When I was a kid I used to throw rocks into the pond near my house. One day my parents’ friend, Mr. Burke, showed me the amazing art of “skipping rocks” on top of the water. We spent hours perfecting our form, and I was amazed to see that Mr. Burke had the ability to skip a rock over 40 times in one throw!
I wouldn’t of believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. It turns out, there’s a skill to skipping rocks, so I thought I’d share with you what I learned from Mr. Burke.
First, if you don’t believe that it’s possible to skip a rock more than a few times, check this out:
Amazing! Here’s how you can do it too:
The Rock – The best rocks for skipping are those that are somewhat flat in shape. A smooth triangular one that can fit in between the thumb and the forefinger are perfect. If the rock is too heavy, it’ll most likely sink the moment it hits the water, so be sure to choose one that’s lightweight.
The Body Position – If skipping rocks was compared to a baseball throw, you’d be pitching the rock using a sidearm throw. The best stance is to position your body 90º to the water. The idea is to keep the rock parallel to the water, so it only skims the surface.
The Outcome – If the rock is thrown correctly, it will hit the water with a horizontal force and skim the water. The number of times a rock will skip is a function of the flatness of the rock and the force and angle to the water with which the rock is thrown. If the rock does not skip at all, it means the weight of the rock is greater than the force with which it was thrown.
Practice, Practice, Practice! Being able to skip rocks is an art form that you’ll need to keep perfecting. At first, you may only be able to skip it once, maybe twice. But with a little practice, you’ll be skipping like Mr. Burke in no time!
How many times can you skip a rock?
To learn more about rocks, and the interesting things they can tell you about your world, check out some of these very useful links:
• Rocks – Discover it
• Rocks for Kids
• Build a Rock Collection with Andy Camper: