The Dart, December 2015


A Publication of the Ohio Atlatl Association for the Purposes of Education and Recreation


Masters, Men 126 Doug Bassett Fort Firelands June
Masters, Women 84 Lori Majorsky Flint Ridge July
Novice, Men 105 Jeff Kingery Flint Ridge Sept
Novice, Women 97 Nisa Holbrook Roar Oct
Boys/Girls 12-16 88x Basil Radwany M-2 Paw Paw Sept
Boys/Girls 12/16 59 Malaya Tindongan F-2 Albany Fair Grounds Aug
Boys/Girls 1 -11 85 Hunter Seese  M-1 Flint Ridge Sept

Unfortunately, this year we did not have a Girl participating in the 1 -11 year old division.  It would be greatly appreciated if all the winners listed above would contact Ray Strischek at his email address, ohioatlatl at to be sure that we have your correct mailing address so we know where to send your award certificate.  To those who won, congratulations.  Now you have a target on your back for next year.

The entire list of best individual scores is posted on the next page for your viewing pleasure or dismay depending on your point of view.  Remember, first, last, and always, you are competing against your own best score.   Ohio Atlatl Association will post another news letter on our Face Book Page at the start of 2016 with our schedule of events for the new year.  Hope you all had a good 2015 and end of the year holidays.

You are required to participate in all Ohio Atlatl Events in 2016.  You will be assimilated.  Resistance is futile

Masters, Men, 3 darts at 15, 17, 20, 22, and 25 meters:  M-7

126 Doug Bassett Fort Firelands June
117XX Mamerto Tindongan Roar Oct
113 Ray Strischek Fort Firelands June
108xx Randy Whaley Albany Fair Grounds Aug
99 Mike Glenn Albany Fair Grounds Aug
84 Marlin Bassett Fort Firelands June
71 Charles Swanson Flint Ridge July

Masters, Women, 3 darts at 15, 17, 20, 22, and 25 meters:  F-6

84 Lori Majorsky Flint Ridge July
66 Margie Takoch Flint Ridge July
66 Debbie Andrews Flint Ridge July

Novice, Men, 3 darts at 10, 12, 15, 17, and 20 Meters:  M-5

87 Frank Lukes Flint Ridge July
74 Cass Springer Athens Library July
63 Sonny Nieset Fort Firelands June
56 Andy Sylvia Albany Fair Grounds July
47 Dan Taray Fort Firelands June
46 Bill Bird Fort Firelands June
43 Tom Taray Fort Firelands June
38 Nathanael Wiles Athens Library July
38 Rob Gerding Fort Firelands June
35 Caleb Dotson Leo Petroglyphs April
33 Chris Hager Leo Petroglyphs April
29 Mike Keckler Fort Firelands June
25 Peter Zeisler Albany Fair Grounds July
23 Justin Laport Leo Petroglyphs April

Novice, Women, 3 darts at 10, 12, 15, 17, and 20 Meters: F-4

97 Nisa Holbrook Roar Oct
87 Anita Lukes Flint Ridge July
61 Kerry Opal Albany Fairgrounds July
43 Natividad Dotson Leo Petroglyphs April
31 Morgan Hager Leo Petroglyphs April

Boys/Girls  12 – 16 years old,  3 darts at 7, 10, 12, 15, and 17 meters:  M-2/F-2

65 Silas Springer M-2 Athens Library July
59 Malaya Tindongan Albany Fair Grounds July
22 Matty Taray  F-2 Fort Firelands June
12 Tish Springer  F-2 Athens Library July
8 Katty Taray    F-2 Fort Firelands June



Atlatl Kit

For Christmas, Atlatl Ray, my father, gave me some wood blanks cut and taped together in the form of an atlatl. Over a month, I carved, sanded, glued, shined, and tied it up.  I hope spring gets here soon so we can try it out.  Check out my progress below.

STEP 1  // UPDATED 01/23/2011:

Glueing up a mess

The basics are:

Take off the tape, glue, sand, sand some more, and eventually treat the wood (I think?).

At no surprise to myself, I’ve already had some trouble with the basic gluing and sanding. But, overall, it still looks nice and the progress — half an hour, half an hour there — is encouraging.

This is Dad’s “keyhole” style. At least, that’s what I call it. The minor troubles I had were gaps in the glue filling and just … sorta … not knowing how much to sand where. But it looks good! 😀

STEP 2  // UPDATED 01/30/2010:

Carving and Sanding

I spent some time in the “solarium” grinding away away at my atlatl kit this fine Sunday afternoon. Previously, I had fixed the spur head to the shaft and the shaft to the handle with PC-7 glue and sanded … and sanded … and sanded. Today I whipped out the shinto rasp, bastard file, and PC-7 glue to prep and fix the nook and spur to the atlatl. That glue will set overnight and maybe next weekend I’ll do some final sanding and brush on some lacquer. Not sure I have the expertise to tie a river stone weight onto the shaft with tendon (or waxed hemp twine or whatever) the way my dad does it, but we’ll see.

Hear are some photos from today’s progress with the atlatl kit:

Atlatl Nook - Make an Atlatl

This is the nook of the atlatl. You set the middle of the spear here. My dad gave this to me as a separate block with a peg on it and a hole in the atlatl handle. I simply rasped the base a little, smeared glue on the peg, and shoved it in the hole. The duct tape is holding a little wedge of wood against some leather strips against glue against the crotch of the wood block. After the glue dries, I’ll take the tape off and file down the excess leather.

As you can see above and below, crappy gluemanship is a recurring theme of this project.  Probably should have learned this the right way back in kindergarten but I shall brave on …

Bottom of Atlatl Handle - Making an Atlatl

This is where the little peg sticks out of the bottom of the atlatl handle.  I’ll sand the protruding nub and mess of glue off next time.

Atlatl Spur - Making an Atlatl

This is the spur of the atlatl.  I used the bastard file to run a channel in some layers of wood I’d previously glued onto the end of the shaft.  Then I just smeared glue in that channel like a five-year-old with a handful of pudding and plopped the peg in on top of it at a 30 degree angle.  I think I’ll sand its rear end off next time — maybe saw and sand.

Atlatl Spur - How to Make an Atlatl

Another view of that dirty, dirty spur.

Atlatl Shaft and Handle - How to Make an Atlatl

You can see here the crap job I previously did gluing the shaft to the handle.  I’ve since sanded it furiously to no avail.  The unsightly seam of PC-7 runs deep.

Atlatl Handle, Nook, Shaft

This image shows that the atlatl handle, shaft and nook are roughly in line.  I’m worried that the nook will be offset a bit and will make the dart fly off in one direction or another.

STEP 3  // UPDATED 02/11/2010:

Shellacking and Stone-Tying

Tonight I finished the atlatl!

OK, it’s not as good of a job as I my dad would do but it’s my first kit.

The really fun part for me was applying the polyurethane stain or whatever you want to call it.  I used wipe-on polyurethane after I sanded multiple times with multiple grits, stepping up from 50 – 220.  There was a lot of fine-tuning with the Shinto rasp too but I really should have done that earlier.

It took me a few days to get four coats of polyurethane on the atlatl.  Soon as I had a gloss I liked, I tied a stone weight near the spur with some waxed twine.  The twine I used was really thin so I would recommend something a little thicker than what’s shown in the image below.  Also, I tied it the only way I could figure.  My dad has a different way of doing that looks a lot better but I couldn’t get it right.  I’ll post his method soon.

Tied atlatl weight

Tied atlatl weight

STEP 4  // UPDATED 02/12/2011


PC-7 Glue Playstation

Here’s the mess I made with a screwdriver and my PC-7 glue.


This is a blurry photo of a bastard file.  I used this to file a channel in the spur head.  The bastard file has a cool name and looks like a wizard’s wand.  Woodworkers everywhere are shaking their heads in embarrassment.

There’s my shinto rasp.  The shinto rasp is a pleasure to use.  It makes quick, clean work of anything.  The beer is Dogfish Head’s Chicory Stout, my beer of choice for sanding work.  I also recommend NPR and loud music for sanding.  It’s boring work!  Today I listened to reporting on the unrest in Cairo, Egypt, and Fire in My Bones: Raw, Rare & Otherworldly African-American Gospel.

Bicycle by Ritchie

This is a bicycle that my friend Ritchie helped me restore (or, rather, I helped him restore it) for my girlfriend’s birthday present.  I’m making the atlatl a present for Ritchie to thank him.

Ray Strischek and Flint Ridge Atlatling in The Columbus Dispatch

What did you do this Labor Day weekend?  If you were my dad, Ray Strischek, “former world champion” atlatlist, you made your annual pilgrimage to the Flint Ridge Knap-In and had a ton of fun atlatling, teaching kids to throw with the atlatl, and probably geting really sun-burnt.  (Redheads.  We never learn.)

Many thanks to my buddy, Chris, for sending along a link to some nice atlatl reporting The Columbus Dispatch posted yesterday about the Knap-In and my dad’s 15-year love of the game.

Here’s an excerpt from the story:

The demonstrations certainly were a hit with the McMurphy boys; Austin, 13; Trenten, 11; and 9-year-old Ethan were quickly practicing their throwing technique at the large square targets.

Trenten said he could understand why prehistoric people used the weapons for hunting, as even his light throws were burying the spears deep into the thick, fiberboard targets. He soon had developed his own throwing style, and practicing even through a brief downpour.

“You have to keep your arm pointed at the target and move your arm forward like you’re swatting a fly,” he said, demonstrating his style. “It’s pretty easy, and very fun.”

I like that fly-swatting analogy!  I often find it difficult to describe the technique.

If you live in the area and missed the event this year, be sure to put it on your calendar for 2011.

Kids and Atlatls

Check out this TV news story about some kids in Wisconsin learning about the atlatl.

My dad has received more than a few emails from people running school programs in Alaska and Canada asking about how to teach children about the atlatl (or where they can get their hands on one).  I think a number of them are actually teaching kids with Native American ancestry but, in our humble opinion, the atlatl is a great learning tool for any class, and for a number of reasons:

  • The atlatl is an important tool in world history
  • The atlatl demonstrates the physics of the fulcrum and lever
  • The atlatl is as simple a machine as you can get — OK, maybe the wheel and digging stick take the cake … but everyone’s already heard of those!
  • The atlatl is way easier to build than the bow and arrow 🙂

If you teach a park or school program like Native History, physics or even shop class, buy one of our simple, inexpensive atlatl models and build your own from the prototype.

Thanks to Thunderbird Atlatl for the link.  (Their atlatls and darts are featured in the clip.)

Hang your darts on antler pegs!

Cory (Ray’s son) here …

I just moved into a new apartment in DC and I thought it would look pretty cool to hang up my darts on the wall in my new office.  First way I thought to do it was to make some hangers out of antlers.  (I don’t hunt or anything but my dad is always finding antlers in the woods and I’m visiting him for Thanksgiving, so…)

Only problem is, I have no idea how to get the antlers onto a screw without ruining them.  So, I asked Atlatl Ray and he said:

The best way to mount the antlers to the wall is to screw and glue a 3-inch diameter disk of wood to the base of the antler and then use screws to mount the wood disk to the wall beam.

Don’t forget to pre-drill holes in the wood disk using a drill bit slightly smaller than the screw diameter to avoid splitting the wood.

We’ll see how that goes.  I’ll be sure to post pics when I get it figured out.  If you have any cool ideas for hanging 7-foot atlatl darts up in your home, please feel free to comment on this post.