Thunderbird Atlatl makes a wide variety of different atlatls. Below you’ll find all of our spear-throwers and darts, and an explanation of their unique characteristics.
All of these atlatls were designed by Bob Berg, and are manufactured by hand in our workshop in Candor, NY.
In this video, Bob Berg gives an overview of all of our atlatls. Need help choosing the right one for you? Check out the “Which Atlatl should I choose?” video.
The Catatonk was designed in response to the demand for a quality atlatl at a reasonable price. The Catatonk features a rest for darts and an attractive yet simple sculpted design, made from a single piece of hard wood (Ash, Cherry, Walnut, Maple, Jatoba and Purpleheart). The Catatonk is durable and well-suited for both beginner and seasoned atlatlists.
The Catatonk is also available as a very simple kit that takes only about fifteen minutes to put together.
Buy Catatonk Atlatl – $50
Buy Catatonk Atlatl Kit – $35
Simple, functional, durable atlatl featuring a rest. Inexpensive.
The Kanakadea is an easy to use atlatl, specially designed for beginners. No fingers are required to control the dart thanks to its unique “Y” design. The “Y” holds the dart in place, allowing the atlatlist to focus on aiming and casting the spear, rather than fancy fingerwork.
The Kanakadea is available in both child and adult sizes, and comes in two flavors: smooth-handled (made of one piece of wood) and “Wedged” — with a hardwood wedge inserted in the handle to add more weight to the handle. This atlatl is also available as a kit that you can finish yourself.
Buy Kanakadea Atlatl – $60
Buy Kanakadea Atlatl Kit – $35
Best atlatl for beginners and kids. Features “Y” and can be thrown without using fingers.
The Wyalusing is the signature Thunderbird Atlatl, known for its beautiful sculpted design and clean lines. The Wyalusing was designed by Bob Berg, inspired by Mayan paintings, and is notable for being the first known modern atlatl to feature a dart rest. The Wyalusing has been refined through years of extensive experimentation, both on the target range and while hunting.
This sleek, ergonomicaly designed atlatl features a knuckled grip that hides speed and smoothness in its unique, beautiful design. One only has to cast a dart to appreciate its true power and stability. Made and distributed since 1993, this has been a best seller among premium atlatls.
Buy Wyalusing Atlatl – $150
Buy Wyalusing Atlatl Kit – $75
The signature Thunderbird Atlatl, ergonomically designed and featuring sleek lines. Premium design suited for hunting and target shooting.
The Nanticoke Atlatl was inspired by the classic Southwestern atlatl with a double leather looped keeper strap. It has a knuckled handgrip for better control and a tropical hardwood button tine inserted and cemented into the head of the atlatl.
Used for both target shooting and hunting this outstanding atlatl has scored high in the ISAC contests over the last few years. A best seller, there are probably more Nanticokes carried in the forests and fields of North America than any other atlatl made. Economical, because of its simple design, this atlatl nonetheless meets the standards of craftsmanship of our premium atlatl, making it a good value.
Buy Nanticoke Atlatl Kit – $35
Simple, traditional design inspired by the “Basketmaker” atlatls of the American Southwest. No rest – cradle the dart between your fingers. Available with or without leather loops.
The Catatonk Hunter Atlatl is a beautiful and ergonomically engineered atlatl designed around the particular needs of the atlatl hunter or fisher. The Catatonk Hunter can be speed-loaded; you can ready darts by simply lining them up on the two lower rests and sliding them into place, without taking your eyes off of your target. It is also designed to hold darts at ready for lengths of time without hand strain, ideal for hunters.
We have paid close attention to dart placement relative to the handgrip so that the atlatlist will have maximum power. We have chosen the hammer grip design over the paddle grip because the human hand transfers power more effectively with the hammer grip. (Try to pound a nail with a paddle grip hammer!)
Specially designed for hunting and fishing. Triple rests allow for speed-loading and holding loaded darts for an extended time.
The Wappasening is well designed atlatl with a knuckled handle for good grip, that is integrated with a forward dart rest. The Wappasening is a hybrid, combining elements of design from both the Wyalusing and the Nanticoke. It is built for maximum speed, without giving up any shooting stability. From its long sleek riser to the graceful tip, the Wappasening is an absolute top performer. The Wappasening is easy to use, quiet, extremely stable, and a pure joy to shoot. This is an excellent atlatl for the small handed individual.
The Wappasening can be fitted with an optional “Y” rest which holds the dart in place and allows the thrower to throw the dart without having to hold it in place, similar to the Kanakadea.
Buy Wappasening – $145
Buy Wappasening with Y Rest – $165
Hybrid atlatl, available with or without a “Y” Rest. Smooth, sleek design. Good for individuals with small hands.
The Canandaigua features a paddle grip, as opposed to the hammer grip found in the rest of our atlatls. In a paddle grip, the wrist is rotated so the palm or the hand faces up in the launching position and faces down to the ground after follow through. This method of grip gives the shooter about three inches more leverage. The paddle grip atlatl is less traumatic for people with tendonitis and problems in the elbow.
The Canandaigua comes equipped with a removable “Y” rest – you can choose whether to cradle the darts with your fingers or use the rest.
Buy Canandaigua Atlatl – $180
Features Paddle Grip – provides more leverage and allows for lower impact throwing. Ideal for people with tendonitis or elbow problems.
Balance and form are the best features of the Tioga atlatl. The formed grip and integrated index finger dart rest work well together to achieve accuracy and consistency. The cemented bone button tie is reinforced with simulated sinew lacing.
This is a good atlatl for hunting as well as target shooting, not to mention warfare. Although not yet field tested for the purpose we believe this atlatl could be shot in outer space. We would recommend larger fletching on your darts when using the Tioga atlatl in the thin Martian atmosphere. The Tiogaâ€™s interestingly sculptured design allows the easy loading of darts while running or walking which can be important during hunting and film shoots. This weapon would make a good sidearm for those who need protection from aliens, dragons or home invaders.
Buy Tioga Atlatl – $145
Unique design with extended rest. Hand positioned closer to the center of the atlatl for increased balance.
The Hiawatha, a close cousin of the Nanticoke, has a classic primitive design. It is well made and very durable. More natural in shape than the Nanticoke, the split shafts are hand scraped and well sanded following the natural flow of the grain. These are available in Hickory, Ash or Osage Orange with an antler tine, bone or wood spur, natural fiber or leather finger loops, rubbed oil finish and natural fiber lacing which holds the spur or tine in place and provides added grip at the handle. Some of our pieces are slightly charred and oiled, which would have been a surface treatment well within the grasp of hunter gatherers. Hiawathas vary in shape but they all reflect Thunderbird Atlatl’s high standards of quality.
Buy Hiawatha Atlatl – $45
Traditional, barebones atlatl similar to those found in antiquity. Our simplest and most inexpensive design.
The Osceola is a bamboo composite atlatl inspired by the construction of Japanese bows. This atlatl uses technology thousands of years old to make one of the fastest spring release systems known to man. Not only does this composite work well but it also looks great. Highly polished antler, wood and bamboo are a visual treat. The wooden part of the handle is made from exotic hardwood or curly domestic wood.
The Osceola comes with an atlatl weight attached. The atlatl weight is made from colorful stone, polished using the same methods jewelers use to polish precious and semi-precious stones.
Buy Osceola Atlatl – $225
Flexible bamboo composite atlatl, which provides a spring release system.
The Otsiningo is an atlatl designed for big game hunting where seven-foot long darts are used. This atlatl features three rests, including a finger rest, tine rest, and forearm rest to carry extra dart length without deflection, bone tine, knuckled grip handle, and atlatl weight which is included. Available in Hickory, Walnut, Osage Orange.
This atlatl is similar to the Wyalusing, but it is designed to carry the weight of long hunting darts with a heavy point, which would normally be flexed by its own weight. It is easier to aim the dart because it remains straighter.
Buy Otsiningo Atlatl – $185
Triple-rested atlatl specially designed for shooting large (7-8 foot) big game hunting darts.
The Cayuta is made from a single well-chosen piece of high quality wood by master sculptor/craftsman John Jefferson. The wood is selected for its grain as well as figure. Highly flexible yet very strong, this atlatl has an excellent feel. “JJ’s” skill at crafting this fine piece is unmatched, with superior attention to detail and form. We proudly offer “JJ’s” atlatls and recommend them to anyone who has an appreciation for fine craftsmanship and sculpture.
Buy Cayuta Atlatl – $135
Highly flexible and finely-crafted wooden atlatl.
Choosing The Right Atlatl For You
In this video, Bob Berg talks about how to choose the atlatl that best fits your needs.
The best atlatls for…
KIDS & BEGINNERS
These atlatls are easy to use, and also durable (well-suited for accidentally getting tossed to the ground). The Kanakadea in particular features the “Y” rest – throw the dart without any fancy fingerwork – almost like training wheels for the new atlatlist.
HUNTING OR FISHING
These atlatls are specially designed for the needs of the hunter or spear fisherman. They are designed for maximum power using a hammer grip; and for holding darts in position for hours at a time.
Catatonk Hunter, Wyalusing, Otsiningo
MOST TRADITIONAL / AUTHENTIC
Many customers are looking for a traditional atlatl that is most similar to what was used in antiquity by early man. These atlatls are inspired by those found by archaeologists and used by ancient civilizations.
AVAILABLE AS KITS
Build your own atlatl from a kit — save money and customize your atlatl to your liking. Watch the video below for more information about our kits.
Kanakadea, Catatonk, Catatonk Hunter, Nanticoke, Wyalusing
The Paddle Grip allows the atlatlist throw with the wrist facing the target, gaining more leverage. It’s more like throwing a baseball than swinging a hammer. This throwing style is lower impact, so it’s ideal for people with elbow or wrist pain.
MOST FLEXIBLE ATLATL
This atlatl takes advantage of the flexibility of bamboo to provide a natural spring release system.
Build an Atlatl from a Kit
There are many benefits to building an atlatl from a kit: it is less expensive, you can customize the atlatl to your own liking, and you’ll feel the ownership of building the atlatl yourself. In this video, Bob Berg talks about the different kits available from Thunderbird Atlatl.
The following atlatls available as kits:
- Catatonk Atlatl Kit (Easiest kist to make)
- Kanakadea Atlatl Kit
- Nanticoke Atlatl Kit
- Wyalusing Atlatl Kit
- Catatonk Hunter Atlatl Kit