With the end of 2018 and the start of the new year, it is time to take a look back and see which discs sold the most during the year. Once again, we’ll be taking the sales data from the online retailer, Infinite Discs. The best-sellers are often influenced by several factors. The most obvious factor is that the discs people like the most, with the most consistent performance trend toward the top of the best-sellers.
However, other factors come into play when it comes to sales, like limited edition signature discs that support pros, limited editions that support tournaments, special holiday featured discs, collectible appeal, and just the politics of disc golf. For example, the announced move of Paul McBeth away from Innova and to Discraft caused huge spikes in sales, particularly for the Destroyer that had his name on it (people worried they won’t be able to get more like it) and discs that players speculated he’d be throwing by Discraft.
So let’s get right to the results. These are the top 20 best-selling discs of 2018 according to Infinite Discs.
- DESTROYER by Innova (Distance Driver)
- P2 by Discmania (Putter)
- AVIAR by Innova (Putter)
- FIREBIRD by Innova (Control Driver)
- BUZZZ by Discraft (Mid-Range)
- WRAITH by Innova (Distance Driver)
- TEEBIRD by Innova (Control Driver)
- THUNDERBIRD by Innova (Control Driver)
- SHRYKE by Innova (Distance Driver)
- JUDGE by Dynamic Discs (Putter)
- FD by Discmania (Control Driver)
- ROC3 by Innova (Mid-Range)
- VALKYRIE by Innova (Control Driver)
- HARP by Westside (Putt and Approach)
- PHARAOH by Infinite Discs (Distance Driver)
- LEOPARD3 by Innova (Control Driver)
- ENVY by Axiom (Putt and Approach)
- WIZARD by Gateway (Putter)
- MAKO3 by Innova (Mid-Range)
- LEOPARD by Innova (Control Driver)
It is not uncommon to see the Destroyer distance driver by Innova at the top of the list, year after year. It has become a go-to driver for many players, as well as a collectible disc when it comes to signature editions and limited editions. It is sometimes surprising to see a driver like the Destroyer selling so much when it has flight characteristics that are not particularly friendly to new players. It is generally overstable with a sharp fade at the end of flight when thrown by players without great arm-speed. However, Innova has done a great job of making it available in very light weights and in several plastics that tend to be much more forgiving to slower arm speeds. For example, you can find very low weights in Blizzard Champion or GStar platic as well as in the most popular blend, Star Plastic, weighing as low as the 130-140 gram range. But the fact that so many professional players use the Destroyer creates a solid impression that it is a must-have for anybody who takes the game seriously.
The P2 putter by Discmania is also a huge story. Just during the last couple of years its reputation has launched from being “just another putter” in a crowded lineup to becoming the go-to putter for many players, including some high profile professionals. It is known as a very straight-flying putter with good glide, and those are often the most important factors when you want a short, accurate throw.
Most of the chart is dominated by Innova as the largest, top-selling brand. They have done a great job through the years of sponsoring a healthy team of professional players, and that has helped greatly to build a strong reputation. It will be very interesting to see how the best-seller chart changes in 2019 with the move of Paul McBeth from Innova to Discraft. While a boost in Discraft sales can be expected, the longevity of that boost will likely depend on Paul’s performance with his new bag of discs at the high profile tournaments.
You’ll also notice that drivers, if you add together both distance and control drivers, are the hottest selling disc type. While everybody needs putters to practice and to play, and the mid-range disc is often the unappreciated workhorse on the course, the drivers always get all the attention and glory. Plus, it is easy to see how players always believe that a shiny, new distance driver will revolutionize their game– if you throw further, you’re often perceived as a better player. Plus, let’s face it, if you’re going to throw a disc into a lake by accident, it will more likely be a driver, and that means you’ll need to buy more of them. Let’s take a look at the ratio of which types of discs appeared on the chart the most. For the sake of categorization, we’re calling “speed 6 – speed 9” discs as “control drivers,” and we’re calling “speed 10 – speed 14” discs as “distance drivers.”
HOW MANY TIMES DID DISC TYPES APPEAR IN THE TOP 20 CHART?
While the Destroyer may be the top-selling disc, the control drivers (also known as fairway drivers) when grouped together, still make up the largest selection appearing in the top twenty of 2018. Face it, many newer players have more luck with a Valkyrie, FD, or Leopard than they do a high-speed driver.
The Pharaoh distance driver by Infinite Discs made a strong showing in this chart, but once again, these are stats which reflect the disc sales through Infinite Discs, and since they are one of the few sources of this popular new driver, they show strong sales for the disc. Other retailers would have zero sales of the Pharaoh, so that particular disc’s position is likely inaccurate across the larger scene. But with that said, the majority of the chart should represent disc sales in general, at least to the more disc savvy buyer, since Infinite Discs is one of the largest online retailers in the market. They ship discs to buyers all over the USA and beyond. These figures would not correctly take into account any disc sales through big box stores where beginner discs and package sets rule the day, selling to new players or curious shoppers.
We look forward to seeing how the 2019 year comes together! Feel free to share your opinion on these and other discs in the comments.