How do you deal with rough water and waves?

Mike Taylor shares his theory.


Many times a stone skipper may find themselves in a competition and the water on the river or lake is rough, much like the Alleghany was at the 2007 PA tournament. Obviously the most ideal conditions for skipping stones would provide a perfectly smooth surface of water, but  how do you deal with rough water?

There is a school of thought that says you should switch from light weight stones, to large heavy stones. The theory behind this is a light stone will hit a wave and go flying off course up into the sky or straight to the bottom of the river. A heavy stone, on the other hand, is more likely to plow through the wave and hold a steady course.

There is a down side to throwing a heavy stone. It is difficult to get any speed or power on your throw. You have to find the perfect combination of the weight of the stone and your ability to throw it with some speed. If the stone is too heavy, you wont be able to get much power on the throw, it will be difficult to control, and you will put up very low numbers.

The main point to remember when using this strategy is to keep in mind that the other competitors are dealing with the rough water just like you. Your objective is not to throw 38 skips, you just need to get a better score than everyone else. Usually, when the conditions are tough, everyone puts up low numbers, so you just need a decent score.

With some practice to find the optimal stone, and some luck you could easily score in the mid 20’s which is often enough to win.

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


Mike Taylor

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