Boomerang Biographies

in May 31, 2015

Roger Perry (Australia)

Roger Perry has been a long-time boomerang enthusiast and participant in the boomerang world. He has lead the Australian Boomerang Team in the World Boomerang Championships for the last 10 years. Roger has also served as the President of both the Boomerang Association of Australia as well as the World Boomerang Association. His innovative ideas have been applied to Rangs Boomerangs, which is now the largest aerodynamic boomerang manufacturer in the world under his ownership. Mr. Perry is an expert at both crafting wooden and polypropylene boomerangs with unique designs. Roger has been instrumental in this industry's growth and he has been a tremendous resource for this website both in sharing his knowledge and personal anecdotes about many of the early pioneers of the sport.

Eric Darnell (USA)

Eric Darnell is the inventor of the modern sports boomerang, which can be distinguished by the use of asymmetrical wings and flared wingtips. Eric is an inventor by nature and is known for his original designs. Presently he is regarded as the finest maker of injection molded polypropylene boomerangs in the World. Eric was the first person to ever make a double handed throw (one right-handed and one left-handed, thrown simultaneously across his chest). In addition, Eric was one of the first to promote throwing the boomerang from the dingle arm (trailing arm). This notion of pulling the lift arm rather than pushing it, allows for better control and greater momentum, proving for much better performance. He is the creator of some of the greatest boomerang technology in use today and a huge influence on many great modern throwers and shapers. Eric is also known for co-authoring one of the best books on boomerangs with Ben Ruhe.

Joe Timberey (Australia)

Joe Timberey is known to many as the Grandfather of modern boomerangs. Born almost a century ago in Australia, Joe is responsible for helping popularize and spread boomerangs throughout the world. Joe grew up in an Australian suburb known as La Parouse, which is located above the shores of Frenchman's Bay. He learned to shape and throw boomerangs as a kid, under the direction of an aboriginal known as Ned Hosking, who was regarded as the best boomerang thrower of the area in the 1920's. The post WWI era was very important to the growth of boomerangs as most of the tourists that came to Australia at this time were introduced to boomerang throwing through fairs and booths that were set up to demonstrate the amazing returning stick. However, following the Great Depression, the tourist market soon dried up and the boomerang fairs were no longer put on. In order to support himself Joe made trips up the coast to Queensland, over 1000km away selling boomerangs he made from a sack. Joe continued to sell boomerangs through out the depression, and soon was married with children of his own. Joe taught his kids to throw and shape boomerangs, and his sons soon became very skilled throwers while his daughters decorated the boomerangs the Timberey's made.

In the early 1950's Joe met Duncan Maclennan and the two eventually formed a lifelong friendship and partnership. Duncan sold Joe's boomerangs at his bath houses and eventually at his World famous boomerang school in Kings Cross, which is still in operation today. One day an American visitor came to Duncan's shop with a boomerang he had bought in the 1930's. He asked Duncan if he knew who hade made the boomerang, as it was the finest boomerang he had even seen. It was a Joe Timberey boomerang, and Joe and the visitor were soon introduced. It turned out that the visiting American was John Gerrish, one of the founders of boomerang throwing in the USA. In 1954 Joe was asked to throw his boomerangs during a celebration for the visiting Queen of England. Joe's first throw went over 50 meters and as the boomerang approached during its return, Joe laid on his back and caught the boomerang with his feet. Joe then threw 10 boomerangs back to back, the last one being thrown as the 1st landed at his feet, and caught them all in succession successfully.

Joe was regarded by those who knew him as not only the best boomerang maker and thrower, but also one of the nicest people to know. Many of Joe's boomerangs have ended up in the Smithsonian Museum. Joe Timberey is heavily responsible for spreading modern boomerangs to the rest of the world, and could be one of the earliest developers of the Trick Catch.

Herb Smith (U.K.)

Herb Smith is regarded by many to be the father of Long Distance throwing. He was one of the first designers to come up with the modern hook shaped boomerang and the first to add weights to the wings in an attempt to make his boomerangs fly further. Herb was also responsible for other firsts as well. In the early 1980's Herb was the first to attempt to use composite materials to shape boomerangs. His early compounds consisted of plywood-fiberglass composites. He eventually moved on to Paxolin, a paper/cotton laminate (commonly used in modern circuit boards) which is very tough, flexible and heavier than plywood. Herb was the first person to ever throw past the 100 meter mark and even in his old age was able to throw over 120 meters. During the mid 1980's Herb was successfully able to throw a boomerang around the Washington Monument, using his weighted "Sportsmen" model! Herb was a huge influence on Volker Behrens (Blue Star Boomerangs) and taught Volker about using Paxolin for boomerangs. Herb incorporated some of the ideas behind Volker's "Challenger" model into his own designs and in return allowed Volker to make adaptations of some of his models including the "Marathon", "Tornado" and "Sussex Hook" models. Many regard Herb's boomerangs as some of the most elegant boomerang shape designs ever.

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