Boomerangs can be a lot of fun for adults and kids, assuming you take the proper safety precautions before throwing one. If you want to buy or make a boomerang, one of the very first things you have to determine is its size. So, how big is a boomerang?
Traditionally, boomerangs measured 12 to 30 inches. Modern sporting and hunting boomerangs measure between 30 and 36 inches, while recreational boomerangs are only about 16 to 20 inches long.
Please bear in mind that the larger the boomerang is, the heavier it will become. As such, there are several aspects regarding the design of the boomerang you should know before throwing one. Below, I’ll cover the basics of boomerangs, their sizes, and how to find the right boomerang for your age and physical build.
What Is a Boomerang?
A boomerang is a bent, curved, and slightly beveled tool that was traditionally used for hunting. They first came into existence roughly 25,000 to 50,000 years ago, with the oldest boomerang being dated back 20,000 years.
The very first boomerangs were not designed to return to the thrower. Instead, the thrower would throw the boomerang at distances of up to 200 yards at high speeds to strike and kill or stun the target. They measured pretty close to 3 feet long and weighed up to 10 pounds, so you can imagine the amount of damage it they cause when flying at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour.
Aboriginal tribes in Australia were credited with designing and using the first returning boomerangs. Through countless trials and errors, these people had devised a weapon that could fly more accurately and at higher speeds, and with the right technique, the boomerang would return to its original position. They were lighter than non-returning boomerangs and were mainly used for entertainment.
Nowadays, you can purchase or buy boomerangs of any size for sporting, hunting, or recreational purposes. The design of the boomerang will determine whether it will return to the thrower or whether it is designed for more accurate throwing to strike targets from long distances.
Today, you can get your hands on boomerangs of all sizes. Some boomerang manufacturers have tiny 4-inch boomerangs that can fly swiftly through the air and return to the thrower’s position, while some makers may have 6-foot-long boomerangs just for show. When it comes to boomerang sizes, you should first know what the boomerang is designed to do.
For instance, a boomerang for sporting and hunting will typically measure 30 to 36 inches in length or have a wingspan of 15 to 18 inches.
On the other hand, boomerangs used for recreational use will measure just 16 to 20 inches long or have a wingspan of between 8 and 10 inches. Their tinier builds, as opposed to hunting boomerangs, allow them to fly quickly through the air and return to the thrower in a matter of seconds.
It’s important to note that the size of the boomerang will affect its weight and striking force. In addition, larger boomerangs will remain airborne for much longer than their smaller counterparts.
Choosing the Right Boomerang
There are several factors that come into play when determining which boomerang to buy or make. Let’s take a closer look at each of those factors down below.
First and foremost, you should know what you are going to use the boomerang for. Boomerangs for sport are significantly different from boomerangs for entertainment or recreational use.
Boomerangs used for competitions are longer, heavier, and made of heavier materials that will allow hem to fly faster and longer through the air.
On the other hand, there are recreational boomerangs, which are lightweight and are more forgiving in terms of throwing technique.
We can categorize boomerangs by their design. The first is the backstroke boomerang, which is what we mainly know as boomerangs. Backstroke boomerangs are made of a curved piece of wood or plastic that comes in a V-shape and can be used for competitions.
The other type is known as the 3- or 4-blade boomerang. These boomerangs are made of lighter materials and are generally used for recreational purposes.
Traditional boomerangs were made of wood or animal bone due to the abundance of the material back in ancient times. Even today, you can find or make your own wooden or bone boomerangs, as long as you have the materials on hand and know how to turn the raw material into a V-shaped projectile.
Apart from wood, you can find boomerangs made of metal or plastic composites. There are also foam-rubber boomerangs that are lightweight and used by children to perfect their grip and throwing technique.
In the end, the type of material used to construct a boomerang will affect its throwing range, speed, and striking force.
Left or Right-Handed
When buying or building your own boomerang, you should also pay close attention to its grip style or which hand you will use to throw it. The direction in which the boomerang’s wings are beveled will give you an idea of what hand it’s made to be thrown with.
Right-handed boomerangs are a lot more common, so any left-handed throwers out there may have trouble finding and purchasing a boomerang that fits comfortably in their hand. There are also ambidextrous boomerangs—i.e., boomerangs that can be thrown from either hand—but they are not usually used for sporting purposes.
Thrower’s Age and Strength
Last up, we will have to know who is going to throw the boomerang. Different boomerang styles are made for different kinds of people based on age and physical characteristics.
Boomerangs for kids are lightweight, do not have sharp edges, and typically do not travel very quickly. They can still be dangerous in the hands of the wrong person, but they have less striking force than boomerangs made for adults.
Boomerangs made for adults are generally longer and heavier, and each wing might have pointed ends.
The only way you can determine whether or not you are comfortable with a kid or adult boomerang is by holding one in your hand.