Former Cal quarterback Joe Ayoob breaks paper-plane record

Nadine Bells
Good News

Joe Ayoob, 27, a former University of California quarterback, now works as a sales rep for Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco. Two weeks ago, he was celebrated on ESPN — for perfecting his paper-airplane throw.

Ayoob and John Collins, a San Francisco television producer and paper-airline fanatic, took a year to develop the paper airplane's design and to fine-tune the record-breaking throw.

"A lot of people could throw this plane and get some pretty crazy distance out of it," Ayoob said. "But in order to achieve the distances we were trying to reach, it took a pretty precise throw, and it took a lot of strength. There's a lot of finesse involved, so it's kind of blending power, balance and control while you're throwing this fragile, little paper airplane."

Inside a hanger at McClellan Air Force Base outside Sacramento, Ayoob threw his paper airplane 226 feet, 10 inches, shattering the previous record of 207 feet, 4 inches. The previous record holder, Stephen Krieger, was there to witness Ayoob's throw.

"We made all 10 [official] throws. The record came on the fourth throw," Ayoob told Page 2. "I probably made 50 throws on the day. My body is still sore."

Watch Ayoob's paper plane glide into the record books below:

The Herald Sun objected to the fact that the plane's construction included a 2cm strip of Scotch tape. The Guinness Book of World Records approves of the strategy — "The use of standard light-duty clear cellulose adhesive tape of width 25mm and total length 30mm is permitted on any one aircraft," the official rules state — but writer Peter Farquhar claims that it's considered cheating in the real world.

If "the real world" is the schoolyard, the tape strategy is hardly a new one. (Remember taping a penny to the front?)

I agree with Yahoo!'s Graham Watson:

"So, congrats to Ayoob, who is now a hero to fourth graders everywhere."