Did this at Shamirpet yesterday, after many years. For my children, it was an introduction to this fun outdoor pastime. A friend we met there told me this was now a 'sport' and had a name---'skipping stones', and that there were championships too, and that the world record was 40 skips, and that the French had manufactured a machine to determine the size-weight-velocity ratio of the stone that resulted in ideal skip...or something like that!
So I came home and googled 'skipping stones', and among other things, found this interesting info:
- Virtually every culture has a term for stone skipping. The English call it 'ducks and drakes', Danes call it 'smutting'; in France, it is 'ricochet', in Ireland, 'stone skiffing'.
- Eskimos skip rocks on ice; Bedouins on smooth sand.
- Currently, the Guinness Book of World Records accords the title to Jerdone Coleman McGhee, a Texas engineer who in 1992 scored an incredible 38 skips on the Blanco River.
- The grandaddy of all such skip-offs is held every Fourth of July on Michigan's Mackinac Island.
- It was here in 1977 that John Kolar earned the all-time Mackinac record of "24 plus-infinity"---his stone vanished ominously into fog after two dozen skips!
- There's also a book on skipping stones, called The secrets of stone skipping, by Jerdone Coleman-McGhee.
- And what's more...someone seems to have come up with this quote: Skip stones, not school!
- Shakespeare wrote about skipping stones in the original version of Henry V.
Image from http://www.yeeha.net/nassa/blife.txt.html