem any farther than some models I've made myself. I'm still happy to have it.
bulletThe Tri-Fly's shown are made of ABS and PET, both denser plastics than the normal polypropylene versions I've thrown before. Though I like to keep several of the basic Tri-Flys around in case beginners stop by when we're throwing, I got these higher-tech versions specifically to try out some modifications on them. I've seen plans for reshaping them into trick catch and fast catch models, and in fact, the world record Fast Catch time (less than  15 seconds for 5 throws and catches!) was set with a modified Tri-Fly.
 
Monday, October 20th, 2003
USBA National Boomerang Expo in Houston.  Though I flipped and flopped about whether to actually attend this thing, boy am I glad we went! We had planned to merely spectate, take part in workshops, and help out wherever we could, but on the night we arrived, I ran into tournament director Tony Brazelton, and he convinced Andrew, Holly, and me to sign up for the actual competitions. Andrew, or "Ace" as he was known by the other boomerangers, is now the National Champion of the both the Novice and Junior divisions. Holly won several silver medals, and I even managed to score a few medals myself in the Intermediate division. Check back soon for a longer write-up on this super-fun event, but for now enjoy the photo galleries.
 
Monday, May 26th, 2003
New Feats Section. We made good use of the holiday to get some throwing in. It was overcast and sprinkled on us a couple of times, but the wind was light and the temperature was cool. Overall the conditions were good and we set a few new records and performed some feats we thought were pretty impressive, but that didn't necessarily fit into the Records section. So we added a new Feats section. Click here to see what new tricks we perfected or lucked into performing at least once.
 
Tuesday, May 13th, 2003
Additions to the Site. New "Action" Photo Gallery, Boomerang Videos Page, and Guest Book. These have also been added to the top banner. There is at least one addition to the "Newer" boomerangs gallery

The two images to the right were created by combining frames from digital video into a single image. They are experiments and I hope to have better versions eventually.

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Thursday, April 26th, 2003

boomerang-3mm-wood-savers.jpg (78049 bytes)New Light-weight "Wood Saver" Models.  We really only had one nice, light-weight boomerang for 8 year-old Holly to throw (see picture below), and didn't have any 4mm plywood to make more. Not wanting to wait long enough to order some plywood and have it delivered, we took a chance and went to an old hobby shop in Irving, TX to see what they had (I had bought from them years ago). I wanted 4mm, but when the proprietor showed me the price list it skipped from 3mm to 5mm. I decided it wouldn't hurt to try to make something from the 3mm, and the price was right ($10 for 48"x12") so 3mm it is.

Though Holly is getting a stronger throwing arm, I wanted to make something that turned quickly so that it would make it back to her. The best thing I had for that was my old "Cheater" model (looks like a 2-blader, flies like a 3-blader). After placing this on the wood to trace the pattern, I saw that I could maximize the wood use by using the inner and outer lines of the main boomerang to design two more. Though this is certainly not a revolutionary idea, in this case I came up with two excellent new models in addition to the one I set out to make. The smallest one only goes out about 15 yards, but is a very fast returner. The largest one has a surprisingly long range and quickly became Andrew's favorite boomerang. All three are feather-light and you'd be hard pressed to injure yourself with one. Since they are only 3mm thick, I do have some concerns about their durability, but I'm hoping that since they do weigh so little that they're less likely to crash hard enough to break. So far, so good. We've thrown them lots and they're holding up fine. I now think that an awkward catch is more likely to break one than an actual crash.

If you visit the MAL Hobby Shop's website, be sure to check out the newspaper article about the neat old gentleman who runs the place. He is 94 years old now and incredibly sharp. He guessed both Andrew's and Holly's ages exactly and was very fun to listen to for a while. We spent way more time in the store and bought a few more things than we might have (model airplanes, kites) if he hadn't been so entertaining. (No offence to his also-friendly son.)

Saturday, April 19th, 2003

CFS1500KGreat New Tool Purchase. Today I picked up a Ryobi "Corner Cat" Finish Sander. On its first use, it has proven its worth on the tough, otherwise hard-to-reach, inner elbow area of a boomerang. That's the main reason I got it, but it is also nice for sanding the rest of a boomerang too. Look for production to go through the roof! Click here for another picture of the tool and you can get a better idea of its size. This entry makes me think that I should do a page on what all tools of the boomerang trade I use in the workshop.

Thursday, April 10th, 2003

Holly in pajamas with her boomerang.jpg (151253 bytes)Way to go, Holly! Today Holly really came into her own as a boomerang athlete. Using her same old light-weight model, she was making lots of really good throws that were pretty much coming back, but that she just wasn't quite able to haul in for the catch. But once she did get her first catch for the day, the flood-gates were open! After her first catch, I high-fived her and asked if she could make it two in a row. Well, not only did she do that, but she also caught the one after that for an amazing three-in-a-row! Unfortunately, the one after that sailed back and over her head, breaking her streak, but she still wasn't done. By the time she quit, she had made 8 catches total. Pretty impressive for a 8-year-old girl. Pretty impressive for any novice, actually!

Andrew's $5 winnings.jpg (162038 bytes)Andrew Finally Meets the Challenge. Andrew and I have had a long-standing deal every time we go to the boomerang field: If he can catch his very first throw of the outing, I'll pay him $5. If he misses the first and gets his second instead, he earns $2.50. The third is only worth $1.25, and if you've caught on to this pattern, you can figure out that after several misses, it's not even worth tallying up. You may be thinking I've gotta pay my son to go throw with me, but nothing could be farther from the truth. It's really just a simple exercise in dealing with pressure. And I do heap on the pressure. "You gonna get that first catch today, Andrew? Wow, Five dollars! Can you imagine? I sure hope you don't DROP IT!"

In the past, I have had to pay out $1.25 or maybe 62 cents a few times, but he had never hit the big money. A few days ago, he caught his second throw, and I knew it wouldn't be long before he finally hit the jackpot. Well, today was the day! And it was even more pressure than usual because it wasn't just me and him, but also his sister and Jamal, another kid from the neighborhood. We were explaining the challenge to Jamal, and Andrew stepped up to make his throw. Perfect strength, perfect trajectory, perfect layover, perfect wind-angle. In other words, a perfect throw! The boomerang boomeranged right back to him for an easy catch. I know I never made five dollars so easily! So now that he has succeeded at the challenge, I have deemed that he is no longer eligible. Somehow, I don't think that'll make him want to go throw any less.

One last Andrew note for the day is that he decided that it was just wrong for his name not to appear in the DBS record books, so he promptly established a junior division and set the two-handed consecutive catch record at an even 10. He would have ran the score up higher if we hadn't ran out of time. We still haven't yet defined whether this should be 12-and-under or 14-and-under or what, but at 10 years old, he's got a few years left to set records. (I really expect him to pop up in the "adult" records soon enough.)

(I guess I should mention that the main reason we went to the throwing field today was to test some new models we worked on last weekend. This was the first day since then that the wind wasn't absolutely howling. We've got a bit more work to go on our two new models, but they'll be featured here soon I'm sure. Andrew and I also sketched out a few new designs on paper tonight, and I suspect we'll be doing more building in the near future.)

February, 2003

Three At Once. A trick I've tried a few times over the years is throwing three boomerangs, one after the other so that all three are in the air simultaneously, and catching them all. I don't know the exact day, but one day this month I finally did it! The boomerangs I used were my dual sport models and one other that I can't exactly remember right now. Maybe this memory-lapse will encourage me to update the site more often instead of sitting on news so long. (I'm writing this February news in April.)

Sunday, October 19th, 2002

A Milestone Day! Sunday afternoon had near-perfect boomerang conditions: Cool, overcast, and a very light, steady wind. It was a day of milestones for the Armstrong kids.

Holly's-Boomerang.jpg (8191 bytes)Andrew and I had gone up to the college grounds alone and had been throwing for awhile when Michelle and Holly returned from their shopping trip and walked up to join us. On Holly's very first throw, she got her first catch of a boomerang she threw herself (on a previous outing, she had caught one that I had tossed for her). She barely had to move to get to it and catch it. Hers is a very light-weight 1/8" plywood model. The catch was not a fluke as she had several more nice throws and she caught another one before packing it in for the day (her and Michelle were only there for 20 minutes or so).

Weighted-Boomerang-Tip.jpg (14963 bytes)On the opposite end of the boomerang weight spectrum, Andrew got a catch with my super-long-distance weighted model. He had been throwing my favorite "sport model" for a while now and I mentioned how much his arm-strength had improved since the beginning of the year and that he might actually be able to throw the weighted model by next year. Well, for some reason, he took this as a challenge and threw the weighted model probably 30 times before finally getting a catch. You have to really hurl it, and if the winds are light like they were that day, it is pretty difficult to get it to come all the way back. Come to think of it, perhaps telling him I'd pay him $5 if he caught it may have had something to do with his tenacity.

Another milestone for Andrew was getting several 1 finger catches with the 3-blader, including several with his left hand's finger (maybe his right hand fingers had had enough of being chopped by the spinning blades)..

My personal milestone was SMASHING the old DBS juggling record. Using 2 boomerangs, I got 9 completions while always keeping one boomerang in the air. The old record which I blew to smithereens? Seven. I used my dual sport models instead of the smaller pair I used to use for this event. 

I tried a stunt of having 3 in the air at once, and catching all 3, but 2 was the most I ever caught.

Let's see... Anything else of note that day? Oh, yeah. I re-tuned a plastic 3-blader for left-handed throwing and freaked Andrew out with some opposite-direction flights. You don't see those clockwise paths too often around here. 

Christmastime, 2001

Joe-with-a-mystery-gift--Christmas-2001.jpg (93990 bytes)Joe's-Christmas-Boomerang-2001.jpg (191627 bytes)Mystery Gift. I hadn't made a boomerang in way too long. What better excuse to get back in the groove than to make someone a fabulous, hand-crafted Christmas gift? My wife's cousin's husband Joe became a big fan of boomerangs the first time we took him out throwing. His wife kept hinting to my wife how much he would love a boomerang of his own. One hint was all I needed. I fired up the old band saw and belt sander and went to work. This is probably one of the longest times I've spent making a boomerang, partly because I was a bit out of practice, and partly because I wanted Joe to have an excellent specimen to start his collection. I'm sorry to report that after sitting for years in the garage, some of my spray paint wasn't acting quite right, so the paint job doesn't quite match the quality of the boomerang itself, but it is still fairly flashy, if I do say so myself. Well, needless to say, the gift was a fabulous success. Gift-wrapping the boomerang was almost as much fun as making it, and I'm sure Joe had no idea what it was, even if he shook, rattled, and rolled the package 'til he was blue in the face.

March, 2001 

Boomerang Catch & Bionic Jumps (VCD-Standard MPEG - 10,211KB)

I should edit this video to make it boomerang-only for this site, but for now there is a perfectly good boomerang-related video sitting on my other site, so I'm linking it here. This is one of Andrew's "Show and Tell" videos that he took to school on VHS to show to his class. The second segment of this one has spectacular 70's-action-show-quality special effects.

Summer, 2001 

ABABoomerangPaint.jpg (53858 bytes)ABABoomerangWood.jpg (65286 bytes) Andrew helped make his first boomerang. He drew out the design on paper, cut that out, then traced the shape onto the plywood. We cut it out on the band saw, and under intense supervision, I let him cut a couple of inches along the straight parts. It is somewhat short and stubby, so it doesn't have a great hover, but it is a decent flyer. One near-tragedy that befell this boomerang is that we left it in the field while we went off to throw Aerobies for a bit, and soon after, we saw a stray dog running around with the boomerang in its mouth! Luckily, a bit of wood putty filled most of the teeth-shaped dents. We also developed a cool Photoshop technique to design paint jobs. The kids had lots of fun with that, but we lost all their groovy paintjobs in a hard drive crash. Just to have one, I copied my favorite real paint job as seen here on the right.

January 24th, 2001

I registered the name Boomsmith.com. Previously I had a boomerang page on my personal site, but decided to get a little ambitious and put all my boomerang stuff on its own site. I also joined the Boomerang Web Ring and started getting visitors from all over the world. Oh, if only I had had a guest book running this whole time!

Sometime in the year 2000

My 8-year-old son Andrew has just recently gotten his first catch. He's been throwing better and better and finally he caught one. It was no accident, because he got three catches that same outing. I used to jokingly ask "What child is luckier than the Boomerang Maker's son?". Lucky for me, Andrew really does like boomerangs. No joke. He has aspirations of making his own and will probably soon paint one himself that I made for him a couple of years ago.

 

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This page was last updated on 06/19/07 04:39:27 PM .

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