Summer Fun: How to Skip a Stone

Whether you're exploring a local pond or spending the day at the lake, teaching kids to skip a stone is a great way to keep them entertained

Illustration by Clint Ford

Who better to share how to master the skill of skipping a stone than Russell Byars, the current Guinness World Record holder, with an incredible 51 skips!

1. Select a Good Stone
“Look for one that is flat on one side, about the size of your palm and not perfectly round—you need an edge to hang on to,” says Byars. “It should also be heavy enough to stay down on the water, but not too heavy that it won’t travel forward very far.”

2. Get a Grip
Hold the stone between your index finger and thumb. Your middle finger should support the stone from underneath to keep it flat.

3. The Right Stance
Byars says the perfect angle for maximum skips is 20 degrees, so the lower and more parallel your hand is to the water, the better. “To get that, you really need to concentrate on having the stone impact the water with the front lip tilted up, if you throw it at the water without tilt, it goes straight to the bottom.”

4. The Throw
Find a chip or point to keep your index finger on to drive through the throw and achieve the most amount of spin. “The better the angle and spin, the better the skips, regardless of speed,” notes Byars. Use a side-hand or underhand-type throw (not across the body like a Frisbee throw)—your body should face sideways to the water while your wrist flicks the rock toward the water.

Have Fun! “It’s a kids game, so have fun,” says Byars. “No throw is a bad throw, and every throw gets you closer to a
great throw.”

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