Choosing Your First Discs
While this post is about how to choose discs, I would be remiss if I did not first stress the importance of technique and form. Improve your form and get to know the few discs you start with before branching out and buying more. It’s much easier to start out putting an emphasis on form than it is to break bad habits. If you would like to get more information on form let us know on our Instagram or Facebook (links at the bottom). We will do what we can to get you headed in the right direction!
Remember to keep it simple. I would say to start out with three discs to start: a putter, a midrange and a fairway driver. You will be able to learn while still having a good time. I will break down each of these disc selections for you, keeping it as easy as possible. I will also give you a few beginner friendly disc options for each. Keep in mind there are many great disc options out there. These are just a few of my own suggestions.
Let's start with stability. I would recommend a stable to slightly overstable putter to start. This is because you will be able to do just about anything with these. In general, when putting they fly straight. When thrown they will have a straight flight and a moderate fade. This is going to allow you to play comfortably while simultaneously learning the crucial skill of controlling angles. Throwing straight flat shots, hyzers and anhyzers are all more than doable with stable to slightly overstable putters. The extra advantage to this is that you will never really outgrow these putters like you would with mids and drivers.
Comfort and confidence are vital when it comes to putters. That confidence is going to start with how it feels in your hand. Do you like a grippy plastic? Do you like soft flexible plastic or the harder more rigid plastic? Do you like the beaded or beadless putters? There is not a right or wrong answer. It is about what you like best.
- Prodigy Pa-2 (slightly overstable): The Pa-2 is a great, beginner friendly, option for throwing when wind is a factor. Around the green you can expect a consistent straight flight with a slight fade.
- Dynamic Discs Warden (Stable): The Warden is one the most popular discs in the entire Dynamic Discs lineup and for good reason. It feels great in the hand, boasts a solid amount of glide and has a subtle fade. It is a true classic putter option.
- Discmania Link (slightly overstable): The Link is just a great all-around option. It doesn’t have a lot of glide so it won’t want to sail. You will be able to throw this on any angle and know that it will hold that line. The Link’s Exo plastic is not to be over looked either. It’s grippy, durable and very affordable.
- Dynamic Discs Judge (slightly overstable): Another fantastic option. You can putt and throw this putter with confidence. If you’re someone that likes a big bead this is the one for you. They have a straight flight, dependable fade and are made in just about every plastic option Dynamic Discs offers.
Midranges are going to offer more speed than putters while still maintaining a lot of control. While the increased speed of the midranges will offer you more distance. They will require a bit more field work to master the control. When buying your first midrange you will want something that is either understable or stable. Ultimately it is going to be your decision which way you go. Again, there isn’t a wrong answer. The main thing is that you stay away from the discs that are overstable, at least for now.
An understable disc is generally the direction beginners are going to go. This is because an understable disc will actually have a straight flight for throwers of lower arm speeds. Early on, when you’re working on your form, you can throw flat and watch these understable discs have a, more often than not, straight flight. As you progress you will notice them start to “turn” or “flip”, to the right for a RHBH thrower and to the left for LHBH throwers. Once you start getting understable discs to flip you can start using it to your advantage. Then you can start into the world of the “Hyzer-flip.” You will learn to shape shots using different angles as well as discs at varying degrees of understablity. This is especially on wooded courses.
Stable discs will be a little bit different. When you first start, a stable disc is probably going to have more fade than an intermediate or advanced player might see. This is again due to lower arm speeds. Just throw them flat and play the fade until you increase your arm speed. As your arm speed increases however, you will notice those discs that once seemed to have a lot of fade are now finishing straight. Once you have the stable discs flying straight on a flat release you can start using angles. This is a very useful tool because they will hold the lines you put them on without much varying. You can throw a big high Hyzer or Anhyzer shot knowing that the disc isn’t going to dive straight into the ground or turnover on you.
- Discraft Meteor (understable): This is a disc built for players who have lower arm speeds. It has a lot of turn and a lot of glide, both of which are quite the advantage for players of low arm speeds and new players alike.
- Prodigy M4 (stable): At first the M4 may seem a little overstable. When your arm speed starts to pick up and the disc starts flying start you will really start to love it. You can throw it on any angle and it is going to hold that angle the full flight. Make sure you get it in a durable plastic, because this is a disc that is sure to stay in your bag for a long time.
- Dynamic Discs Emac Truth (overstable): This is going to be the most overstable midrange option of these suggestions. It may want to dive on you at the end of flights when you first start out throwing it. However, once you pick up some arm speed, you will notice a tremendous amount of glide and a reliable left finish.
- Westside Discs Gatekeeper (slightly overstable): The Gatekeeper is going to be similar to the Emac Truth. Straight to moderately overstable with a lot of glide. It will be a little bit slower than the Emac, requiring just a little less arm speed to control. Perfect for newer players.
Fairway Drivers in short are going to be just like your Midranges with everything being more exaggerated. They are going to have even more speed than mids, offering more distance, but also requiring more even more arm speed. If you don’t get them up to speed they will fade even more than the mids. That doesn’t mean try to muscle up and try to really rip it. Just keep up the field work and the distance will follow.
When looking for your first Fairway Driver I would suggest sticking to something more understable. I would also recommend getting a disc with a speed rating no higher than 7. Speed 7 just seems to be the happy medium. It’s a good start for your introduction into higher speed discs, while still being controllable early on.
- Westside Discs Underworld (understable): A fantastic understable option. As a beginner you will be amazed at the distance this disc will add to your game. If you are a sidearm thrower or want to add the sidearm to your game this disc is a great place to start. As you advance this disc will be a great for easy hyzer-flips.
- Latitude 64 River (stable): The River is going to be a faster version of something like an M4. Straight to overstable flight for newer players. Straight and able to hold any line you put it on for intermediates and above.
Discraft Sting (understable): A very versatile option. As a new player it will tend to be more of a straight flyer. As you improve the turn of the disc is going to help with hyzer-flips. While it is an understable disc it really doesn’t want to just completely turnover. It also seems to have a little more fade than the flight numbers indicate. Which make it a great for shaping an abundance of shots.
- Latitude 64 Diamond (understable): This is the lone exception to the ‘no greater than speed 7’ rule. It is a speed 8, but don’t let that fool you. It is very beginner friendly. It has a thin rim making it very easy to grip for smaller hands. The most unique feature is that it is only made in weights between 145g-159g. The lower disc weights make it easier to get the disc up to speed. This disc is very versatile, especially for the beginner. With its low weight and exceptional glide, it is going to give you almost effortless distance. It is perfect into disc when you want to add rollers to your arsenal.