Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions that people most commonly ask us. If you have a question that isn’t here, post it in the comments area below and we’ll answer it as soon as we can.


What is an atlatl?

An atlatl is a spear-throwing weapon.

For a more in-depth explanation, read our Introduction to Atlatls or watch this video:

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Who used atlatls?

Atlatl is the Aztec word for this device. Cultures throughout the world used some type of spear thrower. Atlatls have been found on every continent except Antartica. Different words for the atlatl are Woomera (Australia), Propulseur, Speerschleuder.

What is a dart?

The dart is the spear that is cast by the atlatl. Darts can range anywhere from five to nine feet in length and are made from of wide variety of materials including wood, cane, bamboo, aluminum and graphite.

What are atlatls made of?

Atlatls have been and can be made out of a wide variety of materials. Most are made of wood. Other materials include bone and various manmade materials.

How far can you throw a dart with an atlatl? What’s the farthest somebody’s ever thrown one?

Do people hunt or fish with atlatls?

Yes! Visit our Hunting & Fishing Page for more information.

What is the purpose of a rest on an atlatl?

How do I find out about atlatl events and contests?

Visit our Events Page to find out which atlatl events Thunderbird Atlatl will be attending in the coming year.



Which atlatl is right for me?

Check out this video:

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Which type of darts should I get?

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I bought a kit. Where can I find instructions on how to put it together?

Do you do classes or workshops?

Yes, check out our Workshops and Classes page for more information.

Where do Thunderbird Atlatls get their names from?

Our atlatls are called things like Wyalusing, Catatonk, Kanakadea, Otsiningo and Wappasening…where do those names come from?

We live in Upstate NY, where many of the local towns, parks, rivers and lakes are named after their original Indian names (usually Iroquois or Algonquin words). When Bob Berg started naming his atlatl designs in the early 1990s, he began pulling his names right off of the map! This is a trend that a lot of other Atlatl manufacturers have followed suit on over the years.

For more information, read our article Where do Thunderbird Atlatls get their names from? or watch our video below.

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How did Bob Berg first get interested in atlatls?

How long has Thunderbird Atlatl been in operation?

Are you “Atlatl Bob”?

No. I am a guy named Bob who makes Atlatls, but I am not Atlatl Bob!

“Atlatl Bob” is another atlatl manufacturer, named William Robert Perkins of BPS Engineering, aka