Stone skipping

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A stone skipping on calm water

Stone skipping is the pastime of throwing a flat stone across water in such a way that it bounces off the surface, preferably many times. The object of the game is to see how many times a stone can bounce before sinking.

Championships and records[edit]

The North American Stone Skipping Association (NASSA), founded by Coleman-McGhee, in 1989 and based in Driftwood, Texas, sanctioned world championships for four years from 1989 through 1992[citation needed] in Wimberley, Texas. The next official NASSA World Championships is expected to be held at Platja d'en Ros beach in Cadaqués, Catalonia, Spain.[citation needed]

The world record for the number of skips Guinness Book of Records is 88 by Kurt "Mountain Man" Steiner, age 48. The cast was achieved on September 6, 2013[1] at Red Bridge in the Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania. The previous record was 65 skips, by Max Steiner, set at Riverfront Park, Franklin, Pennsylvania. Before him, the record was 51 skips, set by Russell Byars on July 19, 2007, skipping at the same location.[2] Kurt Steiner also held the world record between 2002 and 2007.The US Stone Skipping champion 2016 at Franklin was Dave Ohmer (Titusville PA) with 40 skips.[citation needed]

A stone skipping (aka stone skimming) championship of a different nature takes place every year in Easdale, Scotland, where distance is measured as opposed to number of skips, as tends to be the case outside the US.[3] Since 1997, competitors from all over the world have taken part in the World Stone Skimming Championships in a disused quarry on Easdale Island,[4] using sea-worn Easdale slate. The stone must bounce/skip at least three times to count. Historical results are available on Dougie Isaacs (Scotland) won the title again in 2016, so accruing the most titles in the competition's history (8).Other current title holders include Lucy Wood (England) World Ladies ;[5] Coerd de Heer (Netherlands),European (last held October 2015); Jolien Eshuis (Netherlands) European Ladies (last held October 2015); Ron Long (Wales), All England; Gary Bailey (England) British; Richard Struthers (Wales), Wales Open.Paul Crabtree (England) was the first European champion in 2012, repeating that in 2013 and 2014. All events require use of natural stone only, except for the Wales.The world record for distance skimmed using natural stone was laser-surveyed at 107.4 metres (352.3 ft), at a Guinness-endorsed event comprising a select squad of 12 and held for the purpose at Abernant Lake, Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys, Wales on Monday 30 May 2016. The throw was by Dougie Isaacs.

Scientific explanation[edit]

Stone skipping

An early explanation of the physics of stone-skipping was provided by Lazzaro Spallanzani in the 18th century.

The stone generates lift in the same manner as a flying disc, by pushing water down as it moves across the water at an angle. Surface tension has very little to do with it. The stone's rotation acts to stabilize it against the torque of lift being applied to the back.

Research undertaken by a team led by French physicist Lydéric Bocquet discovered that an angle of about 20° between the stone and the water's surface is optimal.[6] Bocquet and his colleagues were surprised to discover that changes in speed and rotation did not change this fact.[6] Work by Hewitt, Balmforth and McElwaine has shown that if the horizontal speed can be maintained skipping can continue indefinitely.[7] Earlier research reported by Bocquet calculated that the world record of 38 rebounds set by Coleman-McGhee, unchallenged for many years, required a speed of 12 m/s (25 mph), with a rotation of 14 revolutions per second.[6]


  • English: "skipping stones" or "skipping rocks" (North America), "stone skimming" or "ducks and drakes" (Britain), "stone skiffing" (Ireland)[8]
  • Bengali: "frog jumps" (Bengachi); "kingfisher" ("Machhranga")
  • Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian: "(to throw) little frogs" ((bacati) žabice)
  • Bulgarian: "frogs" (жабки)
  • Cantonese: "skipping (little) stones" (片石(仔) [pin sek (tzai)])
  • Catalan: "making step-stone bridges" (fer passeres), "making furrows" (fer rigalets), "skipping stones" (llençar passanelles)
  • Czech language dělat (házet) žabky/žabičky (to make/throw frogies – countrywide and generally intelligible., Some regions and dialects used also: dělat kačky/kačeny/kačery/kačenky/káčata/káčírky (to make ducks/drakes/ducklings, esp. in East Bohemia and parts of Moravia) rybičky/rybky (little fishes), mističky (saucers), talíře (plates/dishes), podlisky/podlíšky/lyšky (wagtails), potápky (divers), pokličky/pukličky (pot-lids), plisky, plesky (flaps), žbluňky (plops), šipky (darts), bubliny (bubbles), židy (jews), páni/panáky (sirs/figures), babky (gammers/wagtails), panenky (dolls/girls/dragonflies), převážet panenku Mariu (to ferry Virgin Mary), and many others.[9]
  • Danish: "slipping" (smut or at smutte), "to make slips" (at slå smut)
  • Telugu "frog jumps" (kappa gantulu)
  • Estonian: "throwing a burbot" (lutsu viskama)
  • Finnish: "throwing bread/a sandwich" (heittää leipiä/voileipiä)
  • French: (faire des ricochets)
  • Greek: "little frogs" (βατραχάκια)[10]
  • Hungarian: "making it to waddle", lit. "making it walk like a duck" (kacsáztatás)
  • Italian: rimbalzello
  • Japanese: "cutting water" (「水切り」[mizu kiri])
  • Korean: Mulsujebi (Hangul물수제비; RRmulsujebi), meaning Water(Hangul; RRmul) and Korean soup Sujebi.
  • Lithuanian: "making frogs" (daryti varlytes)
  • Macedonian: "frogs" (жабчиња)
  • Mandarin: (打水漂 [da shui piao])
  • Marathi: ([bhakrya kadhne])
  • Mongolian: "making the rabbit leap" (tuulai kharailgakh) or "making the dog lick" (nokhoi doloolgokh)
  • Norwegian: "fish bounce" (fiskesprett)
  • Polish: "letting the ducks out" (puszczanie kaczek)
  • Portuguese "little fish" (peixinho) or "little seashells" (conchinhas)
  • Russian: "baking pancakes" (печь блины [pech blini])
  • Spanish: "making white-caps" (hacer cabrillas), "making frogs" (hacer ranitas)
  • Swedish: "throwing a sandwich" (kasta smörgås or kasta macka)
  • Turkish: "skimming stone" (taş sektirme)
  • Ukrainian: "letting the frogs out" (zapuskaty zhabky)

See also[edit]



  1. ^
  2. ^ Silver, Jonathan D. (2007-09-30). "A stone's throw and then some to a Guinness record". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  3. ^ Scots dominate in stone skimming. BBC News, 25 September 2005
  4. ^ World Stone Skimming Championships 2007
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c Clanet C, Hersen F, Bocquet L (January 2004). "Secrets of successful stone-skipping". Nature. 427 (6969): 29. doi:10.1038/427029a. PMID 14702075. 
  7. ^ I. J. Hewitt; N. J. Balmforth & J. N. McElwaine (2011). "Continual Skipping on Water". J. Fluid Mech. 669: 328–353. doi:10.1017/S0022112010005057. 
  8. ^ The Secrets of Stone Skipping, Coleman-McGhee, 1996, ISBN 1-883856-01-9
  9. ^ Český jazykový atlas 1 (Czech Language Atlas 1), Academia, Praha, 2004, p. 110–113, (dělat) žabky
  10. ^


Further reading

  • Coleman, Jerry. The Secrets of Stone Skipping, Stone Age Sports Publications, January 1996 ISBN 9781883856014
  • Lorenz, Ralph. Spinning Flight: Dynamics of Frisbees, Boomerangs, Samaras and Skipping Stones, Copernicus New York, September 2006 ISBN 0-387-30779-6

External links[edit]