This post is the second post in a series of posts entitled “How To Play Disc Golf,” where I will teach the basics of disc golf. Today’s post will focus on the following:
- What does it mean if a disc is stable?
- What does it mean if a disc is overstable?
- What does it mean if a disc is understable?
What does it mean if a disc is stable?
Quick Explanation: A “stable” disc has the tendency to remain straight through most of the flight. (In depth explanation below.)
Each and every disc flies a little different. Some have a tendency to turn left, some have a tendency to fly relatively straight, while some have a tendency to turn more right.
A disc that is considered to be very stable would have a tendency to fly straight without curving much to the right or to the left at high speeds, and would not fade off much in the direction of the natural fade of the disc at lower speeds.
Some examples of stable discs are the Innova TL for long straight drives, The Skeeter for straight approaches and mid-range shots, and the Aero for straight putting. The Aero is the straightest point-to-point disc in disc golf!
How does this affect your game? Stable discs have a very predictable flight pattern, as they generally fly very straight from release to landing. This can be a big advantage when throwing through tunnels or narrow fairways.
What does it mean if a disc is overstable?
Quick Explanation: An “overstable” disc has the tendency to turn the direction of the natural fade of the disc throughout most of the flight, both at high and low speeds. (In depth explanation below.)
For a Right-Handed backhand throw, a very overstable disc will maintain a left turn throughout the duration of the flight. Even when thrown with an anhyzer, a very overstable disc will tend to turn back over quickly and finish off the flight pattern fading the direction of the natural fade of the disc.
Some examples of overstable discs are the Ape, a fast, long-range distance driver, if you have a big arm, this would be a great disc. The Monster is another, it is one of the most used discs in my bag, I use it for a myriad of shots and love it. It is used for long drives that will fade hard at the end of the flight, I highly recommend the Monster as an overstable driver. The Gator is another overstable disc, good for mid-range shots or approach shots.
How does this affect your game? Overstable discs are very predictable in all conditions. Even when throwing into a strong headwind, overstable discs fly as advertised, which often isn’t the case for less stable discs. They also make great sidearm and tomahawk (overhand) throw discs.
What does it mean if a disc is understable?
Quick Explanation: An “understable” disc has the tendency to turn the direction opposite of the natural fade of the disc throughout the high speed portion of the flight, while generally fading slightly back the natural fade direction at low speeds. (In depth explanation below.)
For a Right-Handed backhand throw, a very understable disc, even when thrown with a hyzer, will have a tendency to flatten out, and even turn over to a right curve during the high speed portion of flight.
Some examples of understable discs include the Vulcan, a high-speed distance driver, which for a right handed backhand throw will fly far to the right before straightening out at the end of it’s flight. The Vulcan is a highly recommended driver for less powerful players, or players that are just learning. The Stingray is another example, which is Innova’s best mid-range disc for right turning shots.
How does this affect your game? Understable discs are great for maximizing distance when throwing with a tailwind. They are also easier to throw for players with less power or less experience, which will in turn maximize distance for these players. Most all players start out using understable discs to learn with, as they provide better results. More experienced players can use understable discs for hyzer-flip shots, roller shots, or s-curve shots (more on these in a later post!)
As stated previously, there is a lot that goes into the stability of a disc, and what that means for the player. Hopefully I was able to provide you with a good foundation to continue to learn more about them. Though this post isn’t completely comprehensive, we will expound on these topics more in later posts.
Sound off in the comments with any comments, suggestions, or questions, or just stop in to say hi, I’d love to hear from you!