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Topic: The Boomerang rubber band
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Aug 14, 2007 07:12AM)
The boomerang rubber band trick is not a magic trick at all. It is a demonstration of several laws of physics. You shoot a rubber band in the floor which is a demo's of enertia, it hits the ground, and friction kicks in to reverses the direction of the rubber band, and finally reverse enertia makes it comes back to you with much more force that it went out. On occasion I have been able to get the rubber band to run up my arm, and into my shirt pocket. Some say "so what" but a truly scientific mind is amazed at the explosion of energ released when the rubber band reverses direstion. No one knows who invented this amazing trick, it has been passed down by word of mouth since the turn of the 20th century. I learned this trick from my friend Don Cox a member of this forum.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Aug 14, 2007 09:55PM)
Ah the mystery of angular momentum.
Message: Posted by: interro1 (Aug 19, 2007 10:30AM)
What a great trick trick to add to the performer's bag.

I would absolutely LOVE to know the mechanics of this. I think it would be fun jsut to ba able to do it, let alone the reactions I'll get from my kids!! lol
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Aug 19, 2007 11:06AM)
I used to have an instructional video on my web site, but because of a space problem I had to take it down. My friend Don Cox, who is a member of this forum has a demo on his web site. Whenever I go to magic conventions I teach it to as many people as I can. It is a word of mouth trick, and I promised Don that I will keep up the tradition. I am going to MM III, Kutztown, and Bob Little's convention in November, so if you see me you will get a demo, a lesson, and a free rubber band.
Message: Posted by: tbaer (Aug 19, 2007 02:39PM)
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Aug 19, 2007 03:25PM)
Thank you, thank you, thank you. That was an absolutely fabulous presentation, which taught me a lot about how to do this trick for a paying audience. I learned a lot from that nameless magician.

There are three different handlings that will achive this effect. There is the one that Chris Kenner and Dan Garrett used in a pamphlet that they published years ago that they learned from Michael Weber. Dan Harlan also used the same handling in his rubber band DVD set. I have never been able to master that handling. Genii published this method, and a second method (that I'm not sure would ever work) back in the 1980s. The third and far superior handling that my friend Don Cox (a retired magician from Chatanooga Tn.) taught me. Don's method will produce far more torque, and the handling can be done by anyone. There is a famous English magician Paul Daniels who does this trick on stage in a large theater, which is hard for me to believe he can actually pull off, so if you ever bump into me all you have to do is ask for a boomerang lesson, because I promised my friend Don Cox that I would continue the oral tradition, and pass it on to future generations of magicians the same way he passed it on to me.
Message: Posted by: Patrick Differ (Aug 24, 2007 11:15PM)
I've found this little piece to be absolutely smoking hot in front of a lot of audiences. I really wish you'd shhhh.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Aug 25, 2007 07:38AM)
Patrick hola
It is a word of mouth trick, and if I don't keep up the tradition it might die. When Don Cox taught it to me he was afraid that he would die with the secret. I don't think there are more than a few thousand people in the world who know how to do it. I have had lots of people tell me it can't be done, and the Genii article was just an untrue story. I will attend magic, and juggling conventions with a wrist full of rubber bands until I'm too old to do it.
Message: Posted by: leaycraft (Aug 26, 2007 08:31AM)
Al: hope to meet you so I can learn the trick and help keep the tradition alive. Gotta love tradition. Was in Carlise Friday should have tried to meet up with you. Hindsight is so wonderful. John
Message: Posted by: sdorshan (Aug 26, 2007 01:52PM)
Al, I PM'ed you an edit of the method a while ago where you start with the rubber band looped around the pinky then loop it around the thumb and onto the fingernail, instead of first looping the rubber band on the fingernail. Did that work out for you? For me, its a lot quicker and easier to avoid twists.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Aug 26, 2007 02:17PM)
Good to hear from you again my friend. Yes your shortcut was a thing of beauty, and I thought I returned your PM with a thank you, but if I did not thank you then please excuse me, and let me thank you now for showing me your improved technique that actually skips a step. It is a beautiful thing when the student teaches the teacher.

My web site is http://www.juggleral.com if you ever get to the Philadelphia area call me, and if you promise to buy lunch I will give you a couple of my favoriet rubber bands to take home with you, but please call first.
Message: Posted by: leaycraft (Aug 28, 2007 06:04AM)
next time Im in the area with time to kill I will

Message: Posted by: sdorshan (Aug 29, 2007 03:49PM)
Al, I'm going to return your thanks with a thanks for making that video. It taught me one of the greatest flourishes in all of magic.
Message: Posted by: DanGarrett (Sep 5, 2007 11:50AM)
Thanks to Al for his posts. I need to make a few corrections, though, nothing personal. I also learned the boomerang rubber band technique from Don Cox of Knoxville, TN, just as you did. He taught it to me maybe 25 years ago. I taught the routine to Michael Weber, not the other way around. This technique also later appeared in print in the Magicana section of Genii magazine (way back when Charlie Miller was writing that section). I also taught the technique to Atlanta magician Paul Sponaugle (a very cool but relatively unknown magician who taught some magic to Michael Ammar during the latter's formative magical years). Later Chris Kenner saw Paul do the stunt and attributed it to him when he published his booklet (now out of print) Band Across the Globe. I later reprinted the routine with Chris Kenner, found some really good rubber bands from Japan, and sell the booklet with four of these bands. This is still in print, and available from me or from T. Myers Magic. Don Cox told me he learned the technique from his brother-in-law, who was not a magician. We aren't sure about the full history, but we think it came from the days when IBM computers run programs from paper punched cards. A full program (1 card per line of code) was usually wrapped with a rubber band, and later run with other programs, in what was called a "batch run." These computer guys (pre-geeks, from the Geek Mythology of variable tension grippers) got either so bored or punch-drunk waiting for these all-night batch runs to compile that they invented games with rubber bands. One of the games of these so-called 'rubber band olympics' was to see how far you could shoot a rubber band and have it return to you. So the guy who figured it out will probably forever be nameless...

I put some other interesting historical notes in the publication "Boomerang Rubber Band." I once gave a private lesson (???) to Dai Vernon, and at his request, taught him everything I knew about the rubber band technique. Of my many dubious "claims to fame," that is the 'unknown' one of which I am rather most proud. There's a really funny story which comes after that, but only those who have the booklet can read it.
Message: Posted by: DanGarrett (Sep 5, 2007 11:52AM)
PS: Al, I worked the MAES convention just last week. Too bad you weren't there (or were you?) when we could have talked about this subject at length.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 5, 2007 02:41PM)
The controversy, and mystery continues. I have several Genii articles that people have sent me on it, and you are right is says you taught it to Michael Weber, but I also have the pamphlet by Chris Kenner, and Dan Garrett where Chris teaches a different technique, and claims to have learned it from Michael Weber, which led me to believe that none of you learned the Don Cox technique. Now Dan I believe you when you say you learned it from Don Cox, but I have several articles from Genni, plus the Chris Kenners pamphlet that absolutely contradict each other. I first saw it done by Dan Harlan, who also used the method Chris used, and just to complicate matters further the Genii article shows a third method that does not look like it would ever work.

Thank you for contributing. I had to change my plans for MAES at the last minute, because of two big bookings. What rubber bands do you use, because without the right bands it doesn't work? I will be at MM III, Kutztown, and Bob Little's conventions in November. with a wrist full of rubber bands. If I knew I would have the pleasure of meeting you at MAES I would have turned down the d*** bookings. Please PM, or email me amigo.
Message: Posted by: balducci (Sep 5, 2007 07:46PM)
More here. I suppose Monsieur Al can deleted the third link, if it is inappropriate:



Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 5, 2007 08:11PM)
I have never seen any of those links before thank you very much.

As far as the third link is concerned it is the one Chris Kenner taught in his pamphlet, the one Dan Harlan taught on his DVD, and the one that Paul Daniels uses. There is nothing wrong with that handling, except in order to do it you must be able to lock your pinky, which I could never master. I also feel that the Don Cox handling developes more torque, and the rubber band explodes out of your hand, but Dan, Chris, and Paul would probibly disagree with me.

This science of magic is getting so many interesting contribution thank you Balducci, and everybody else.
Message: Posted by: DanGarrett (Sep 6, 2007 09:36AM)
I learned the original method that Don Cox learned. Since that time, someone showed him a new method which he now uses. This is what I remember, but I guess the best thing to do is ask Don Cox directly about this, right Al? Also, it appears that you already have the pamphlet that you requested from me by email, so save your stamps...

Speaking of Paul Daniels using this, I took some of these with me to the Blackpool Convention this past February and promptly sold out the first couple of hours. Since there were 3 days to go, I had some photocopies made of the routine and sold quite a few more.

Apparently, Paul Daniels features(ed) the Boomerang Rubber Band on TV and/or on his stage shows!
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 6, 2007 09:46AM)
I would love to see just how Paul Daniels presents this very small, hard to see trick on a theater stage.

I will have to email Don to get the definitive answer, but the method I use is the one he has posted on his web site.
Message: Posted by: DUTCH MAGIC MAN (Sep 6, 2007 02:30PM)
What kind of patter do you use with this routine?
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 6, 2007 05:33PM)
Welcome to the magic Café. If you go back to the beginning of this thread tbear posted a youtube video of it.
Message: Posted by: Elliott Hodges (Sep 15, 2007 01:45PM)
I have had the privelidge of seeing Paul do this in a club type venue.

He performed it a number of times and got the rows to stand up sso they could see it
so if you like he did it for each row induvidually.

in a theatre where the seats get higher I'm told he does it with a bright coloured band.

hope this helps.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Oct 4, 2007 11:38AM)
Back by popular demand I have my instructional video of this trick up on my web site http://www.juggleral.com
Message: Posted by: Steven Conner (Dec 31, 2007 02:50PM)
On 2007-08-25 08:38, Al Angello wrote:
Patrick hola
It is a word of mouth trick, and if I don't keep up the tradition it might die. When Don Cox taught it to me he was afraid that he would die with the secret. I don't think there are more than a few thousand people in the world who know how to do it. I have had lots of people tell me it can't be done, and the Genii article was just an untrue story. I will attend magic, and juggling conventions with a wrist full of rubber bands until I'm too old to do it.

Al, I think you will get a kick out of this. I was working a trade show in Atlanta and on the way to my booth, ran into Joel Bauer. Joel didn't know who I was which was OK. One of the things Joel is always doing is betting his fifty $100 bills($5,000) to people about things he is doing at the booths. It is an incredible attention getter. Anyway, he performed the Boomerrang Rubberband as I walked by and said, if you can do that, you just won yourself $5,000. Needless to say, I did. You really needed to see the look on his face as that rubberband was returning. I too learned it from Don Cox many years ago. I did not take the money but taught Joel a valuable lesson.
Message: Posted by: Elliott Hodges (Jul 18, 2008 09:13AM)
Al-thank you for all the information on this trick. The third link technique is the same firing technique as Paul's essentially but the loading and pressure points are very different.

I'm getting there.
Am using the Paul Daniels method.
I learnt it off here.

He teaches it well.
3 things about it (don't know if this applies to his method or to all of them.)

1-the rubberbands I am using do work well but will begin to show signs of weakening after 20 or so goes.

2-this is a trick that you can't change the handling to suit yourself. you HAVE TO FOLLOW PAUL'S INSTRUCTIONS TO THE LETTER. I reckon that this may be where many people go wrong.

3- your little finger will hurt if you do this loads. not much but mine is at the time of typing a bit sore (I fired well over 100 times yesterday)

I am proud to be able to do something that not all magicians can and hope that others will be able to soon.

Hope this helps.

Message: Posted by: bronx (Oct 29, 2009 02:06AM)
Am hoping that someone can help me find a copy of "Bands Across The Globe" by Chris Kenner. I realize that it's long out of print, but wondering if anyone can help. Please DM me.

Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Nov 21, 2009 12:17AM)
I think I saw this on an old Pat Page Video Tape but I cant remember the name, it wasn't mine.

If any one remembers which Tape let us know. . I think he was walking around a beautiful farm if that rings any bells.

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: dmcox (Aug 27, 2011 06:31PM)
Back in 1978 I learned two ways of doing what I called "The Boomerang Rubberband". I learned one way from my brother-in-law, Claud
York, of Old Hickory, TN and learned another method from Ron Estes, of Nashville, TN. I eventually taught Claud's version to Dan Garrett and the version Al Angello does was from Ron. I did not originate either of the methods and I'm sure there are other ways of doing it.

I received permission from both Claud and Ron to do and show the methods. In 1979, Ron and I agreed to have both versions published in the Linking Ring Magazine. I sent Claud's method in and it was published, I believe in the Dec. 1979 issue. Ron never did get around to publishing his version. I lost track of Ron for some years but later got in touch with him and he told me I could do anything I wanted to with his version. For awhile, I had a description of it on my website, giving Ron credit for its originality. I am glad that Al Angelo has a video clip of it on his webpage at http://home.comcast.net. Check it out. If anyone would like still pictures with descriptions, send me an e-mail at dmcox@hotmail.com. It's too good not to share with other magicians.

Don Cox
Message: Posted by: dmcox (Aug 29, 2011 01:02PM)
I have put a video clip description of the setup for the Boomerang Band on YouTube at:

Message: Posted by: dmcox (Aug 29, 2011 01:05PM)
Correction: video setup description for Boomerang is at:

Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jul 11, 2012 01:15PM)
I am glad to see that you are in good health. I never go to a magic convention without a pocket full of purple Brites rubber bands. I hesitate to try and follow you old buddy, but my demo of your excellent handling of this trick is also up on youtube. A funny thing happened to me the other day an English gentlemen named Mark Wood sent me his video of this trick, and believe it or not he wrapped the band around his thumb the other way.

I'm no where near as good as my teacher Don, but this is the way I do it.

Message: Posted by: Mark Wood (Mar 18, 2013 07:09PM)
Just got back from the "Boomerang Rubber Band" Flicking World Championship.

I lost though, the tension was too much.
Message: Posted by: Mark Wood (Mar 23, 2013 06:23PM)
My mate told me a joke about a "Boomerang Rubber Band" the other day, it went.... Argh I forgot, I`m sure it will come back to me..
Message: Posted by: Mark Wood (Mar 23, 2013 06:49PM)
I just bought some new rubber bands for the "Boomerang Rubber Band" trick, I`m having trouble throwing the old one`s away.
Message: Posted by: theconjuror (Sep 20, 2013 11:53PM)
The demo video doesn't work anymore! :-(