Genuine returning boomerang. Handmade in Victoria. Size is 30.5 cm from tip to tip. FREE shipping within Australia. Will ship internationally for $AU10
A boomerang is traditionally a long wooden device, although historically boomerang-like devices have also been made from bones. Modern boomerangs used for sport are often made from thin aircraft plywood, plastics such as ABS, polypropylene, phenolic paper, or even high-tech materials such as carbon fibre-reinforced plastics. Boomerangs come in many shapes and sizes depending on their geographic or tribal origins and intended function. Many people think of a boomerang as the Australian type, although today there are many types of more easily usable boomerangs, such as the cross-stick, the pinwheel, the tumblestick, the Boomabird and many other less common types.
An important distinction should be made between returning boomerangs and non-returning boomerangs. Returning Boomerangs fly and are examples of the earliest heavier-than-air human-made flight. A returning boomerang has two or more airfoil wings arranged so that the spinning creates unbalanced aerodynamic forces that curve its path so that it travels in an elliptical path and returns to its point of origin when thrown correctly. While a throwing stick can also be shaped overall like a returning boomerang, it is designed to travel as straight as possible so that it can be aimed and thrown with great force to bring down the game. Its surfaces therefore are symmetrical and not uneven like the aerofoils which give the returning boomerang its characteristic curved flight.
The most recognisable type of the boomerang is the L-shaped returning boomerang; while non-returning boomerangs, throwing sticks (or shaunies) were used as weapons, returning boomerangs have been used primarily for leisure or recreation. Returning boomerangs were also used to decoy birds of prey, thrown above the long grass to frighten game birds into flight and into waiting nets. Modern returning boomerangs can be of various shapes or sizes.
Historical evidence also points to the use of non-returning boomerangs by the Native Americans of California and Arizona, and inhabitants of southern India for killing birds and rabbits. Indeed, some boomerangs were not thrown at all, but were used in hand to hand combat by Indigenous Australians. Ancient Egyptian examples, however, have been recovered, and experiments have shown that they functioned as returning boomerangs.
Boomerangs can be variously used as hunting weapons, percussive musical instruments, battle clubs, fire-starters, decoys for hunting waterfowl, and as recreational play toys. The smallest boomerang may be less than 10 centimetres (4 in) from tip to tip, and the largest over 180 cm (5.9 ft) in length. Tribal boomerangs may be inscribed and/or painted with designs meaningful to their makers. Most boomerangs seen today are of the tourist or competition sort, and are almost invariably of the returning type.