How Much Farther Does an Atlatl Throw?

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by Brian Brushwood & Jason Murphy

If you’re not familiar with what an atlatl is, it’s probably because your life is depressingly lacking in the spear-chucking department. Basically, it’s a tool that allows you to dramatically increase the velocity of a long, pointy thing when thrown, thus improving its distance and/or airborne stabability. And given that the technology has existed for thousands of years, we’re not sure why this apparatus has yet to make its way to official javelin throwing competitions. Though now that we think about it, maybe it’s for the same reason that trebuchets aren’t used in shot put events.

Admittedly, we were a bit skeptical of the claim that using one of these things could double, or even triple, the distance a javelin would travel. So we procured our very own spear-thrower from everybody’s favorite source for acquiring ancient weapon technology: Amazon.

Hey, don’t judge — all of the museums we contacted refused to lend us their atlatls for testing purposes, so we had to make do. Apparently, not everyone believes in our “science adjacent” methods. Either that or they watched our other videos before responding to our requests.


Like this video? Check out “Turning Balloons into Deadly Slingshots” and “Hilariously Stupid Weapons Someone Thought Would Actually Work In Battle”.

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