HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Atlanta software engineer Danny Hayes is a distance thrower in his spare time. His javelin though is made of paper. He gets to show off his work Saturday evening, April 16, inside the Saturn V Hall at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center for The Red Bull Paper Wings South National Final.
“You really have to have the right design,” Hayes says when asked for paper plane-throwing advice. “I think most people have the same design. I’ve got a little wrinkle on my own. Then also you’ve got to be loose. You’ve got to have a good shoulder. You’ve got to make sure you don’t throw your shoulder out practicing.”
To Hayes, it takes specific craftsmanship and training to regularly perfect a throw of more than a hundred feet.
“It’s the normal fitness stuff. You’ve got to be running stairs, doing push-ups, marathon… No not really,” he jokes.
What’s no joke is winning the qualification rounds held at UAH earlier this year. If Hayes does it again Saturday, he’ll get a free trip to the Paper Wings World Finals in Salzburg, Austria next month, making for a more serious but rewarding hobby than one might think.
“Life’s short. Aim high.”
Saturday’s event is scheduled to be streamed online.