April 13, 2008

Well first of all, everyone is going to have to find their own technique. There is, however, a few things that everyone can keep in mind, to help them improve.

So how do you skip a stone like a pro?

World record holder Russ Byars shares some secrets.

Some physicist say, there are 3 elements involved with skipping a stone. Speed, spin, and angle. And a good combination of the three.

Apparently, the perfect angle for the stone to hit the water is 20 degrees. I canít measure what mine hits at, but I assume itís close to that. You have to really concentrate on making the stone impact the water with the front lip tilted up. That only makes sense because if you throw it at the water without the upward tilt, it goes straight to the bottom. We call that a submarine, and I have perfected it.

Now for the spin. I canít throw a thin perfectly round stone because I loose grip. I need something to hang onto such as a chip or a point on the stone. I need something for me to keep my index finger on the drive through the throw to achieve the most possible amount of spin. You have to make sure you follow through the throw, for maximum spin.

As for speed, it is whatever you can put on it, while still maintaining control. Keep in mind though, the better the angle and spin, the more skips will result, regardless of speed.

As you combine these three elements, you need to find how far out on the water you need to hit to achieve the 20 degree angle. I think it all depends on how high above the water you are throwing from. I throw with my upper body kind of straight up and down. Kurt Steiner (former world record holder), gets way down, leaning over for his release. He is in better shape and more flexible than me. Just remember, if the stones are bouncing off the water and going real high up in the air, then you have to much angle or in other words, you are hitting the water to close to yourself. Just try adjusting one element at a time.

This should help improve anyoneís game and please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments and we will see you at the next tournament!!!

Thanks,

Russ Byars

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