Atlatl Weight Found in Florida

This article is about an unusual atlatl weight found in Florida.  It has two through and through holes.  One down the center to slide on to a rod-shaped atlatl shaft, and then another through and through hole from the side for a pin to act as a wedge to hold the atlatl weight in place on the atlatl shaft to keep it from slipping and sliding.

The author of the article went to current atlatlists to get an opinion on whether atlatl weight size has any relationship to dart weight and size.  The atlatlists all responded saying, “why, of course it does.”

I stand by my own opinion that the atlatl weight provides centrifugal stability  during the throwing motion to keep the spur end of the  atlatl from wobbling from side to side as it is levered up and forward, pushing against the flexing and bucking dart. Therefore, the atlatl ‘weight’ must have enough weight to counteract the force of the flexing dart. Smaller weights for smaller darts, bigger weights for bigger darts.  Nothing is more distracting than having a dart so light (or an atlatl so heavy) that you can’t feel the weight of the  dart while holding the dart and atlatl ready to throw.

I personally like to feel a little dart weight hanging off the front end of the atlatl.  As the distance to the target increases, the dart is angled up and the weight hanging of the front end decreases (actually, the balance point of the dart retreats to the rear as the dart point is angled upward).  This difference in the feel of the weight at different distances (as the point end of the dart is raised higher) is an aid in accuracy.