Our modern world tends to put emphasis on things shiny, new and complicated. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but sometimes simple has its place. Perhaps the best intersection of ideas is when you take simple and apply some modern know how to it and you come up with a mix of the two. That’s the case with Cold Steel Boomerang.
The boomerang is a somewhat more advanced version of a basic throwing stick, which has been used across the planet by primitive cultures for hunting birds and small game for ages now. The throwing stick, sometimes also called a rabbit stick, is probably one of man’s simplest throwing weapons next to the rock. Even basic tools evolve though and the Australian boomerang is probably the highest evolution of the throwing stick yielding an aerodynamic shape that helps with accuracy, range, and speed. Some models are designed to return but not all, many were just designed as more efficient throwing sticks for use on game. In general the returning models were used for recreational use whereas the heavier, non-returning styles were more often used as tools to take game or as weapons.
Cold Steel starts with the age old boomerang design and makes it out of injection molded high impact Polypropylene. They’ve done a number of tweaks to come up with a size and cross section to allow for peak aerodynamic efficiency as well. So you have a tool that dates backs thousands, if not tens of thousands of years, updated with modern materials and some modern engineering to create a 21st century throwing stick with enhanced flight characteristics, increased durability, ready availability and affordability. That’s a lot of abilities.
The Boomerang itself is big. Surprisingly so. Even when you look at the specs, it isn’t obvious until you actually get one in hand just how big it is. The Boomerang is 7 inches tall and has an overall span of 28 inches. It weighs in at a good pound in a half as well so there’s definitely some mass there. I’d used a variety handmade throwing sticks before in some outdoor survival classes and had messed with some of the light weight sport boomerangs in the past as well, and the Cold Steel Boomerang is neither. It flies much straighter and much more consistently than the handmade sticks I’ve used, which makes sense when you consider the aerodynamic profile of the piece and the constancy that you get from an injection molded design. I think it also hits harder. The ogive on the forward edge of the Boomerang seems to focus the force of the blow and I got impressive hits on jugs of water and on soccer balls I used as targets to simulate my small to medium sized “prey.” If you’ve used commercial plywood boomerangs before there’s simply no comparison in my opinion. The ones I had used at least were smaller, and much lighter weight, obviously designed for recreational use and they didn’t pack anywhere near the wallop that the Cold Steel model does.
Working with the Boomerang is fun. Aside from its obvious intended function as a hunting tool, it’s also just entertaining to use. It’s a pretty safe family activity as long as you apply a little common sense and you can set up a variety of targets at different ranges to get used to how far you can throw accurately and what can of force you can expect at different ranges. It’s something you can do in your backyard too which isn’t always the case even with air guns and bows or even slingshots sometimes. As mentioned I used water filled milk jugs for some of my targets and soccer balls for the rest. With the balls you can practice engaging a moving target by having someone roll them for you while you throw so you can get used to gauging lead time needed to hit something like a moving rabbit. It’s actual a good work out and a great way to build hand and eye coordination too. Start with fixed targets at various ranges and then work your way up to the moving targets and see how well you do. It’ll give you a good idea of how our ancestors managed in the era before bows and slings, and give you an idea what you might be capable of in a survival scenario as well.
If you have an interest in thrown weapons, alternate hunting and survival tools, or just a neat recreational activity that’s a step up from Bocce (although maybe not as adventurous as lawn darts!) the Cold Steel Boomerang is definitely worth checking out. Retail cost on the Boomerang is $34.99, but with some casual online shopping you can probably knock $10 or so off of that.
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