We’ve talked previously about discs that go right, straight, left, rollers, all sorts of different throwing styles and reasons to choose a utility disc.
How do you choose a distance driver that’s your go to?
The disc that you’re capable of pulling out of your bag and knowing how it’s going to fly, where it’s going to land, and how much oomph you have to put into it to get the disc there.
What I mean is, if I have a shot in a wide open field and I need to place it somewhere I’m going to throw my I-Dye Champion Wraith. It may be one of my champion ones or star ones, either way I’m going to be throwing that disc. But how did I wind up with this as my choice?
First things first. Your go-to-driver should not be your max distance disc. Sacrificing a little bit of distance for control is important. Finding that perfect balance may take trying a few different discs out. So be sure to borrow your friends to try their discs out to save a couple bucks. Or try different ones here at crittercontrolcincinnati through our demo program if you’re local.
The Wraith was the 4th disc I’d purchased, the first one after the starterpack. It was probably because the disc looked cool. I think that’s how many of us get started purchasing disc golf discs, based on looks rather than needs or capabilities. I think it may be why DX discs are so popular, the artwork is solid.
The Wraith became the disc I was throwing on most of the holes when I would play courses. I think I lucked into a disc that’s great for forehand or backhand players, and that is a high speed disc but not wicked overstable.
There are so many discs that you identify with top players in the game.
Nate Sexton, the Color Glow Champion Firebird.
Calvin Heimburg, the Halo Destroyer.
Gregg Barsby, the Star Eagle.
I bet if you thought about it for a little bit you could almost remember what every DGPT touring pro player has for their go to distance driver. That is if you follow the pro scene at all, if you don’t that’s totally fine.
Let’s start your journey of picking your favorite disc out by figuring out what we want the disc to do.
Are you forehand dominant or backhand dominant for driving?
I think this is probably the main factor in choosing a disc. All discs work backhand but not all work forehand. Flippier discs tend not to hold torque as well so they’re not meant for faster arm speeds.
If you look at the 3 discs I mentioned for some of Team Innova’s biggest names you’ll see that 2 of them are forehand dominant and they all primarily throw overstable discs.
*You may choose to have a disc that’s different for backhand as well as forehand for your go to disc.* That’s fine to do. Maybe you love the Valkyrie for your backhand but for forehand shots you like the Sidewinder. This is all a matter of preference.
How far can you be reasonably accurate with a disc?
I’m most accurate with my Caiman. Then again I’m throwing it 100 feet and I know it dumps over every time and doesn’t have much ground play. This is great if I want to take a bogey 6 on every par 5 over 500 feet.
You’ll want to pick something that isn’t your furthest drive, but that you can get good distance and accuracy on. This is a trade that you make all of the time. One of the most astonishing things about pro players is the accuracy at distance that they have. What I consider a huge drive 400+ feet. The top players consider something they can be accurate with.
I love the Wraith because I could throw a Katana further, but I don’t always know where the Katana going to land. The accuracy is too much for me to pass up for distance a majority of the time.
What feels good in your hand?
This is something that matters to everyone. You don’t throw a disc if you don’t like the way it feels. That’s why I try to avoid writing “it feels good in the hand” on any of the disc descriptions you read at SDG. Our hands are probably different sizes.
My hand size is 7.75” from the base of my palm to the tip of my middle finger. Hand size is a blog I want to do in the future, I think it’s an important part of disc golf that gets overlooked. You can read a little snippet from healthline here about hand sizes and applications. But that’s all for another day.
The Wraith’s dimensions are 1.4 cm high and a rim thickness of 2.1cm. Every time I go and snag a Wraith, it doesn’t matter the plastic. I can feel that same height and inside rim shape when I run my fingers along it.
The Destroyer is .1cm thicker, and that bit that I can’t really describe just makes it a little too big and clunky, and then I end up throwing not as hard and getting no turn from the disc.
It’s a 0.5% difference that my hand feels. That half a percent is something that just feels a little off. If you read my blog about using one mold beaten in or using a bunch of different molds, you might remember that the difference between a Bullfrog and Invader is .1cm, .1cm, and .2cm. That gives the Invader more torque resistance and if you throw the two discs back to back you can really tell.
While 0.5% looks ludicrously small as a percentage, it affects the disc flight. In a sport where every little bit of control matters, you’ve got to find what’s comfortable for you.
Comfort with a disc sets you up for a confident throw.
If you answer all of those questions and come to the conclusion that X disc is right for you, what next?
Go throw it all the time in casual rounds to learn the ins and outs of your disc. I mean it, throw your favorite disc all of the time. Even on holes that you wouldn’t normally consider a high speed distance driver.
When I was a broke college kid and getting a new disc was out of the question most of the time I would come to play. I would throw the Wraith on 200 foot holes, 400 foot holes, I would try it out even when I knew that the DX Shark from the starter kit might be the best option for a whole. I did that because I wanted to learn my Wraith.
Don’t keep score. Find new shots.
Try throwing your favorite disc mold on hyzer, anhyzer, flat, skip it, roll it, throw it on touch forehands around a tree, maybe even play a whole round with it.
If all of those Wraith’s you purchased are that different, does it matter that you have them and not other discs?
Great question from the back row.
I like the way the Wraith feels in my hand both backhand and forehand. One reason I keep grabbing new Wraith’s is to get them to the right level of seasoned for my liking.
Does plastic type matter?
It does for me.
I’ve tried throwing a Pro Wraith before, because the plastic was much more understable than Champion. While I liked the flight, the plastic floppiness wasn’t for me. I’ll stick with my star and champion ones because I like the way they feel new and seasoned and I like a stiffer disc.
Here’s me explaining the three types of plastic I have the Wraith in. You'll find Halo, Star, and my go to I-Dye Champion in the bag.
A few weeks back I intentionally seasoned a DX disc, then tried to bring it back to stable. All discs have a lifespan, even my favorite ones.
So I try to make sure when that day comes that I have something ready to go. I also throw Champion blend plastic most of the time, so I know that I have several years with a disc unless I lose it in the woods/water.
I hope that this blog helps you find a go to driver to help your game. If you’re having trouble finding something stable and that gets you distance, you can always reach out in the comments.
If you’re just excited that the I-Dye Wraith is back at crittercontrolcincinnati, then you’re not alone. I’ve been emailing Innova every few months for YEARS to see if they’d bring back my favorite plastic. I’m so excited to have some new discs to add to my bag. I hope you find the disc you’re looking for.
May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397