A droplet obliquely impacting a bath surface of the same fluid can traverse along the interface while slowing at an exponential rate. The droplet rests on a thin film of air and deforms the bath surface creating a dimple and travels along the surface similar to a wave pulse. Viscous coupling of the droplet and bath surfaces through the air film leads to viscous drag on the bath and perturbs the wave motion of the otherwise free surface. Even though Reynolds numbers are greater than unity (Re O(10 -- 100)), we show that the droplet's deceleration is only due to viscous coupling through the air gap. The rate of deceleration is found to increase linearly with droplet diameter.
Accepted manuscript of an article published in Journal of Fluid Mechanics (2016), vol. 803, pp. 313-331 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/jfm.2016.481