Best Boomerangs

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

17 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
204 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best boomerangs

Last Updated October 2019

If you’ve ever thrown a boomerang, you’ve participated in one of the longest-running sporting activities in human history. Depictions of boomerangs have been found in aboriginal artwork that dates back 40,000 years, and considering these tools are still being used today, it’s clear the design is as effective as it is iconic.

Boomerangs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but in basic terms, they’re flat, rotating airfoils that return to the thrower after throwing. They’re designed to spin when tossed, creating unbalanced aerodynamic forces that curve its path into an ellipse. You may assume all boomerangs return, but non-returning versions called throwsticks or kylies have been used in hunting throughout recorded history and still are used to this day.

Traditional boomerangs are crafted from wood, but modern boomerangs can also be made from plastic composites, carbon fiber, and metal. Important factors to keep in mind are durability, range, and stability, but boomerangs should feel comfortable in your hand, too. Our favorite examples are fantastic tools for beginners seeking new hobbies or experienced throwers looking to try new models.

Bi-blade “V” boomerangs are the most traditional boomerang variety and consist of a trailing arm and a lead arm. Tri-blade boomerangs are more modern, featuring three blades of the same length and shape.

Key considerations

Boomerang material

Boomerangs aren’t complex devices, and they can be made from a variety of materials. Plastic composite versions are likely the most common nowadays, as they’re easy to produce quickly and inexpensively. This material is flexible as well, which comes in handy if you want to tune your boomerang on the fly. They do have the potential to crack, however. ABS plastic, polypropylene, and lexan all fall into this category.

The first boomerangs were carved from wood and sometimes even bone. Heavier and sturdier than plastic, these iterations typically boast more momentum and range along with historical accuracy, but contemporary interpretations tend to cost more. Some are carved from a solid piece of wood, while others consist of aircraft-grade plywood, laminated in strips. Other boomerang materials include carbon fiber, metal, and styrofoam, but these are relatively rare.

Blade design

Boomerangs typically come in one of two configurations: a bi-blade “V” design or a propeller-style tri-blade design. Bi-blade layouts replicate the designs of the original and typically feature flared arms for better throws. They can be harder to get the hang of than tri-blade alternatives, which feature longer, more uniform arms for easy catching. Choose the design that’s suited for your experience level. If you’re concerned about visibility, choose a boomerang painted with bright colors.

FOR YOUR SAFETY

It’s highly recommended that you wear sunglasses or safety goggles when throwing boomerangs. Not only do these physically protect your eyes, they can prevent sun damage as you look up to find your boomerang in the air.

Features

Carry cases

Boomerangs aren’t exactly cumbersome tools, but dedicated throwers often purchase cases to carry a variety of options. These cases can be hard or soft, with some including individual straps to keep the contents neat.

Whistles

Novelty features aren’t prevalent in the competitive or hunting scenes, but boomerangs aren’t solely for serious activities. They can be loads of fun for kids and casual games as well, which is why clever additions like whistles are available to spice things up. They also make boomerangs safer as the noise gives you another way to track its path.

Boomerang prices

Outside of high-end, rare, and traditional pieces that catch huge sums at auctions, boomerangs generally cost between $8 and $35.

Inexpensive: At around $8, you find almost exclusively plastic boomerangs that are quite thin. These are decent for beginners looking to find their technique or for relaxed play, and they present little financial risk if they break or get lost.

Mid-range: Expect to find a mix of plastic and wood boomerangs at $15 with thicker bodies, more momentum, and greater range than entry-level options. This is just below the competitive-level price point, so you can find features like whistles and glow-in-the-dark coatings here.

Expensive: If you pay $25 and above, you’re rewarded with high-quality wooden boomerangs geared toward serious throwers and competition. Some of these feature ornate color schemes, while others boast minimalist, authentic finishes. These units are handmade and offer exceptional stability and “float.”

DID YOU KNOW?

Right-handed boomerangs fly in a counter-clockwise, circular flightpath, and left-handed variants fly clockwise. This is because the leading edges of airfoils are shaped differently, and each has its own aerodynamic tendency.

DID YOU KNOW?

In addition to right-handed and left-handed boomerangs, there are ambidextrous boomerangs on the market. However, competitive boomerangs are always designed for a particular hand.

Tips

  • You need a large, open area to throw a boomerang safely. Seek out places with at least 150 feet of room on all sides, away from other people, houses, cars, vegetation, and bodies of water. Football fields, soccer fields, and open parks are perfect locations.

  • A proper boomerang throw starts with a proper grip. Hold the boomerang with the painted, curved side facing you and the flat side facing away.

  • The “pinch grip” entails pinching the boomerang between your thumb and index finger. Flick your wrist backward as you prepare to throw, then snap it forward as you release. This creates the necessary spin to generate lift.

  • The “cradle grip” is another common way to hold a boomerang. This is similar to the pinch grip, but you wrap your index finger around the bottom of the arm. With this method, you flick your index finger as you throw to create spin, almost as if you were pulling a trigger.

  • For an effective return, a boomerang must be thrown “around” the wind, meaning to the left or right of oncoming gusts. To measure the wind direction, pick up a few blades of grass and drop them. Face the wind, turn about 45° to the left or right (depending on which hand is dominant), and throw.

Other products we considered

Boomerangs represent some of the earliest explorations into man-made flight, so it’s no surprise that the market is flooded with options for beginners, intermediate throwers, and professional competitors. We were impressed by Colorado Boomerangs’ Manu Pro, as it boasts a custom mold imagined by world champion Manuel Schuetz. Made of durable plastic, it’s rated for 40 to 60 yard throws.

We also appreciated the simplicity of Colorado Boomerang’s Glacier, which is crafted from aircraft-grade birch. This is a great one for new throwers who prefer the bi-blade shape.

Boomerangs can be thrown horizontally or sidearm-style, but this method rarely results in effective returns. You want to throw the object overhanded and nearly vertically depending on wind, almost as if tossing a baseball. This results in the boomerang cartwheeling end over end, forming an elliptic flight pattern.

FAQ

Q. What boomerangs are best suited for beginners?

A. If you’re new to boomerangs, there’s a certain variety you should look for to make the best of your learning experience. Tri-blade versions with long arms are easier to throw and catch than traditional alternatives, and they can be more stable in windy conditions. Additionally, seek out bright colors that are easy to see in the air or in the grass, and avoid boomerangs with sharp edges.

Q. How do you tune a boomerang?

A. If you notice your boomerang is sinking too quickly or losing too much speed, it may be warped and in need of tuning. This can happen after prolonged use or heavy crashes. If your boomerang is made of flexible materials, you can tune yours by bending the arms up or down, also known as adjusting the dihedral. You can also twist the arms to alter the angle of attack. Finally, you can increase your boomerang’s momentum with elastics or small pieces of metal fastened to the bottom of the arms. Remember that small alterations can produce significant changes in performance, so tune your boomerang a little at a time using trial and error.

Q. What can I do if my boomerang cracks or breaks?

A. A cracked or broken boomerang is aerodynamically compromised, so it won’t fly consistently or maintain speed. Depending on the damage, however, it can still be recoverable. Fiberglass tape and resin can offer a quick fix to certain synthetic materials, and for wood boomerangs, wood filler and varnish can do in a pinch. Balance is paramount to boomerang function, so significant imperfections may require complete replacement.

Q. How far can boomerangs be thrown?

A. The range of a boomerang depends on its size, the throwing technique used, the throwing power used, and the wind conditions. On the whole, heavier boomerangs have more momentum and can fly farther. Inexpensive toy versions may fly as little as 40 feet, but the current world record throw sits at a whopping 1,402 feet.

The team that worked on this review
  • Andrew
    Andrew
    Writer
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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