Stone skimming championships

Capt Lightning

Well-known Member
The world Stone skimming championships are to resume after a break caused by Covid. These tale place on the 'Slate island' of Easdale in W.Scotland.
The stones are skimmed across a flooded pond left after the quarrying of slate. The high quality slate was used in buildings across Scotland.

About 350 contestants from around the world will take part.


Stones are provided for the contestants to choose, but as noted in the rules, they must be naturally formed, so no alterations.
It's a fun event to raise money for local community projects, but attracts people from far and wide.

Official Rules of the World Stone Skimming Championships are:​

  1. All stones must be of naturally formed Easdale slate and be no more than 3 inches in diameter at its widest point
  2. Each contestant will have 3 skims per session. No person can have more than one session. No person can participate in more than one team
  3. The stone must bounce on the surface of the water no less than 2 times before being considered a valid skim. The length of the skim will be judged to the point where the stone sinks into the water. The longest skim in each category will be deemed the winner. (In the event of a tie see rule 6).
  4. Competitors are not allowed a ‘run-up’ when throwing. Both feet must be on the platform when throwing.
  5. The point judge will signal an invalid skim by showing a Red disk. A Green disk will be shown after a valid skim. The throw judge will record all throws and in all matters, his/her decision will be final.
  6. A skim will be deemed invalid if:
    a) the stone does not bounce at least 2 times
    b) the stone does not sink within the designated area
  7. In the event of a tie for Overall Champion, the winner will be decided in a cumulative, 3-skim ‘Toss-Off’. This is judged by the cumulative distance of their 3 tie-break throws. A ‘Back Wall’ hit will count as 63 metres. In the event of a tie in all other categories, the placings will be decided on a cumulative total of all 3 stones skimmed.
  8. Team Names cannot be similar to another Team Name
  9. Team members must register when registering individually
  10. All Team members must register at the same time
  11. There will be 7 categories:
    • Overall Champion
    • Adults: any person aged 16 years or more; Male and Female subcategories
    • Juniors: any person aged 10 – 15 years inclusive; Boys and Girls subcategories
    • Children: any person aged 9 years and under; Boys and Girls subcategories
    • Old Tosser: any person aged 60 years or more; Male and Female subcategories
    • Team: a maximum of 4 people of either gender and any age mix
    • Bertie: the best Easdale Islander

We had a rather large pond on our farm. I would skim stones on it and was pretty good. I learned that the best stone for skimming is as flat as possible and light weight so slate would have done well, but there wasn’t much slate where I lived. I could get 8-10 skips with a good stone.
It's a flooded quarry, so I suppose it's a lake. Until about 70 years ago, Easdale provided slate for many of Scotland's houses, but when the industry declined, the quarries flooded.
The World Stone Skimming Championships were started in 1983 by the late Bertie Baker, and then lay fallow until they were resurrected in 1997 by Eilean Eisdeal (The Easdale Island Community Development Group) as a fundraising event.

Contestants hail from around the world and the championships now attract over 300 participants and many spectators. Anyone of any age and any level of skill can enter the championships.

There's a very interesting book called "The Easdale Doctor" about Patrick Gillies who turned down the chance of a distinguished career as a surgeon to serve as a GP in Easdale. He fought tirelessly to improve the health and well being of the area, involving himself in matters such as drainage, education and preventative medicine. Worth a read.