Hawaiian sling

Hawaiian sling

The Hawaiian sling is a device used in spearfishing. The sling operates much like a bow and arrow on land, but energy is stored in rubber tubing rather than a wooden or fiberglass shaft.


Mechanically, the device is simple: the only moving parts are the spear shaft and the rubber tubing. A loop of tubing is attached to a block of material, often wood, with a hole drilled in it which is slightly larger in diameter than the shaft. The shaft is placed in the hole, notched in the loop and pulled back, tensioning the tubing. When the shaft is released, the tubing propels it forward, faster and further than a diver could by hand.

The Hawaiian sling has some similarites to spearguns and polespears, in that all are powered by energy stored in rubber tubing. However, it occupies a middle ground between the two; the sling is somewhat more powerful than a polespear and offers a much more comfortable grip, but is less powerful than most spearguns. Like a polespear, the diver must exert force on the shaft to keep it from releasing, whereas a speargun has a trigger mechanism to accomplish this. Hawaiian slings are especially popular among divers who want a more challenging hunt, or those operating in areas where triggered spearguns are banned. Bermuda is one such location, as are the Bahamas.

The modern Hawaiian sling was popularised in the mid 1950's; however, fishing slings are mentioned in anthropological journals as early as 1917. ["Hawaiian Squid-Hook Sinkers and Sling-Stones", J. Edge-Partington, "Man", Vol. 17. (May, 1917), pp. 79-80.]


External links

* [http://underwaterflorida.homestead.com/hawaiiansling.html Spearfishingflorida.com page on the Hawaiian sling]
* [http://www.boatus.com/cruising/tomneale/tip_17.asp Essay on spearfishing with an Hawaiian sling]

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