The 10 Best Boomerangs
This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in June of 2016. You don't have to come from the "Land Down Under" to enjoy playing with boomerangs. There are plenty of safe, soft versions available for kids, in addition to models constructed from wood and other sleek materials for more experienced throwers. Whatever your skill level, there's an air toy in this list for you, whether you love bright, bold hues or want something on the subdued, grownup side. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
February 25, 2021:
With all of our existing options for this list continuing to be smart choices for the category, it was a pretty forgiving round of updates for us, one that finished with the same selection of boomerangs as it started with. As our assessment indicated that the last editor for this page put together a nice mix of options – including a couple choices like the Aerobie Orbiter that are better suited for young children – we saw no need to go mucking about and swapping things out. The only real noteworthy change we made to the list was relocating the Hummingbird Jarrah a bit further down, since it seemed likely that its notably heavy unit weight of nine ounces was likely to be a hindrance for some throwers.
Once you’ve gone ahead and selected your boomerang of choice, if you’re interested in finding other ways to inject a little bit of Australian culture into your life, then you might be interested in investigating our list of didgeridoos.
February 26, 2019:
We examined all of the top offerings from popular maker Colorado Boomerangs as well as top choices from other manufacturers. After some thought, we decided to leave the Black Mamba from Colorado Boomerangs despite some issues with its coloring: for one thing, the red stripes seem to chip off a little too easily, and for another, it's dark, which means it frustratingly may blend in with the ground. But it's well-made, so for some, it may work. Also requiring some thought was the choice to add the Aerobie Orbiter. Its triangle shape allows for various grips and throws, but don't be surprised if you need some practice to get the hang of it. And you can't select a color, which is upsetting to some users. On the other hand, it's not all that expensive and could be a fun choice if you enjoy a bit of a challenge.
A Brief History Of Boomerangs
However, in Australia, it appears as if their usage was much more varied than that.
If you're a non-Aussie, your knowledge of boomerangs may only date back to 1986, when Crocodile Dundee was released.
It might surprise you, then, to learn that these weapons have been around some 50,000 years; at least, that's how old some Indigenous Australian rock art is that depicts their use.
The oldest known actual boomerang from this region is believed to come from around 10000 B.C.E., and was found in a peat bog in southern Australia. However, there have been others discovered that were even older — and they were found in Poland.
In fact, boomerangs were used all across Europe during the Stone Age. The reason why they're so closely associated with Australia is due to the fact that Aboriginal people on the continent preserved it in its highest state of development — and because bow and arrow technology never reached that far.
There are two basic types: returning and straight-flying. No one knows why the returning variety was invented, but its believed that it was largely accidental — a by-product of the attempt to create the much more valuable straight-flying model.
Historically, boomerangs have been used for everything from hunting to combat. However, in Australia, it appears as if their usage was much more varied than that. They've been utilized to do everything from start fires to communicate over long distances, and they can serve as a digging tool in a pinch.
More than anything, they seem to have functioned as a kind of early Swiss Army knife for desert survival. A boomerang would have been an easily-portable tool that allowed the user to hunt, dig, call for help, and defend themselves in close quarters.
Today, boomerangs are largely relegated to recreational use. There are a multitude of throwing competitions across the globe, and they're also a popular souvenir for tourists in Australia.
However, no matter what that strange Australian tells you, remember that a boomerang is not a knife.
Boomerang Throwing Tips
There are few things as satisfying as throwing a boomerang and having it come back to you, with you barely even needing to move your hand to catch it.
Conversely, there are few things more frustrating than throwing that boomerang, then having to walk 50 yards to go pick it up out of the dirt.
There are some techniques you can try to ensure that you avoid that walk of shame. First, and most importantly, make sure you've got the right boomerang. Not all of them are designed to return, and in fact most of the commonly-sold ones won't, so make sure you've got the correct model before you begin.
First, and most importantly, make sure you've got the right boomerang.
Also, there is a difference between right- and left-handed boomerangs, so factor that into your decision-making before you buy, as well. They also sell ambidextrous models; however, most experts agree that the best thing to do is to shame lefties into using the correct hand to throw.
Find a wide open area in which to practice — preferably one without many people around.
The weather will play a large role in your success, so try to avoid days with high wind. However, you do want some wind, as you'll need to throw around the breeze to have it return to you. This means throwing to the right of whichever direction the wind is blowing (or to the left, if you're a lefty).
When you're ready to throw, try to aim a little high, around eye level. You'll want to put as much spin on it as possible, so cock it backwards and force it to rip itself out of your hand, rather than just letting go of it.
You'll want to put plenty of "oomph" behind it, but remember that how hard you throw isn't as important as the amount of spin you place on it. Work on your technique before you try to increase your power.
Throwing a boomerang isn't easy, but with enough practice you'll have it coming back to you in no time. The only question is whether it will return to you on its own power, or be brought back angrily by the person you accidentally beaned with it.
Things To Consider Before You Buy
Before you found us, you may have thought there was only one type of boomerang. Now that you know better, you're probably wondering why boomerang shopping has to be so complicated.
There are a variety of makes and models, all with different functions in mind. That should be your first consideration — what do you want to do with it? Do you just want to show off to your friends, or are you hoping to actually hunt with it?
There's a third, lesser-known variety to consider as well: cross boomerangs.
Once you've decided on the purpose it will serve, you should think about the shape that best suits it. If you want it to come back to you, make sure you get one that's explicitly labeled as a "returning" model — it should be lightweight and V-shaped.
Hunting boomerangs, on the other hand, are much heavier, as they need to do enough damage on impact to stun or kill whatever they hit. They'll also tend to be much longer than returning models, and may even have sharp edges.
There's a third, lesser-known variety to consider as well: cross boomerangs. These look like two regular boomerangs stacked on top of each other, and are often lightweight and designed either for recreation or hunting birds.
The other major factor is the material it's made of. If you're just playing around, you can go with lightweight wood or even plastic. If you need to kill something with it, however, make sure it's made of heavy, durable wood.
Once you've thought about what, exactly, you want your boomerang to do, finding the right one should be a snap — and you won't have to worry about getting saddled with the wrong one.
After all, it's pretty sad if the only return you ever get out of your boomerang is on your credit card statement.