When it comes to distance drivers, there are certain discs that get all of the attention. Whether it be because of professional endorsement and high-profile use in tournaments, new release hype, or just word of mouth, you’ll see top-selling discs like the Innova Destroyer, Discmania DDX, Dynamic Discs Sheriff, and MVP Catalyst popping up in […]
When it comes to distance drivers, there are certain discs that get all of the attention. Whether it be because of professional endorsement and high-profile use in tournaments, new release hype, or just word of mouth, you’ll see top-selling discs like the Innova Destroyer, Discmania DDX, Dynamic Discs Sheriff, and MVP Catalyst popping up in the conversation when it comes to old and new distance drivers. But as a guy who really likes to take a close look at some of the lesser-known discs, I wanted to throw a little light on three distance bombers that I’ve enjoyed. Even if they aren’t the top-sellers, they deserve to be thrown frequently when it comes to the distance game.
I’ll be clear that I am primarily a right-handed, back-hand thrower when it comes to my driving, and I’m also an older guy with moderate power. So I tend to gravitate toward distance drivers that are not super overstable, except when I really want a significant fade. So, the discs in this review are generally straight-shooters, with just enough stability to go a respectable distance before fading out. Though a couple of them are a bit more “beefy,” they certainly aren’t massively overstable, and should be accessible for average players.
The Havoc is a distance driver that is actually easier to throw than would be expected for a high-speed driver. It has enough understability to avoid a premature fade, yet it still has a predictable fade at the end of flight. I’ve seen relatively new players use the Havoc to develop their distance throwing skills because it is forgiving enough to give them good results without a lot of power. Yet the Havoc is still a solid enough driver to get really great distance once the player gets their technique polished. It is the kind of distance driver that can win a regular spot in a player’s bag.
Personally, I’ve kept a Havoc in my bag for long, straight flights that delay the fade until right at the end-of-flight, because it can be thrown with excellent precision at an intermediate level. I personally prefer the feel of the Gold Line plastic, which is slightly more understable than the Opto or Frost Line versions, both of which are even better for experienced players who throw with more power than I do. I include the Havoc in this review because it is one of those drivers that is truly well designed and comfortable to throw for very good distances, but seems to be less recognized among the many drivers on the market. It is not one of the top sellers, but in my opinion, has the potential to be among the top.
The Kahu is the introductory distance driver from RPM Discs in New Zealand. RPM is still a young disc maker and does not have a large selection of disc molds, so they work to make the few models that they have into really special discs. The first thing most disc buyers notice about discs from RPM is the beautiful plastics in really great colors. Upon picking up a disc like the Kahu, in either Atomic or Cosmic plastic (that is merely the opaque vs. translucent blends), players generally love the feel of the plastic, which is durable, yet pliable with good grip (similar to Innova’s GStar blend). So people are generally enticed into buying the disc before even throwing it.
Now let’s talk about how the Kahu flies. Personally I own five Kahu’s, and the reason for the multiples was initially because of the plastic appeal. But I have discovered that each one has its own flight characteristics. Similar to a popular disc like the Innova Destroyer, the Kahu’s different “runs” have had different flight characteristics, ranging from straight-to-understable, to overstable. The discs generally have a flat profile and a wide rim, though not maximum width. They fly with high speed, but depending on the run, some can take more power for maximum distance. One of my Kahu’s is quite “beat in” and understable disc. Another can go straight for a long distance before fading, and I use that one the most. My newest and shiniest golden Kahu is also the most overstable that I own, fading quite dramatically at end of flight, so I use it when I need to turn sharply around distant obstacles.
Though Kahu’s can fly differently from one run to another, they are solid, high-performance discs, as long as you are willing to throw it around and get a feel for how it flies for you. The Kahu is the kind of disc that could match such juggernaut discs as a Destroyer, but is still unknown to most players. That is why I chose to feature it in this review. It deserves to be discovered!
Westside Discs from Finland makes some great distance driver molds, and they are manufactured by the Latitude 64 factory, so the plastic is very good and is merely renamed version of the same plastics. Some of their distance drivers have risen quickly in popularity and have enjoyed time in the spotlight. The King, (despite the flight ratings printed on the disc being universally accepted as nearly opposite the actual flight results) has become a very popular understable distance bomber. Then the Destiny came along and was embraced as yet another easy-to-throw high-speed bomber. But one of the bombers that seemed to miss its moment in the spotlight is the Catapult.
I initially tried a Catapult when I picked up an inexpensive misprint, and I was thrilled with the results. Though it is a more overstable distance driver (definitely more so than the King, as well as the Destiny), it can really get out there on the fairway before making its certain fade. For players who like to throw a disc with as much power as they can muster, the Catapult can take the heat. I took my son out with an entire bag of distance drivers for some field work. My son, who throws with more power than I do, let the Catapult go with a nice anhyzer flex shot, and the disc covered a lot of ground with a huge s-curve, fighting back from the release angle. By the time it had landed, it was more than 20 feet beyond any of the other discs from the bag, including some very well-known drivers.
I chose to feature the Catapult as part of this review for those power throwers who like a disc with manageable overstability that they can really rip at full power, yet it isn’t overly dramatic in its fade. It deserves its place in the highly respected ranks of other Westside drivers.
Prodiscus is still not a very well-known brand in the USA, but they make some cool discs and come out of the very strong Finnish disc golf market. The Fasti is one of their newest offerings and is intended to be an easy-to-throw distance bomber. I found the Fasti to be more understable than advertised, but not so much that it would flip over when thrown with power. I primarily throw right-hand / back-hand, and the Fasti would pull to the right (the understable side) and hold that line very well, only fading slightly at the end, resulting in very long shots away from the natural fade side. A disc like that can be a very useful tool in a bag like mine, when I want to stay right for precision fairway shots.
The Fasti didn’t perform as well at slower speeds, which is what makes me think it isn’t so much a distance driver for beginners as much as it is a dependable, understable distance bomber for intermediate to experienced players who can throw at higher speeds. Thus, it fits the name– “Fasti”. It is very overlooked in the USA, like most of the Prodiscus family (other than the popular overstable putt-and-approach disc, the Jokeri). Thus I think it deserves more attention and it could match up to another extremely popular, similar new distance driver, the Innova Shryke.
I hope that players out there are open to trying new discs and that this review has been helpful in that discovery. As a distance driver fanboy, these are four of the lesser-known discs that really stand out to me. Feel free to share your lesser-known recommendations in the comments below.