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Vendredi, 02 Septembre 2011 12:00

Meet the Slingshot Mastermind

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  • 12:30 pm  | 
  • Wired September 2011

Photo: Henning Bock

When Jörg Sprave was 9, his father took him into the woods for a rite of passage: making his first slingshot. “We searched and found a perfectly forked hazelwood stick,” Sprave says. “Then we cut the rubber from a car’s inner tube and made the pouch from an old shoe.” He was hooked. Now 46, Sprave has made hundreds of slingshots. He works with a wide range of materials—alloy tubes, sheet metal, wood, carabiners—including every gauge and form of rubber tubing he can find. He even made a slingshot from a broom handle and some condoms. One, which he dubbed the Zombie Brain-Smashing Slingshot, has a metal brace on the front to keep the undead assailant at bay while you cock the weapon and release a steel arrow straight into its brain. Another shoots six projectiles simultaneously. He calls it the Avalaunche. Also: The double-shot over/under slingshot-crossbow combo (shown).

Sprave is so into slingshots that in 2009 he created the Slingshot Channel on YouTube. He now spends his weekends building new wrist-rocket contraptions and demoing them online. His most popular, with 1.4 million views, is a 7.5-foot-long slingshot crossbow that blasts a full-size machete. He also features “impact videos” like “Slingshot vs. Coconut,” which demonstrate the incredible force his creations generate. Spoiler alert: The coconut does not win.


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