Stone Skipping/ Stone Skimming

This elegant game played at least once by anybody who has been on a pebbly beach is known by many names. To the British it is "Skimming", to Americans "Skipping" whereas the Irish prefer "Skiffing" and the Danish "Smutting". The French, as stylish and contrary as ever, know it as "Ricochet".
Confusingly there are two World Championships.
The World Stone Skimming Championships take place in September on Easdale Island, Argyll. The main rule is that the stone (Easdale slate only is used) must be no more than three inches in diameter and must bounce off the water at least three times. The longest skim wins. The current world record is 63m.
In the US the World Stone Skipping Championships are organized by NASSA (bringing stone skipping into the space age) and here the distance traveled over the water is irrelevant, rather it is the number of skips made by the stone that counts. The current world record stands at a staggering 40!
As the NASSA website says, “NASSA promotes stone skipping as both a ‘natural’ non-competitive recreation and an internationally standardized competitive sport… a uniquely ancient activity that touches something very special in those participating

strange games no:119


Johnny Ong said...

this is a game i cld participate as i'm good at it but the record is 63m????? that's far man, what was the object being used to be thrown?

Mr Blister said...

They have to use local Easdale slate of a diameter less than 3 inches. It is an incredible distance, I agree.

MrSqueezy said...

Well I think this is just sick!
Some of those rocks have spent hundreds and even thousands of years of petrological evolution striving to achieve their current hard won position on the shoreline. To wantonly and heartlessly throw them back literally millenia for the sake of a game is just another example of man's inhumanity to nature and yet another reason to celebrate the day when this world is no longer enslaved by the cancer that is the homo sapien.

Mr Blister said...

The stones enjoy it!

brian said...

I simply have to tell this and only because it is true. I am an avid stone skipper and a few years ago i was walking a beach in the south eats of Ireland and my friend picked up a very pretty stone. When I saw it, I fell in love because it was the best looking skipping stone I had ever seen. I kept that stone for two years in order to go to Northern California and throw it in a very special pond called 'Mother's Bed'. I threw it with an audience of 1 elderly woman. As I watched it fly from my hand my mouth dropped open and the scream that came out of me started off as silence. She said "oooh, that was a good one" and only I knew that it was the greatest understatement since the beginning of time. I swear I estimated 50 skips. It just kept on going and going and I could barely believe my eyes. Nothing has ever come close to that skip since but I am not trying to beat it because it cannot be done. Incidentally that pond is a holy place.