Al Gerhards' Strip Laminated Weighted Hook

Item TB73 

This Item was Sold on 28 November 2006 for $119

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Al Gerhards is one of America's most famous pioneers in the development of long distance boomerangs. Al was an active thrower, designer and competitor in the 1970s and early 1980s. His most popular model is the Standard Weighted Hook which was made out of strip laminated hardwoods. The standard hook was occasionally made without weights, but the majority of these boomerangs had a single lead weight on each tip with a unique serial number stamped in the weight near the lift arm tip. The earliest examples (1970s) had an additional half weight inserted into the underside of the elbow. This was discontinued on hooks made in the early 1980s because the elbow weight was often the source for the initiation of strip delaminations. Al also made strip laminated large hooks, small hooks, omegas, traditionals and the awesome Big "U"s. The large hooks were sometimes called "White Lightning" hooks and Al used one of these to set a World Record in the long distance event with a documented throw of more than 125 yards back in the late 1970s. Only 500 standard weighted hooks with numbers were made. The last one has a silver star inlayed in the dingle arm tip and is displayed in Al's living room in a specially made holder that also displays his world record "White Lightning" hook.

This boomerang is the "Weighted Standard Hook". The serial number stamped on the lift arm weight is #70. The hook is not signed or dated. It is made out of Red Oak strips. This boomerang is in very good condition. The laminations are totally intact, but the previous owner had problems with the lead weights popping out, so the elbow half weight and the lift arm weight has a heavy application of epoxy on the surface to hold the weights in place. This was a common problem with the earliest hooks and this one certainly should be classified as a very early hook. I visited with Al Gerhards in early 2006 and asked him about the integrity of his boomerangs after 25-30 years. Al assured me that he used strong epoxy glues and that he still throws boomerangs that he made 30+ years ago without any problems. Al recommends that the owners of his boomerangs rub the surface with Tung oil or Gun oil prior to throwing if it has been in storage. The boomerang should be oiled at least once every 3 months if it is thrown regularly. However, I discourage the throwing of this fine collectable unless it is thrown under very carefully controlled conditions. I would prefer that the owner make a copy of this boomerang for his own use and save the original as a fine collectable.

Specifications: Right Handed ; Tip-to-tip Span = 39 cm ; Weight = 96 gm

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