Stone Skipping
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Stone Skipping
A stone skipping on calm water

Stone skipping (or stone skimming) is the art of throwing a flat stone across water in such a way (usually Sidearm) that it bounces off the surface, preferably many times. The objective of the game is to see how many times a stone can bounce before sinking.

Championships and records

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

The world record for the number of skips Guinness Book of Records is 88 by Kurt "Mountain Man" Steiner, (b. 1965). The cast was achieved on September 6, 2013 at Red Bridge in the Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania.[1] The previous record was 65 skips, by Max Steiner (no relation to K. 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 with a throw of 40 skips, achieved in competition at Franklin, PA. The US Stone Skipping champion 2018 at Franklin was Keisuke Hashimoto (Japan), at Mackinac Island Mich 2018 it was David Kolar.[]

A stone skipping championship of a different nature takes place every year in Easdale, Scotland, where relative distances count 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 using sea-worn Easdale slate of maximum 3" diameter.[4] Each participant gets three throws and the stone must bounce/skip at least twice to count (ie 3 water touches minimum).[5]The Guinness World Record for the furthest distance skimmed using natural stone stands at 121.8m established by Dougie Isaacs (Scotland). For a female it is 52.5m by Nina Luginbuhl (Switzerland). The records were made on the 28th of May 2018 at Abernant Lake, Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales.

Men's World Championship winners by year

Year Men's champion Nationality
2018 Peter Szep Hungary
2017 Keisuke Hashimoto Japan
2016 Dougie Isaacs Scotland
2015 Dougie Isaacs Scotland
2014 Dougie Isaacs Scotland
2013 Dougie Isaacs Scotland
2012 Ron Long Wales
2011 Dougie Isaacs Scotland
2010 Dougie Isaacs Scotland
2009 David Gee England
2008 Eric Robertson Scotland
2007 Dougie Isaacs Scotland
2006 Tony Kynn Australia
2005 Dougie Isaacs Scotland
2004 Andrew McKinna Scotland
2003 Ian Brown Scotland
2002 Alastair Judkins New Zealand
2001 Iain MacGregor Australia
2000 Scott Finnie Scotland
1999 Ian Shellcock England
1998 Ian Shellcock England
1997 Ian Sherriff New Zealand

Women's World Championship winners by year

Year Women's champion Nationality
2018 Lucy Wood England
2017 Nina Luginbuhl Switzerland
2016 Lucy Wood England
2015 Lucy Wood England
2014 Helen Mannion Scotland
2013 Lucy Wood England
2012 Lucy Wood England
2011 Joanne Giannandrea Scotland
2010 Manuela Kniebusch Germany
2009 Tessa Pirie Scotland
2008 Jillian Hunter Northern Ireland
1997 - Present (Honorable Mention) CC Crosby United States

Scientific explanation

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, it just allow the stone to be in balance and to continue with a straight and uniform movement, due to gyroscopic effect.[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) "lobsta cutting" (North America, Cape Cod. Honorable mention record holder CC Crosby - 15 cuts), "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) ?abice)
  • Bulgarian: "frogs" ()
  • Cantonese: "skipping (little) stones" ((?) [pin sek (tzai)])
  • Catalan: "making step-stone bridges" (fer passeres), "making furrows" (fer rigalets), "skipping stones" (llençar passanelles)
  • Czech d?lat (házet) ?abky/?abi?ky (to make/throw froggies - countrywide and generally intelligible. Some regions and dialects used also: d?lat ka?ky/ka?eny/ka?ery/ka?enky/ká?ata/ká?írky (to make ducks/drakes/ducklings, esp. in East Bohemia and parts of Moravia) rybi?ky/rybky (little fishes), misti?ky (saucers), talí?e (plates/dishes), podlisky/podlí?ky/ly?ky (wagtails), potápky (divers), pokli?ky/pukli?ky (pot-lids), plisky, plesky (flaps), ?blu?ky (plops), ?ipky (darts), bubliny (bubbles), ?idy (Jews), páni/panáky (sirs/figures), babky (gammers/wagtails), panenky (dolls/girls/dragonflies), p?evá?et panenku Mariu (to ferry Virgin Mary), and many others.[9]
  • Danish: "slipping" (smut or at smutte), "to make slips" (at slå smut)
  • Estonian: "throwing a burbot" (lutsu viskama)
  • Finnish: "throwing bread/a sandwich" (heittää leipiä/voileipiä)
  • French: (faire des ricochets)
  • Greek: "little frogs" (?)[10]
  • Hungarian: "making it to waddle", lit. "making it walk like a duck" (kacsáztatás)
  • Italian: rimbalzello
  • Japanese: "cutting water" ([mizu kiri])
  • Korean: Mulsujebi (Hangul?; RRmulsujebi), meaning water (Hangul?; RRmul) and Korean soup sujebi.
  • Lithuanian: "making frogs" (daryti varlytes)
  • Macedonian: "frogs" (?)
  • Mandarin: ( [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" (? [pech blini])
  • Spanish: "making white-caps" (hacer cabrillas), "making little frogs" (hacer ranitas), "making little toads" (hacer sapitos)
  • Swedish: "throwing a sandwich" (kasta smörgås or kasta macka)
  • Telugu: "frog jumps" (kappa gantulu)
  • Turkish: "skimming stone" (ta? sektirme)
  • Ukrainian: "letting the frogs out" (zapuskaty zhabky)

See also


  1. ^ "Most skips of a skimming stone".
  2. ^ Silver, Jonathan D. (2007-09-30). "A stone's throw and then some to a Guinness record". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  3. ^ "BBC NEWS - UK - Scotland - Scots dominate in stone skimming".
  4. ^ "World Stone Skimming Championships 2007". Archived from the original on 2008-10-23.
  5. ^ "World Stone Skimming Championships, Easdale Island". Archived from the original on 2017-12-13.
  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. ^ ?eský jazykový atlas 1 (Czech Language Atlas 1), Academia, Prague, 2004, pp. 110-113, (d?lat) ?abky
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-08-03. Retrieved .

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

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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