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Aerobie: still the longest throw after 23 years


April 30, 2007

May 1, 2007 This video is a bit of fun: Alan Adler, inventor of the Aerobie flying disc, throwing his Orbiter boomerang in Aloha Stadium, followed by Frisbee champ John Kirkland hurling an Aerobie right out of the stadium. For the record, Adler is also the inventor of the innovative coffee machine, the Aeropress.

See the video here on YouTube.

Adler, erstwhile engineering consultant to Stanford University, and also the inventor of one of Gizmag's favourite early-morning office necessities, has come up with quite a range of outdoor toys - from his famous spinning discs to spiral-spinning ootballs to a better yo-yo. But it's the Aerobie that has caught the world's imagination.

The venerable 'frisbee on steroids' - unchanged in its basic design since 1984 - holds the Guinness World Record for "longest throw of an object without any velocity-aiding feature." The record, set in 2003 by Erin Hemmings, still stands at an astonishing 1,333 feet, more than a quarter mile. Training to throw the Aerobie such distances came with its own difficulties - poor Hemmings had to go collect each of his 15 Aerobies after throwing them.

I'm sure many readers can sympathise; I know I can, having watched countless times as an Aerobie sailed over my head, my brothers laughing as I turned to start the long walk to get it.

Adler explains the aerodynamic science behind the ring's almost magical ability to sail huge distances in a scientific paper published on the Aerobie website. He also speculates that a larger Aerobie could fly significantly farther than the original - but is unlikely to be produced as it would be too large to fit in toy store displays.

Thank heavens for that - personally I think a quarter of a mile is just about far enough to walk to get your flying disc back, and I'm sure Erin Hemmings would agree!

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade. All articles by Loz Blain
1 Comment

I'm sorry to inform you that this article is incorrect and was incorrect at the time of publishing.

Aerobie's record was broken in 2005 as shown in Guinness World Record's youtube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ5dW5pHPYk

As it says in the video description: The record the longest throw of an object without any velocity-aiding feature is 427.2 m (1,401.5 ft) by David Schummy (Australia) with a boomerang on 15 March 2005 at Murrarie Recreation Ground, Australia.

As far as that goes, the thing landed in a tree or it would have gone even further.

That said, I'd still rather have an Aerobie.

Brian Layman
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