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Ed Love: Boomerang advocate

CDN's weekly community profile

Western Washington University professor and boomerang aficionado Ed Love spins a boomerang Monday, May 27 at Cornwall Park in Bellingham. (Eli Voorhies/Cascadia Daily News)
By Isaac Stone Simonelli Enterprise/Investigations Reporter

Ed Love (he/him)

Age: 55

City: Bellingham

Lived here for: 16 years

Originally from: Seattle

Notable: A marketing professor at Western Washington University, he started throwing boomerangs in the '80s, passing the skill on to his son and former students.

What got you into boomerangs?

Pretty much everything I know about boomerangs I learned from a guy named Mike Girvin, who sort of started the whole [college] club. A lot of the designs that I still throw are designs that he developed, and it just sort of built from there. 

In fact, the group of throwers that we had together at that time are still some of the best throwers in the world. It was just a lucky opportunity to be able to throw with all of them.

What’s the sport of boomerangs?

It’s a lot like going to a track and field event, because you have a bunch of different kinds of events. 

You’ve got events that are built around trick catches, accuracy, distance [and] there are team events. 

Then there’s fast catch: you’re throwing from a one meter circle, the boomerangs got to go out at least 20 meters, and it’s how fast you can throw it five times.

What draws you to the activity?

It’s the combination of physics and magic, it just feels magical what these things can do. When you start making boomerangs, you’re taking a piece of wood, and you’re making it do something that your brain says it shouldn’t be able to do. It’s very cool.

It’s fun to teach people, but it’s a very contemplative kind of thing to do. I can throw by myself, and just get in my own space, and it’s meditative.

Can you tell me about the community you're building around boomerangs?

I started throwing a lot more as my son got old enough to throw with me. It went from just me throwing to him and me throwing. 

Wherever I throw, I try to have a few extra boomerangs around so that if someone who is into it and interested comes up and talks to me about it, I have a boomerang I can give to them. 

The community has really taken off with a bunch of my former students who just started pestering me about boomerangs. I mentioned it in passing in the fall of one of my classes, and they just kept on asking me to bring boomerangs in so they could see them. 

I brought some boomerangs in, and then they were like, well, now you have to show us how to throw them. So after class, I took a bunch of people out and we throw boomerangs. I’ve got six or so of these young people who come by and make boomerangs with me.

How can people get involved in throwing boomerangs if they’re interested?

Boomerangs are a competitive sport, but it’s all about fun and inclusion. Anyone who wants to throw, or to learn more about boomerangs is welcome to contact me at Or they can just look for us on the field — we usually throw at Cornwall Park. We are there several days a week, but they are most likely to find us on the weekends.

A pervious version of this story misstated when Ed Love began throwing boomerangs. The story was updated to reflect this change on Friday, May 31 at 11:42 a.m. Cascadia Daily News regrets the error.

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