Bang Phra Slingshot

The Slingshot Club of Bang Phra
Bang Phra Slingshot – from Boys’ Toy to OTOP Product

Kachorn Jankapak has transformed children’s homemade slingshot to an OTOP product worth of 30-4000 Bath asiece. President of the Slingshot Club of Bang Phra district in Sri Racha, Chonburi, Kachorn started his slingshot business out of his passion for this simple toy. The slingshot competition, held once in his district where a lot of slingshot lovers gathered, inspired him to launch his own product under the band "Mai Maen" His slingshot won three stars in 2004 OTOP selection and five stars in 2006.

Kachorn’s Mai Maen slingshot come in a unique style in which a handle is carved into various forms such as an elephant, a mermaid, a gun, etc. Kachorn design his own patterns and send the product to local woodcarvers to work on it. Housewives in the community would work on  the final details and make bullets from clay.

 "Some old man in the community are amazed by the idea that we can actually sell this slingshot set at, for example, 100-500 Bath. In the old days, everyone would make their own slinhshots. Everyone would have this toy in their household. Some people think that we should not  promote this as it can be dangerous. So we have different attitudes toward this," said Kachorn.

Next to slingshots come bullet-shooting crossbows, a brainchild toy product by Somkid Kasiwit. The bullet-shooting crossbows are mixed between a bow and a slingshot. the difference is that a bullet-shooting crossbow can aim more far and with more force. While slingshot are more common to see, not many prople seem to be familiar with the crossbows since it is more difficult to make and play.

"We try to change people’s habit in which they use a singshot for animal hunting. Here, we try to promote slingshots as one kind of sports. People can come here and mingle with other and teach each other to aim their shot," said pratin Cherdchin or "Lung Dam", a member of the Slingshot club after we arrived at a shooting range of the community. besides a slingshot aficionado, Lung Dam also makes a living from making slinking handles and bullets. he earns about 3,000-4,000 Bath per month.

The forbidden rules of the Bang Phra Slingshot Club include a ban on animal shooting or a physical attack on another person, no vandalism and no glass/iron stone is allowed to be used as a bullet. A child who is below seven must be under adult supervision when practicing the shooting.

"When I was young and on a school summer break, I did not know what to do. My dad made me a slingshot and I fell in love with it. I formed a slingshot gang with my friends and played with it all day and went to bed with it. I was so happy. Now I’m no longer a child but I feel so proud that I am able to bring this old plaything back to life and make children happy. I plan to write a book on slingshot shooting techniques and promote it as sport as well."
Bang Phra Slingshot
The Thai  Slingshot Club
235/4 moo 2 Bang Phra district, Sri Racha, Chonburi Thailand
contact : Kachorn Jankapak
Tel: 081 0055559

source: phasuk magazine