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YOU FRISBEE FANS BETTER TAKE NOTE: AEROBIES APPEAR TO BE TAKING OFF

March 18, 1985
March 18, 1985

Table of Contents
March 18, 1985

College Basketball
Flyers-Capitals
Baltimore
  • Some old familiar baseball faces will be seen in unfamiliar places this year. One unexpected twist sent relief pitcher Bill Caudill (top left) to Toronto. Catcher Gary Carter (left) is determined to help the Mets, and outfielder Rickey Henderson (above) will kick up his heels for the Yankees. Reliever Bruce Sutter (top right) will harry Atlanta opponents, and LaMarr Hoyt (right) shapes up as a formidable starter for San Diego. Now, for a report on three new faces in Baltimore, of all places

Gracida
Track & Field

YOU FRISBEE FANS BETTER TAKE NOTE: AEROBIES APPEAR TO BE TAKING OFF

Since early December, a bright orange ring has been seen traveling remarkable distances above California campuses. This strange flying object can be thrown farther than anything else that can be thrown by the unaided arm.

This is an article from the March 18, 1985 issue Original Layout

It's called the Aerobie, the Astonishing Flying Ring ($7.95, P.O. Box 2025, Dallas, TX 75221), and if its sales at the Stanford bookstore—700 over the past three months—are any indication, it seems destined to carve out at least a piece of the Frisbee's market. It can be thrown not only with the accuracy and control of the Frisbee, but about twice as far. The Aerobie is an improved version of Skyro (SHOPWALK, Sept. 8, 1980), which, like the Aerobie, was invented by Alan Adler, a Silicon Valley engineer with some 25 high-tech and toy patents to his credit. Until Jan. 12, when Scott Zimmerman of Pasadena City College tossed an Aerobie 1,046 feet—and thus won $1,000 from Adler—the Skyro held the Guinness Book of World Records citation for "the longest throw of any inert object heavier than air"—857'8". By contrast, the world Frisbee record is 444 feet, the record baseball throw slightly less than 446 feet.

The Aerobie is 13 inches in diameter, and it weighs 3.95 ounces. Its core is constructed of a resilient plastic—modified polycarbonate, the same material used in car bumpers—which enables it to bend or take a hard hit but spring immediately back into "tune." The outer part is soft rubber, which makes the the disk easy to catch.

A Frisbee is thrown at a downward angle to compensate for its tendency to rise, but the Aerobie is launched flat, which means that an inexperienced Frisbee thrower often has quicker success with the Aerobie than with the Frisbee.

In breaking the record, Zimmerman used a technique that involved running up toward a line, spinning 360 degrees and then launching the disk backhand. The challenge for many, however, will be in making a throw to eclipse Zimmerman's record. An even greater challenge may be finding a field large enough to do it on.