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, May 31, 2011

Second Look: Spirit Renewed

--by phnxhawk--

Boomerang: Spirit (ABS)
Manufacturer: Adam Carroll (realboomerangs.com)

Charles reviewed the Spirit last month. Having had more time to play with this boomerang, I decided to post my own review as a supplement to his. I hope the video and experiences I have collected provide some additional perspectives to how it looks and performs in the air.

Overview & Physical Characteristics

From phnxhawk's Boomerang Collection

The Spirit I recently added to my collection comes from Adam Carroll. Using a hook type of planform, the standard Spirit, made of a different plastic, is advertised to have a range of about 50 meters with a teardrop-shaped flight path. As with Charles' Spirit, mine is crafted from ABS, which seems a little more dense and stiff than the standard plastic material. This Spirit, weighing in at 51 g, has a weight and overall size like that of my Mozzie. In the future, I would like to compare the weight of the standard Spirit to its ABS cousin.

As you can see in the above picture, the paint scheme on my Spirit is of the abstract type that Adam is known to apply, using alternating bands of dark purple and lighter blues. This can make it difficult to pick out against the sky in the videos, but it tends to stay quite visible in person.

The Throw & Flight

Throwing at the park with Charles, I frequently obtained the advertised teardrop flight path. There, I was throwing hard with some layover--perhaps something like 10 or 15 degrees. I was also aiming to throw roughly 45 degrees off-wind and at about eye level or slightly higher. Without wind or with a light breeze, this would cause the Spirit to start low and quickly rise high in the outbound legs, diving back down on the return arc of the teardrop. In a severe calm, the boomerang would often stop short, giving out and circling its way down a few yards ahead.

At the beach, where the wind tends to be a little stronger and steadier, I was frequently able to coax the boomerang into a more rounded, elliptical flight path. In the video clips above, I would guess the winds were blowing somewhere between 5 and 8 mph. We were also marking the Spirit at around 45 yards in range, a little shy of the expected 50 meters (about 55 yards). Again, I would throw about 45 degrees off-wind and aim to throw just above eye level. For these clips, I was applying a "medium" strength throw for me--firm, but somewhat light, especially compared to some of the heftier G12 boomerangs I have been throwing lately. In terms of layover, I found that a small amount, 5 to 10 degrees tended to work best for my strength of throw and release height.

Throwing in this fashion would allow me to obtain flights in which the boomerang stays fairly low and level throughout return, rising a little higher as it completed the turn back to me. On the return leg, the boomerang would "put on the brakes" and drop back to my feet or into my hands for an easy catch. In these types of returns, the Spirit would exhibit some hover--not as pronounced as with some of my omega type booms, but enough to make catches easier on the hands.

What might I change about how I use the boomerang in the future? To get up to the advertised range, I expect I would need to do some tuning to both the boomerang and my throw. I might try to reduce wing dihedral and incidence angles on the tip combined with a low or level, hard throw. For the moment, however, I have been spoiled by the ease of the throw and return as it is currently tuned.


The Spirit is a fun addition to my collection, working reasonably well in calm and light winds and, although not ideal, remains somewhat manageable in medium winds (say, 7 to 10 mph). As it takes a harder throw and can be a little sensitive to how it is released, I might place this in the intermediate class of 'rang. Depending on the wind conditions, it may take some additional work to decipher how to throw and tune it best for the desired flight pattern. A light wind is generally preferable to round out the flight into a more elliptical pattern. So far, this has been a great addition to my boom bag, and I look forward to additional throwing sessions with it in hand.


Interested in picking up your own Spirit? Check out these links:

"Putting my spin on boomerangs..."

Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Booms in the Bag & Other Stories

--by phnxhawk--

I have uploaded pictures of some of the latest boomerangs to be added to my throwing bag. Have a look. Since the start of the calendar year, I have added several Blue Star and Adam Carroll 'rangs: Volker's Sussex Hook in paxolin and G12, Large Marathon, Suzuki and Wyche and Adam's Spirit and Blast.

In other news, I reminded myself yesterday why I should not throw when the winds are gusting up to 18 mph. I had decided to throw for an hour or so at a local park, since I had some free time in my schedule for the day. It started out well enough; the wind was a pretty stiff breeze, but was still manageable. Over the course of the hour, I was driven around the park by the arrival of families and their children as well as the deteriorating weather conditions. (Well, it was still a sunny day, but the winds had picked up tremendously in that time.)

In defiance of common sense, I decided to try throwing in a lowered basin which happens to be ringed by tall trees and is adjacent to a fence dividing the park from a small airport. A couple test throws with my Windeater 3 were blown around, but not to the point at which I would have been convinced to stop. On my third throw--at eye level, by my reckoning--the boomerang suddenly climbed high into the air and proceeded to swing back well overhead, careening toward the airport. A stinging wall of wind seemed to follow in its wake.

As I whipped around to track it, I realized how much I had underestimated the effects of the gusts. My poor boomerang had been carried up to a height greater than that of the fence (which is at the top of the basin, to boot). Whispering various expletives as I imagined the mayhem that could ensue if it found its way past the fence, I watched it fly into one of the trees along the rim of the basin. I paused for a moment and let out a sigh of relief.

Dread sunk in. I knew that Volker Behrens was shutting down production and foresaw that I had just added another boomerang to any final order I would place this weekend. I packed up my bag and worked my way up the slope to assess the situation. Standing by the tree, I craned my head to look up at the branch where the boomerang had been caught, mulling over various means of retrieving it. Suddenly, the boomerang tumbled from its initial perch and caught on a lower branch. The gusts were shaking the tree enough that it was loosening its grip on my boomerang. Two minutes later, my hopes were fulfilled, and Windeater hit the grass with a dull thud.

I had narrowly escaped "disaster," and I knew it. The last thing I needed was to have the owner of an expensive airplane demanding answers as to why his aluminum skins were dented. Every now and then, I need to learn an old lesson once again. (Hopefully, the price remains only as high as the cost of one boomerang.)

"Putting my spin boomerangs..."

Volker Behrens' Blue Star Boomerangs to Shut Down

--by phnxhawk--

Volker Behrens has posted a notice that he will shut down his boomerang shop at the end of this month, which is only a couple days away. After that, availability of Blue Star boomerangs will essentially be limited to whatever he or Ted Bailey at flight-toys.com has in stock.

So, if you have any last minute requests, you should make that inquiry soon. I found the notice late this week, so I myself must carefully consider what I can afford to pick up at this time.

"Putting my spin on boomerangs..."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Boomerangs of William Glover, mixing old school experience with 21st century materials!

It was less than a year ago when I paid a visit to William Glover's web site, I wanted to get to know more about him, after all he created "Griffin" and "High Voltage" two popular and classic boomerangs from the 80's. I quickly learned that William was an old school kind of guy and that when it came to making his boomerangs, that they would only be made of the finest plywood available. I really admired that, but I thought if he would just take a look at some of modern materials that are available we would have some really awesome and interesting boomerangs.

Well, dreams do come true! During my search last winter for boomerangs made of synthetic materials, I was able to find one. I had originally started my search on Volker's site looking at G12 and Pax models, but I also decided to check out Ebay. On Ebay I found a boomerang that met all my needs and my budget (free shipping). That boomerang was "Patriot". Patriot was described as a serious Aussie round boomerang for competitors and advanced beginners, made of tough linen phenolic by William Glover! "Linen phenolic"........"William Glover"!...........Whaaaaaaaaat!!

I don't know what caused the change of heart, but I can tell you this. We all benefit! William perfectly blends his old school experience with new 21st century materials. Each of his linen phenolic boomerangs still have that great hand made feeling about them while retaining a modern look. Even his classic boomerangs look and fly fantastically. Paint schemes can vary from simple to artistic, when you have a Glover rang in hand, you know it. The way he applies paint to his boomerangs whether simple or art is some of the best and most durable I've seen. And he backs all his stuff up with some of the best customer service available. Check out the pictures and video below. I will be updating pictures and video soon.


About a week ago William sent me another one of his linen phenolic masterpieces "Blue Thunder". He recently changed the name to "Distant Thunder". Probably because "Thunder" gets out far.

Blue Thunder

The collection so far!

Here is some video I put together, Enjoy!

To purchase please contact


More pictures, video, reviews and updates to follow soon.

Charles aka hey_kuya

A Sword Day, A Blue Star Day

--by phnxhawk--

...Ere the sun rises!

A few weeks ago, Manny and I took some time to throw with Larry, another SoCal thrower (whom I mentioned in a previous post). Larry's boomerangs of choice are from the Blue Star line by Volker Behrens. In particular, his collection speaks to an interest in a "distance-fun" category of 'rangs. Many of them seem to work best with a good wind such as can be had in the early afternoons at the beaches around here.

From phnxhawk Miscellaneous
Larry cuts loose with Ghost Dog.

Throwing distance boomerangs with Larry makes for a fun change of pace from our short to medium range 'rangs. They take a fair bit more power in the throw to get them to stay up, so I tire a little faster. However, the pain is offset by the beauty of the resulting flights from many of the longer range boomerangs in Larry's bag. They seem to stay aloft for an eternity, lumbering along. Just when you think it might give up, the boomerang keeps chugging along until it drops into your hands (or somewhere near your feet). In fact, I was so enthralled by the majesty of the Sussex Hook in G12 that I put in an order for one not long after.

It was immediately clear from the moment that Larry first threw his Sussex Hook that day that he knew that boomerang inside and out. I like to think I have that consistency and confidence with the Rainier and Phoenix. But don't take my word for it; have a look for yourself. I was inspired to put together a video to commemorate a great day of throwing sticks with someone with such a passion for boomerangs.

"Putting my spin on boomerangs..."

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Boomerang Review: "Tiger"

by Manny Olivares

Boomerang: Tiger
Manufacturer/Brand:  Roger Perry/Spinback Boomerangs

Overview & Physical Characteristics:

The story of my Tiger begins one Sunday morning during a throwing session.  An inconsolable me stands idly by, seething with jealousy at Gerard throwing his Phoenix boomerang effortlessly while I struggle with my collection.  (The previous sentence is slightly exaggerated for effect.)  I need to point out that this was many months ago, back when I was still trying to find my groove.  Even today I have those days when I struggle to get anything to return, but I digress.

I was looking online for a boomerang that was easy to throw and had a cool name.   A boomerang that could become my “ole trusty” like the Phoenix and Rainier boomerangs were for Gerard.  I came across the Tiger and it seemed like a great fit.  It was advertised to have a 40 yard range and had the length that I liked.  It was also touted as a beginner boomerang which would enable me to master it more quickly. 

The Tiger arrived and the first thing I noticed was the incredibly flashy paint scheme.   The tips of the arms are a bright red and the top is a cool cerulean blue with just a hint of gold at the top of the elbow.   You can see the Tiger below.

The Tiger is a long arm, short arm boom, but that aspect is very well disguised.   It’s not as apparent as the long arm, short arm of many MTA boomerangs out there. 

After the flashy paint the second thing you notice is the weight and feel of the Tiger in your hand.  Compared to the rest of the boomerangs in my kit, the Tiger feels incredibly light and airy, which is not necessarily a good thing in my opinion.  The wood feels as if it is a completely different kind than the ones used in my Colorado Boomerangs.  It is much less dense and doesn’t feel as solid as I would like it to.  If you press down on the wood with your fingers while gripping it you can feel that the wood is very soft and yields a bit since it isn’t very dense.   I personally prefer the denser woods but someone else might not mind the difference.
It is also important to point out that this boomerang is also very thick, most likely because of the less dense wood.

Throw and Flight:

The Tiger does require a bit of wind to make it all the way back to you if you want an easy throw.  Otherwise you have to give it pretty good force and a lot of spin.   Considering it is a beginner boomerang I was expecting a super easy throw like the one my Yanaki requires.  The first day I threw my Tiger I had a lot of trouble getting it to come back.  It was only until the wind picked up a bit that I got the pretty flight and full return.

I usually give the Tiger about 20 degrees of layover and throw it about 70 degrees to the right of the wind.   While 20 degrees isn’t too much I find that it’s a little bit more than some of my other boomerangs, but it makes it easier to throw with a return.   I also throw it very close to parallel to the ground, usually no more than about 5 degrees to the ground.

I find my Tiger to have a very beautiful flight.  I tend to prefer the low flying booms and this one has a medium low flight, never going too far into the sky.  The flashy paint scheme also helps it look even better in flight.  It does a pretty round circle and has pretty good accuracy.  This boomerang has just a bit of hover, not staying up too long on the return trip.  You can check out the flight below for yourself.  Notice how the brighter paint scheme makes it easier to see it in flight.


All in all I can’t say that I consider my Tiger one of my “go-to” rangs.  However I definitely like it due to its awesome paint scheme and low round flight.  The main factor that deters me from throwing it more often is the kind of wood it is made of.  As soon as I switch from my other boomerangs to this one, it just feels a bit off.  Even my boomerang throwing buddies can agree that it feels very different.  However with a bit of wind I can find myself throwing my Tiger over and over and definitely enjoy using it.  The Tiger could quickly become one of my faves if it were carved out of something a little denser I think, which might make throwing it a bit more easier and fun.

Thanks for reading!


Tiger caught your eye?
You can purchase the Tiger from Roger Perry’s site here:

“Spinback Boomerangs and Didgeridoos”

Browsing through Roger Perry's site I am also interested in the Aussie Hook which is made of phenolic and might be a better alternative to the Tiger.  If I make the purchase in the future I'll be sure to give some feedback here. 

Boomerangs:  Frequent Flyers to the Perfect Tune