Former college quarterback Joe Ayoob’s athletic arm may have earned him a spot in the Guinness World Records, but not for an accomplishment on the field.
Ayoob threw a paper airplane that soared a remarkable 226 feet, 10 inches, inside the McClellan Air Force Base in California on Sunday. If verified by Guinness World Records, the toss will break the previous indoor record, set in 2003, of 207 feet, 4 inches.
Video of the record-breaking toss, which has caught fire on YouTube, shows the paper plane flying like a football through the hangar, plunging down steeply around the halfway mark and then continuing on to break the past record to much fanfare. Ayoob’s toss exceeded the previous record by about 9 feet.
The 27-year-old, a two-season quarterback for the California Golden Bears, told ESPN that he broke the record on his fourth throw, out of 10 official throws that day.
The paper airplane was crafted with care by John Collins, a paper-airplane expert who has studied aerodynamics and had chased the record for a few years, according to ESPN. After working unsuccessfully with other quarterbacks, Collins partnered up with Ayoob.
“I grew up making paper airplanes,” Ayoob told ESPN. “I used to make paper airplanes and throw them all the way home from school when I was little. So it was kind of up my alley. I thought it was a cool idea.”
Ayoob told ESPN that the world record took a lot of practice and required real quarterbacking skill.
“Some people might think, ‘What’s the big deal? It’s just a paper airplane. But it’s a world record. It took a lot of time for John, and it took a lot of time for me working with John to achieve this,” he said. … “It’s very rewarding, and I’m very proud of this record.”