NALDO (odds & ends)

There are a number of things I forgot to tell. None are particularly long or worthy of their own post so I’ll lump some together.

  1. Gary Broadbent is known by everyone in Canton. Rob and I stopped at a Sheetz Mini Mart to gas up. While I was inside paying, the girl behind the counter saw my boomerang t-shirt and asked if I knew the boomerang guy from Canton. I asked: Gary Broadbent? She says, yes, that’s him, he is amazing. I told her we were throwing all weekend with him and she was impressed.
  2. Quote of the weekend came from Gary’s girlfriend, Anne.  We all know how Gary can go six directions at once. David Hirsch was explaining that he was holding Gary to task while David was visiting. Anne chimes in: “How’s that working for you so far?” The group burst out laughing.
  3. Still trying to figure out how some boomerangs “landed low” as was mentioned far too many times. I think it was something like: It was a good throw but it landed low and came up short.
  4. When we arrived at the field Thursday we noticed an oil well near the center of the filed. It was fenced in and two porta-johns were outside the fence. I remarked that it was the biggest pump I had ever seen for a porta-john. At that time I thought the oil well was dormant or in-operational. Saturday moring we showed up and the oil well was pumping. That led to a series of jokes about pumping out the potties for us and a chance to do the Jim Carey scene from Pet Detective starring Fred Malmberg as Jim Carey. You can watch it at:  
  5. It was hot and sunny. Most of us drank large quantities of liquids all weekend. This should have cause frequent trips to the above mentioned facilities. Well on Saturday I relieved myself at the hotel about 7:30AM. I never used the on field porta-johns and didn’t even use the rest rooms at the restaurant that evening. I finally relieved myself at the hotel around 11 PM. That’s over 15 hours? Where did all that liquid go?
  6. Gary bought a sheet of G10, 1/8 inch thick in a lovely blue color. He had Dr Fred stay up late and cut out a Voyager shape for each one of us. Some people shaped them Friday night, others took them home to finish. That was a really cool gift from Gary.          
  7. Anne was the best. She put up with the crazy mob of boomerang enthusiasts, made sure there was plenty of liquid to drink on the field and saw we had lunches Why she put up with us is beyond me. I am sure that was a major disruption to her life.

 That’s all for now. I’ll try to save any other things I think of and post if needed.


By boomerangdave

NALDO 2010 (part 3)

Sunday morning, 6:15AM, I fall out of bed. Not really but I probably should have. I waddle my way to the bathroom as my legs do not want to function. After showering, shaving etc, I pack up all my stuff and grab some breakfast at the hotel. At 8AM Rob and I load the car and proceed to the field for the planned 9AM start. There’s a fat chance of that ever happening.

 The wind has changed a lot since Saturday and we had to reposition the line for throwing. Finally around 10:15 we begin practice throws for day two. I gave Logan Kalfa a new Voyager of his own to use. His dad, Chris, used one of my build Voyagers to break the 100 meter mark Saturday and I was pleased to see the performance he got from it. Because he broke 100 meters, he got to wear the magic amulet (a plasticized Twinkie) until the next person broke 100 meters.

Photo: Chris and Logan with their Voyagers and the “Twinkie”.

Winds were tricky and there was more difficulty getting qualified throws. I was in the second group and spotted for the first group. I was really feeling out of it and had thought about bagging my last set of throws. I didn’t feel up to throwing. For Sunday’s session we were only doing 3 warm ups and 5 live throws. When I went to warm up I decided to go back to the Voyager from the previous day, only removing the extra weight I added. I figured that the warm up throws would tell me if I should proceed or not. Rob Stewart approached me with a plywood Voyager he received from Bruce Bernstein.  I really admire Bruce’s work so when Rob asked if I wanted to try it, I jumped at the chance. My first warm up flew quite nice and I decided to try it again. After two good but not great flights Bruce mentioned that he would love to see someone qualify with one of his plywood Voyagers. That sounded like a good challenge for me and one that might be a lot of fun. I didn’t feel I could throw well enough with my LD rangs to break my personal best so why not go out in style.


 Photo: Logan K getting his award for first place in the novice division.

Warm ups were done and time for live throws. My first one was a bit left but had a full return. My second throw was on the money and was measured at 55 meters. I had qualified with his plywood rang. No one else was tossing wood boomerangs since they are typically larger and heavier than the composite ones. Throw number three was fantastic. I was really pumped when it cruised in over our heads and over the line. As I retrieved the boomerang I heard them announce a distance of 67 meters. I am not sure I have ever thrown a plywood boomerang that far before. What the heck, it was only 8 meters short of my best throw of the weekend and that was with G10 fiberglass. Throw number four was even farther but low and didn’t return all the way. I got one more throw to qualify but it was high and didn’t beat the earlier throws. I couldn’t believe it. I had 3 of 5 throws on Sunday qualify and only 2 of 16 on Saturday. Maybe I should consider throwing plywood Voyagers all the time?

 I went back out in the field as a spotter for the final two groups of throwers. No one in the final groups got a throw near the distance of Logan the previous day so we wound things down. After cleaning some stuff up and putting all the goals back where they belonged, we headed inside for the awards ceremony. While David and Rob crunched the numbers, Logan, Cameron and Gary amused us by throwing short range boomerangs inside the sports facility. Finally the Awards were presented. I can’t remember the distances but I think Logan K was first in novice, Fred was first in Veterans (over 50), and Logan B was overall champ. Steve, Tom W and Bruce got awards too but I can’t remember which divisions they were for.

Photo: Logan B getting his award for first place overall.

At 2:45PM Rob and I got in the car and headed east and home. We got home around 9:30PM after driving straight through. Thus ends my tale of the 2010 North American Long Distance Open held in Canton Ohio.

By boomerangdave

NALDO 2010 (part 2)

Saturday morning and I was up at 6AM. Not sleeping well and waking every hour. Legs were sore so I didn’t hit the exercise room in the hotel as I did Friday. Rob and I met from breakfast and headed to the field for an 8AM start. Only one person was there and the rest sort of dribbled in. We started setting up stuff and moving soccer goals which were in the way. After getting everything set up David Hirsch did a safety talk and gave the rules for the weekend. Saturday was to be two rounds with 3 practice and 8 live throws each. We were hoping to get this completed by 6PM but that was counting on a 9AM start.


Photo: Fred throwing LD

At 9:55 we finally hit the field for the first round. I was out as a spotter for the first two groups since I was throwing in the third group. Finally it was my turn to throw. I was lead thrower in our group and on my very first live throw hit 75 meters, short of my personal best of 79 meters. I made several more tries with the same boomerang before switching. I had started with a 90% size Voyager from 2.3mm G10 which I made myself. I changed to a carbon fiber Milpas Reaper which I had Rob Stewart carve for me from my material. I practice this one appeared to be getting much longer distances. I got one throw to qualify and it looked pretty long. Unfortunately it went more up than out and only measured in at 59 meters. I was disappointed.


Photo: Rob throwing LD

After a break for lunch (Subway sandwiches) we were back in action. I was wearing out. During the day I was a spotted for 4 groups, a line judge for 2 groups and threw in the other two. I had planned on taking slow motion video of each thrower but since I was either throwing or “working” I never even got the camera out. All my photos were taken Thursday and Friday during practice. Well my legs, mostly my knees and ankles, were protesting all the standing. I tried taking a chair out when I was a spotter but as the wind changed we had to move and it was difficult to get out of one of those low folding chairs. I gave up on that.


Photo: Tom throwing LD

During the afternoon round there were some awesome throws recorded including a huge toss by Logan Broadbent which measured out at 149 meters. Hoky Smoke Bullwinkle, that is twice my throw. Since I was a spotter for his throw, it made me a small part of his achievement.


Photo: Steve throwing LD

Our group got to do their second round of throws. I had abandoned the Reaper for my original boom. I added some lead tape to try and get more distance. It seemed to really affect the flight, or I just lost my touch. I really struggled and didn’t get a single throw back across the line in the afternoon session. I was toast at that point. It was 7:30 when we finished. We headed to Gary’s to regroup and go to supper. It was 11PM when I got back to the hotel. I fell asleep moments after my head hit the pillow. Of course it was another night of hourly wakeups.

 More in next post……

By boomerangdave

NALDO 2010 (part 1)

Rob Stewart and I got up early on the morning of June 17th and met at my workplace at 6:15am. We loaded my stuff in his can and headed off to Canton Ohio for the North American Long Distance Open. We checked into our hotel at 1pm and headed to Gary’s house to make boomerangs. Gary wasn’t there but Joel left us in and we headed to the shop with curly maple to resaw. We got 3 pieces sawed and tried to thickness sand them. We were experiencing some problems with the sander and then Gary got home. After some work we got it running correctly although slow. After sanding the pieces to the same thickness we took a break to chat with others who were arriving.

Photo: Gary teaching Loga to make invertibles.

 Then we ordered pizza and ate before heading to the field to toss some boomerangs. We finally got back to the hotel at 10PM.

The next morning we returned to Gary’s and went back out to the shop to trim the wood to the same width, with straight sides. I then cut them to 12 inch lengths coming up with enough pieces to make 14 lap joint boomerangs. Of course things get delayed at Gary’s so now it was time to head to the field for the long distance practice session. We spent from 12 to 5 pm on the field where I got some excellent slow motion video and action shots of us throwing LD.

Photo: Chris throwing the supersized plywood Voyager

At 5PM it was time to go back to Gary’s for a cookout. Since it took a bit of time to get things ready, I headed into the shop and set up the router table. I then cut the laps on the sets of wood. I really wanted to get far enough to get some of the wood ready that Chris Kalfa brought. He had some very nice pieces of Catalpa and Silver Maple already sanded to the correct thickness.  Bill Rusky showed up with some home fabricated carbon fiber material to cut into blanls for boomerang. Also Gary had purchased some blue colored G10 that he “forced” Fred to cut into Voyager blanks so we could each make a special Voyager.

After the cookout and some additional throwing, we headed back to the hotel.

More in my next post…..

By boomerangdave

Boomerang Demo at Elmer Wolfe

On Wednesday June 2nd I traveled to Elmer Wolfe Elementary School in Union Bridge MD for a boomerang presentation. It was a three hour drive from home and I left extra early so I could check out the field where I was supposed to do the demo, and also have time to warm up.

The school program for the day was all about Australia. The students made didgeridoos from paper towel tubes, tasted Vegemite and tried their hand at aboriginal inspired artwork. By the time I was set to start, they were well versed in all things Australia.

Photo: Dot Art by the students.


Showtime! All the students came out the back door and were seated on the grassy hillside by the field. The school supplied a sound system and had me set up with a personal microphone. No matter where I went, the students could hear me.

 Photo: The students of Elmer Wolfe


I started out showing aboriginal items such as didgeridoos, bull roarers, aboriginal art and kylies or throwsticks. I even did a demo throw of a kylie, which the students cheered for. What were they going to do when I threw a returning boomerang? I found out quickly.

Photo: Dave showing aboriginal stuff.


I started out by showing and throwing a 24 inch wide Bob Burwell traditional. The cheers were heard again as it returned to me. Then I started showing all kinds of boomerang shapes including bats, butterflies, kangaroos, cats and more. Every time I threw there was a cheer. Every time I caught there was a louder cheer. When I missed the was the sound of a dejected “awwww”. I finally got out a 36 wide boomerang which the students really loved to see thrown.

Photo: Throwing the Burwell traditional.

 Now it was time for their help. The teachers from each class chose students to actually learn to throw. I had two students at a time, each getting two tried with some backyard triblades. I’ll never forget the one boy saying: “I never threw a boomerang before”. Some students did really well, especially as the older students got their chance;

Photo: Students getting instructions.


When someone from each class had a chance, some of the teachers wanted to try. I almost think they were as excited as the students. I was going to have a Q&A session at the end but the students all voted to have me throw the big boomerang a few more times.

After the program many students came to thank me for being there and to tell me how much they enjoyed it. I must say I was pretty excited myself because of their enthusiasm. I was hot an tired and had a three hor drive home but was pretty pumped up for the drive. What a great day.


By boomerangdave