It's All Coming Back

local boomeranger helps U.S. win world title

Emily Kuhn, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Dan Johnson, shown above boomeranging at the 2009 US Boomerang National Tournament, has been a boomer-thusiast since middle school. The National Tournament flies back to town in early August.

Eau Claire resident and boomerang thrower extraordinaire Dan Johnson recently returned from Rome, where he competed in the World Boomerang Championship. There, he helped the United States team defeat 20 teams from around the world to win the team competition for the first time in over a decade. “It felt amazing,” states Johnson, who competed against players from Japan, Germany, France, Italy, and Australia. “Although this is definitely a growing sport, the tournament was made up of people all over the world who are extremely dedicated.” Johnson, a local professional by day and a boomerang thrower by night, was initially attracted by the physics of the sport in middle school and has been competing professionally for six years. “Watching boomerangs fly is amazing – it baffles your mind,” says Johnson, who made his first boomerang soon after that. “I just wanted to see how far I could take it – how good I could get.” Now back in the states, Johnson is preparing for the US Boomerang Association’s 2010 National Exposition and Boomerang Tournament, which will be held right here in Eau Claire August 5-8. According to Johnson, the expo will be a great opportunity for people to learn more about the sport, which began in the 1960s and is now played at a national level by 25 countries. At the expo, event goers can learn throwing techniques, see people creating boomerangs, admire original boomerang art, visit boomerang vendor booths, and of course, enjoy 30-50 throwers participating in novice, intermediate, and advanced division competitions. “It should be a great show, and a good place to learn. … I’m proof that you can just go and figure them out, but it takes dedication and practice,” said Johnson, who’s excited to see his own 6- and 8-year-old nephews participate in the novice competition. “As long as you can throw a baseball, you can throw a boomerang.”

    US Boomerang National Tournament • Aug. 5-8 • Eau Claire Soccer Park, Hamilton Ave • 9am-6pm • 831-2345 •