Welcome to Boomtown!

aLAcrity Boomerangs is a group of boomerang enthusiasts from Los Angeles. At the moment, it is comprised of three people: Manny (a.k.a. v12aero), phnxhawk and Charles (a.k.a. hey_kuya).

Manny and I (phnxhawk) started this blog to share our interest in boomerangs--throwing and tuning, making our own rangs, as well as unraveling the science behind them. As we continue our journey into the world of boomerangs, we hope to make new friends and to expand our horizons. In this blog, we will post such things as videos from our regular throwing sessions, musings and lessons learned from throwing, and thoughts on making our own rangs.

Manny and I started throwing boomerangs since Spring 2009. It has been a long road as we developed a semblance of technique for throwing 'rangs. Nevertheless, after many a bruised hand or windy day, our fascination with these returning throwing sticks remains undimmed. We most certainly have more to learn about boomerangs, but we'll keep at it as long as we continue to have many happy returns.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Post for a Rainier Day

--By phnxhawk--

The second new video we have features a set of clips focused on one boomerang, the Colorado Boomerangs Rainier.  When we consider buying a new boomerang, we typically search out videos of the boomerang in action in addition to reading written reviews.  Sometimes, however, those videos are unavailable or are not as revealing about the boomerang's flight qualities as we might like.  Well, we thought it would be helpful if we posted some videos zeroing in on the various boomerangs in our collection.  Granted, the Rainier is no longer in production...but if it was, wouldn't you want to buy it?

Rainier is a very easy boomerang to throw and catch.  It was produced in birch plywood by Colorado Boomerangs.  Range is relatively short--on the order of 30 to 35 yards.  Length, tip to tip, is roughly 12.75-in.  It feels fairly light in the hand, as well, coming in with a weight of 53 grams.  My Rainier tends to have a rounded, somewhat elliptical flight.  Under good conditions, I throw a little above eye level, producing a slight climb on the outbound leg of the flight.  It returns softly, ending with a modest hover, facilitating an easy catch. 

My Rainier likes a light breeze to round out the flight, but it can be thrown in a calm without much trouble.  It doesn't like strong winds, either; a strong wind (greater than, say, 10 mph) tends to make for a tough day.  It also doesn't need to be thrown very hard to obtain a decent-looking return.  The Colorado Boomerangs instruction manual suggests that it can be thrown hard with little layover or lightly with moderate layover.  I tend to give it a solid, moderate strength throw with layover somewhere between 5 and 20 degrees.  v12aero suggests that I usually also impart a fair amount of spin to my boomerangs when I throw, so it would be good to keep that in mind when throwing Rainier.

All in all, the Rainier makes for a great warm-up rang.  I avoid chucking it and save my strength for my heavier rangs.  It produces a great-looking flight and an easy catch, helping the thrower build confidence and consistency.  Those qualities enable it to prepare me--mind, spirit and body--for more challenging boomerangs later in a throwing session.

Incidentally, the Rainier was my first "legitimate" boomerang.  Technically, my first was one of those gimmicky ones that I picked up at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh in 2008.  It didn't fly all that well...but to be honest, it was hard to see how it was flying in the dead of night.  The same issue also made the boomerang difficult to find when my friend's throw wound up in the bushes.

So, I suppose I have the Carnegie Science Center to thank for my newfound hobby, but it was the Rainier that sealed the deal.   I had initially attempted to buy the Phoenix from Colorado Boomerangs / boomerangs.com not long after that Science Center souvenir was lost.  Unfortunately, they had recently exhausted their supply, but the customer service rep suggested the Rainier as an alternative.  After some hesitation (while I frantically looked it up on their website), I accepted their offer.  A few days later, I had the Rainier in hand--just in time for a trip to windy Tucson, Arizona.  It was there that I learned how to throw a boomerang of more reputable origins.  Two years later, despite visible signs of wear, the Rainier is still going strong for me.  There you have it: my entry into the world of boomeranging!


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