A rock can take millions of years to create. Once it is created it can sit in the same places for 1,000s of years. Rock skippers look for the perfect ones they think might have the right shape, weight and aerodynamics to sail barely touching the surface of the water over and over again before it dives in or loses its forward momentum and drops.
These old rocks may confuse archaeologists someday, but they have found a new home in the rust belt.
bring a couple handfuls to the river bank.
Some bring rocks to share.
The competition's winner had a single skip of 50 and the cumulative high total of 179, 11 better than his closest challenger on the day.
For the second year in a row the Pennsylvania stone skipping champion was Tidioute's Andy "Big Rock" Severns. Second was Baltomore's Enzo Ferrari and third was Aiden Woolsey down from Buffalo. Competitors came from as far away as Soquel, California. One Canadian, who is a past winner made the trip again as well. Quincy, Massachusetts and a regular from Illinois. Eight states and one Canada Provence were represented.
Missing from this year was Kurt "The Mountainman" Steiner. The world-record holder is a perennial favorite of the competition but he was in Europe to skip stones for a music video for The Chemical Brothers and Beck. Stone skipping fame comes with a price sometimes.
But two regulars, besides the Mountainman, were not there. A moment of silence for one of the event founders Ronnie Beith and another annual skipper Aaron "The Kraken" McCracken was observed. A special moment was had for McCracken as Airtight Alibi sprinkled a small packet of McCracken's ashes along the shore. Then the fitting tribute of all throwers getting along the edge to throw a rock in unison to honor their friends.
A few more photos from Saturday's event are below.