To begin your quest for stone skipping success, follow these steps:
1. Select a skipping stone. The stone should be mostly flat, about the size of the palm of your hand and about the weight of a tennis ball. Triangular stones tend to skip best. Avoid circular stones. They’re less stable.
2. Grip the stone. Hold it with your thumb and middle finger, then firmly hook your index finger along the edge. Your thumb goes on the top of the stone, not around the edge.
3. Throw the stone. Stand up straight, facing at a slight angle to the water. Try to maintain this position during your entire windup and release. The lower your hand is at the release, the better.
Throw out and down at the same time. A skipping stone is bouncing off the water, so give it plenty of downward force. Try throwing faster instead of harder — strength is not the key, quickness is.
4. Release the stone. The faster the stone is spinning, the better it will skip. Spin it as hard as you can with a quick snap of your wrist. The stone should hit the water parallel to the surface.
Jerdone McGhee is founder of the North American Stone Skipping Association.