Boomerangs have the popular reputation of being created by Australian aborigines but the real truth is that the oldest boomerang ever found was found in the Carpathian Mountains of Poland and it is believed to be a boomerang that is over 20,000 years old. The boomerang is also associated with certain regions of American Indian tribes and some parts of the continent of Africa as well. So why is it considered to be so strongly associated with Australia and the aboriginal tribes of Australia? The reason is that the word boomerang is Australian and it is that Australian word that was decided upon to name the curved stick so that is why the world associates the boomerang with Australia. A real boomerang is made of heavy wood and is used to hunt things like birds and small animals. A heavy enough boomerang can also be used as a weapon in war although they are not known to strike lethal blows against humans and especially against humans wearing war armor. The use in hunting was actually pretty ingenious as it was not always used to strike a bird but rather the boomerang in flight makes a noise that mimics some of the more common predatory birds of the sky and when other birds hear this sound they instinctively flee in fear. When the birds begin to flee they are captured in nets. That is pretty good use of a boomerang.
Today boomerangs are used primarily as entertainment for throwing in recreational settings or throwing for distance in competition. Sports boomerangs can have many different shapes and some of the shapes look rather bizarre. They are not always the clean looking V-shape that we are used to. Sports boomerangs can have waves to their wings and some sports boomerangs even have an X-shape to them that is much different than the standard boomerang look. These boomerangs are designed to get the maximum distance in competition and their shape and unique look are supposed to be more able to cut through the air for maximum distance and accuracy. A far cry from the heavy V-shaped boomerangs we are used to seeing.
A boomerang and a Frisbee are not the same type of thing even though that comparison is made frequently. Both fly through the air, both can be thrown in such a way as to return to the thrower, and both are just as capable of flying out of control and hitting innocent people thereby causing the throwing a certain level of anguish. But a boomerangs primary purpose is to return to the thrower’s hand when thrown correctly and that is not the purpose of a Frisbee. A boomerang and a Frisbee are also thrown differently when thrown correctly and they two throwing techniques should never be confused. Trying to throw a boomerang like a Frisbee is kind of like pedaling a bicycle backwards, you may get it to go but it certainly will not go where you want it to.