Happy returns in business

Grant Perry in action. Picture: Marcelo Palacios www.communitypix.com.au d417811
Grant Perry in action. Picture: Marcelo Palacios www.communitypix.com.au d417811

It wasn’t until a football injury prevented him from playing that he decided to pick one up and attempt to throw it properly.

‘I started to figure boomerangs out and had a bit of fun. I ended up going into a competition not long after, which I didn’t do any good at,’ he said.

Mr Perry spotted a shop selling boomerangs for left-handers at the Fremantle Markets one day, bought one, started practising and his competitive streak kicked in.

From his first competition, Mr Perry has worked out there is a lot more to boomerangs than simply throwing an object and hoping it comes back to you.

‘They were originally designed for hunting and weren’t actually designed to come back,’ he said.

‘The combination of the spin with forward motion was designed to cause lift and hit birds with force.’

After exploring the physics and aerodynamics, which make the return of boomerangs possible, Mr Perry decided to design and manufacture his own.

Two years later, he finished his mining job and focused on his new business, Rangs Boomerangs, which is now the largest aerodynamic boomerang manufacturer in the world.

With custom-made boom-erangs, a knowledge of how they work in different wind conditions and plenty of practise, Mr Perry went on to lead the Australian Boomerang Team in the World Boomerang Championships.

At his peak, he was ranked in the top five boomerang throwers in the world. His passion was passed down to his son Grant Perry (32), from Canning Vale, a three-time Australian champion, who started throwing boomerangs 20 years ago.

Perry practises three to four times a week to get his boomerangs ‘tuned’ for competitions.

‘It’s such a skilled sport, there’s a lot of time you have to spend with a boomerang,’ he said.

‘It’s not just power in your throw, it’s spin that makes it go a further distance.

‘I’ve often proved to people that if you don’t throw a boomerang correctly, it won’t come back to you.

A quick flick of the wrist when releasing the boomerang, which is weighted and bent correctly for the weather conditions and each throwing contest, is the key to a winning formula, Perry said.

An ability to catch it once it has been launched into the sky is also a must.

Perry set the record for the maximum time aloft throwing contest at the Australian Championships about four years ago, where he managed to get the boomerang to hover in the sky for over a minute.