Things Guys Should Know, Vol. 4: How to skip rocks

Things Guys Should Know logoKnowing how to skip rocks won’t save your life.

That is, unless a bridge-dwelling troll agrees to let you live if you can demonstrate the skill.

But it could save you from boredom.

And it’s sure to impress a crowd at a Scout campout, family reunion or trip to the lake with friends.

That’s enough to make it the perfect subject for Vol. 4 of my Things Guys Should Know series. The steps come from Boys’ Life, the magazine containing everything in a boy’s life.

how-to-skip-rocks-2Step 1: Select a skipping stone.

The stone should be mostly flat, about the size of the palm of your hand and about the weight of a tennis ball.

Triangular stones tend to skip best.

Avoid circular stones. They’re less stable.

how-to-skip-rocks-3Step 2: Grip the stone.

Hold it with your thumb and middle finger, then firmly hook your index finger along the edge.

Your thumb goes on the top of the stone, not around the edge.

how-to-skip-rocks-45Step 3: Throw the stone.

Stand up straight, facing at a slight angle to the water.

Try to maintain this position during your entire windup and release.

The lower your hand is at the release, the better.

Throw out and down at the same time. A skipping stone is bouncing off the water, so give it plenty of downward force. Try throwing faster instead of harder — strength is not the key, quickness is.

how-to-skip-rocks-5Step 4: Release the stone.

The faster the stone is spinning, the better it will skip.

Spin it as hard as you can with a quick snap of your wrist.

The stone should hit the water parallel to the surface.

Boys’ Life got these tips from Jerdone McGhee, founder of the North American Stone Skipping Association.

About this series

Things Guys Should Know is an ongoing series about those essential life skills every guy should have in his arsenal.

Cool thing is, everything in the series is a skill a guy learns in Scouting. Maybe he picks it up while spending time outdoors with his troop, team or crew. Or maybe he learned it while earning a merit badge or reading the Boy Scout Handbook or Boys’ Life magazine. Either way, Scouting helped him learn this skill that helps him become better Prepared. For Life.

See all of the Things Guys Should Know here. And leave a comment if you think of a skill guys should know (and learn in Scouting) that I should cover in a future edition.


Hat tip: That awesome Things Guys Should Know illustration is by Kevin Hurley.

About Bryan Wendell 2893 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.