Skipping Rocks

When we vacationed at Lake Tahoe or the Sacramento River delta, Papa taught us how to skip rocks across the water.rock skipping boys He showed us how to select the best stones to skip across the water: flat-ish, even, smooth, and about the diameter of a golf ball or lemon. He’d demonstrate how to hold the rock and throw it at just the right angle. Once we threw it, we’d count how many times it skipped across the surface of the water. Most of the time, Papa’s rocks would skip a minimum of ten times and I recall one that skipped twenty-nine times. We practiced skipping rocks whenever we were near the smooth, glassy surface of a river or lake.

Teach your kids how to skip rocks. If your rock-skipping skills are rusty, here are some helpful tutorials:

How to Skip Rocks – a four-step tutorial from Boy’s Life, the publication of the Boy Scouts of America

How to Skip a Stone – an illustrated guide from the Art of Manliness

8-Step Illustrated Guide from Wiki-How

The Science of Skipping Stones – read a brief explanation of the physics behind stone-skipping including spin, speed, shape, and angle.

Tips from the Pros – Did you know there are professional stone skippers who participate in stone-skipping tournaments? At this site, you can learn from the best.

World Record – Watch professional stone-skipper Russ Byars set the world’s record of 51 skips in July, 2007.

Skipping Stones on a Frozen Lake – Skipping stones isn’t just a fair-weather sport. Check out this video of an Alaskan man skipping a stone on a frozen lake – you won’t believe the sound it makes!


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