If you’re a millennial like me, I’m sure you remember these – the footballs with the long fins and whistles that you could throw super far. Me and my stepbrother spent countless hours throwing one of these around back in the 90s. If you really want a throwback, the original version of this product released in 1991 was made by Koosh (of Koosh ball fame) and featured John Elway on the package. This was classic 90s kid fun. Millennial parents, I’m here to tell you that that fun can still be had in the Nerf Aero Vortex Howler Football.

Red and black Nerf Aero Vortex Howler Football on fence
My son’s new Nerf Aero Vortex Howler Football

My wife picked this out as part of my son’s Easter basket. I thought it was neat when she first showed me, and it brought back memories. But it wasn’t until we started using it that it clicked. This. Ball. Is. Awesome. We gathered with family on Easter Day and my son and a few of the adults threw this ball around for probably an hour all told. The adults had just as much fun as my son – if not more!

The ball is pretty simple. It’s a foam football with foam fins. It’s super aerodynamic and easy to throw long distance. The best part – it makes a whistling sound when you throw it. There’s just something so satisfying about that sound. It’s resoundingly easy to throw and to catch. It’s perfect for kids and grown ups alike. It’s got the perfect balance of weight and aerodynamics that just makes a great product.

Koosh Vortex Howler, orange and blue with John Elway on package
The OG Koosh Vortex Howler from the 90s

Since Easter Day, we’ve been throwing this ball around every chance we get. Waiting for the bus in the morning, after my son is out of school, before bed. You name it, we try to get out and play catch whenever we can. This ball has really been bringing me back to my childhood. It’s also great bonding time with my son – we talk about all sorts of things while we throw it.

Another benefit this ball has provided is that it is rapidly improving my son’s hand-eye coordination. He started baseball this Spring, and his interest in practicing catch has been lacking after a couple of blows to the face. This ball has help build both his confidence and skills in catching and throwing. In the short time we’ve had it, I’ve seen improvement to his baseball skills.

Red and black Nerf Aero Vortex Howler Football on fence
Picture in my hand, for scale

We’ve got two camping trips coming up later this month, and we’re planning to bring this ball for some good old fashioned screen-less entertainment. We’ll also be bringing this to the pool this summer to throw around in the field behind the pavilions. Heck, I’m even considering asking my son if I can bring it on my adults-only backpacking trip this summer! I know me and the guys I’m backpacking with with have a blast throwing this around while we’re winding down after a long day of hiking.


  • Fun!
  • Helps kids’ hand-eye coordination
  • Affordable
  • Great screen-free bonding time with your kid


  • Durability is TBD

Rating: 5 / 5

5 stars

The Nerf Aero Vortex Howler Football makes it super easy to enjoy some quality outdoor time with your kids. Just grab a ball and go outside and you’ve got at LEAST 20 minutes of fun waiting for you. Honestly we could throw this for an hour and it still wouldn’t feel boring. I can’t recommend this ball enough. The price can’t be beat either. I can’t speak to how durable this is or not, because we’ve had it for less than a week at this point, but if it breaks after a couple months it’s still worth every penny. If you want a throwback to your childhood that will provide an easy bonding experience with your kid(s), then you should just add one of the Nerf Aero Vortex Howler Footballs to your outdoor toy collection – you will not regret it.

Do you have other products that scratch this itch for easy, simple outdoor fun? Let us know in the comments!