Lifestyle

Boomerangs

Boomerangs are an Australian icon. It’s one of the most popular souvenirs. You see them in all the tourist shops and museum gift shops. Most of these are overpriced and they may not fly well. I wanted to get some real boomerangs for my family and friends back home.

The boomerang is tens of thousands of years old and part of Australian Aboriginal culture. The popular curved varieties are returning boomerangs used for sport. Non-returning boomerangs, or throwing sticks, were used for hunting and as weapons. Throwing sticks are part of the stone age arsenal of weapons and have been found in Europe, Egypt, and the Americas. The word “boomerang” is thought to be an adaptation of  an Aboriginal word from a now extinct language.

Boomerangs.

Theo, who has competed in a boomerang championship, has a nice collection of them including the three shown above. He insisted I buy mine from the same man who made these twenty-something years ago. Last night we met Bruce Carter, a champion thrower who has held Australian and World records. He owns and operates the Boomerang Academy of Australia.

We met Bruce at the Coburg Tennis Club. Bruce was delightful and he and Theo were practically giddy as they caught up and looked over Theo’s old boomerangs. Bruce’s son Craig is also a record-breaking champion. He gave us a demonstration with a foam model that is great for beginners, but is also used by pros. Slowly, the rapid sounds of plastic ping pong balls bouncing on tables faded as people stopped to watch Craig expertly throw the boomerang around the room.

Boomerangs.

Bruce has a wonderful selection for people of all levels and ages. I purchased two TriMagic Sports Boomerangs. This polymer boomerang made for right-handed people is perfect for beginners, particularly kids. It won’t break easily and they’re less likely to hurt themselves with it.

Boomerangs.

I also purchased two traditional-looking boomerangs made of wood for when they’re ready to move on from the TriMagic. And I couldn’t resist two wooden boomerangs painted by an Aboriginal artist featuring a snake and turtles. These will fly, but I have no intention of throwing them.

Boomerangs painted with Aboriginal art.

Bruce gifted us with two boomerangs, the larger wooden one for Theo and the little one for me (shown at the top of this entry). He is passionate about boomerangs and loves meeting enthusiasts.

Bruce runs the Boomerang Academy of Victoria. You can find a catalogue of boomerangs on the website, but I recommend you contact him. The website doesn’t show his complete stock. Plus, he’s a nice guy. You can also find him nightly at the Coburg Table Tennis Club.

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