(c) 2015 J.S.Reinitz

(c) 2015 J.S.Reinitz

The important thing about throwing a boomerang is the angle of takeoff. Throw high but not too high, and keep in mind it usually travels in a circle, and it will arch around and come in on you left, almost striking you if it’s a good throw.

My first introduction to the boomerang came in high school when my mom bought one at a sporting goods store. It was the classic angle made of easy-to-find red plastic. I hurled it around for a few summers before losing it on a trip to a lake in Minnesota.

Recently, I picked up a modern design, a rubbery triangle with swept points, also in easy-to-find red. I imagine the soft material is to limit damage to people and property.

During trips to the park, I’ve been honing my technique. There was a spectacular throw that landed about five feet from the launch and a few where I jumped to the side to avoid being hit as it returned, but most of the time it grounds before completing the loop.

Today, my son learned that trees can interfere with good boomerang technique. Particularly a tall tree with a straight trunk that repels any climbing effort and leafy branches that can catch and keep airborne objects. My wife found a slice of toy cake, like part of a kitchen playset, in the park, so we took turns whipping the plastic cake (chocolate topped with a strawberry) at the boomerang stuck in the tree. After awhile, we gave up.

Later, my daughter and I returned and fashioned a crude grapple out of a length of low-grade paracord and a steel bolt. I spent the next 20 minutes practicing my grapple-tossing technique. A group of live-action role players pretended not to notice that I was doing anything odd lassoing the tree, and I pretended not to notice that they were doing anything odd beating each other about the head with foam swords.

Another guy came up and offered to go home and get his climbing gear and told me how he lost a model rocket in the same park. I declined the climbing gear, whatever that entailed, and shortly after he walked off, the grapple caught the correct branch and held. I grabbed the cord and pulled hard to shake the branch, and the boomerang fell to earth.