Boomerangs "couldn't be simpler to throw and catch," say Boomerang authors Ben Ruhe and Eric Darnell. Among their basic pointers:

The boomerang field should be a large, flat, grassy area, with at least 100 yards of clear space in all directions from the thrower.

Position yourself at a 50-degree angle to the right of the wind (to the left of the wind if you're throwing a left-handed boomerang).

Grip wingtip firmly with the flat side of the boomerang in your palm.

Hold the boomerang vertically (never sidearm).

Aim at a distant tree or house tops.

Cock the boomerang over your shoulder, take a step forward and release with a whip-cracking motion to impart momentum and the all-important spin.

Learn the flight path of your boomerang so you'll be facing it for the catch.

Don't try to catch the boomerang if it comes in fast or pendulums down at a steep angle. Keep it in sight and move aside so you won't be hit.

When the boomerang drifts down slowly (the way it's supposed to), allow it to reach chest height or lower, hold your hands out horizontally, palms facing one another, about 18 inches apart, clap your palms together and trap the boomerang between them.