The Art of Card Throwing

Sakeeb Satter

Many people probably have either heard of or seen X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but do you remember,Gambit, the card- creating and manipulating mutant? He literally made cards explode and threw them like ninja stars.  When Wolverine tried to extract information from him, Gambit took the cards on the table and shot them out. Did you ever wonder if that was actually possible? While many might think this potentially cool party trick can’t be done, it is possible!  Except for the exploding cards part, of course. But people can, in fact, throw cards with such force that it could penetrate things.  People have been seen cutting vegetables with just a playing card. People have held celery and card throwers have cut the celery down in pieces. Carrots were chopped off and balloons were popped off! To be able to control cards in a way where they could cut things and travel distances not thought possible is an art worth mastering. 

Everyone usually thinks the key to doing this is power, but actually the key is the spin. The faster the spin, the more revolutions that take place, and the more revolutions, the more cutting power. The spin helps the card to go further and stabilize better. This aids in accuracy and distance for cards. I’ve already thrown a card in school and it landed in an amazing spot that hopefully you’ll all be able to see. Now, after a lot of practice, my card throwing techniques got better. The cards will either rip, chip, or fold whenever I throw them into something. These cards hold a lot of power, but you can also use them in other ways with less power. For example, the boomerang effect lets you throw a card in the air and when it comes back, you’ll  be able to catch it without moving your position too much. The techniques for these effects are all based on spin.

There are many masters of this art, but my favorite is Rick Smith Jr., who is featured in the video above. To set the world record for card-throwing distance, he threw the card in an arena in order to capture how far the card flew. At first, he tried to go for the longest distance, but the air conditioning system was running. So, he was unable to go as far as he wanted. When he realized the A/C was running, he was able to turn it off and finally reach the world record of 65.96 meters. I know I need more practice in this field in order to get better, and I’m willing to work on it to improve my art of card throwing. As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. Even if nobody is perfect, then why not get close? Eventually, you’ll see yourself throwing cards like Gambit.