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.