How to Skip a Stone
We asked a physics professor for the ultimate tips. (Adapted from here: http://nyti.ms/1Ui3Ke7)
- •Throw at a 20-degree angle.So says Lydéric Bocquet, a physics professor at École Normale Supérieure in Paris. That’s what he calls ‘‘the magic angle’’ for a maximum number of skips.
- •Choose the right stone.Bocquet suggests something in the range of 4 to 6 inches in diameter. A thin, roundish rock is ideal, but with enough velocity you can skip almost anything.
- •Stand as a baseball pitcher would, with your body’s side facing the water.
- •Nestle a flat rock in the crook of your index finger and sling it sidearm, flicking the wrist to give the stone a spin.
- •Aim for at least 2 rotations per second.The spinning motion allows the stone to stay on course, providing what physicists call ‘‘gyroscopic stability.’’
- •Trust that there’s something innate about the act.‘‘Our bodies just know how to skip stones,’’ Bocquet says. ‘‘I don’t know why.’’
- •Don’t overthink the effort.Chances are if you're reading this list, you've already failed this step. (Don't worry; we did too.)