Discraft has been killing it recently with their new releases, and it looks like they’ve done it again with the newest edition to their Paul McBeth line of discs, the Athena. The Athena is a stable fairway driver that is currently only available in the Paul McBeth Prototype ESP run. I got the chance to take one of these beautiful discs out to the field this morning to test out. Here is my review.
About 4 years ago, Discraft revamped their ESP plastic blend so that all of them feature a multicolor swirly/transitional finish. Ever since then, they have been some of the most beautiful discs in the game, and the Athena is no exception. The one I got for review features a yellow rim that transitions beautifully into a pink flight plate.
The Paul McBeth Prototype Driver stamp is a pretty minimal design, but it offers a really clean look that compliments well the swirly finish of the plastic blend.
The Athena is a 7-speed driver features a relatively flat flight plate and comfortable rim size. The bottom of the far edge of the rim seems to turn downward into a bit of a sharp edge. This edge doesn’t really impact my backhand grip, but I did notice it more on the forehand grip. It didn’t have a negative impact on how the disc flew or released for me, but I do think it is worth mentioning here.
ESP plastic offers a nice combination of grip and durability. The disc is moderately flexible, but it also has a nice firm grip along the rim that offers a reliable grip and release.
Discraft, we finally have a Teebird! For nearly 20 years the Innova TeeBird has been the biggest name in the 7-speed stable driver category of discs, and Discraft hasn’t really had a solid comp to the Teebird slot in their lineup of discs–until now.
The Athena flies a lot like a Teebird for me. When thrown backhand with moderate to full power, the Athena holds a very straight line before eventually giving way to a relatively strong fade. I was maxing out around 300-325ft for distance. On a touch forehand line the Athena flew similarly to how it did when I threw it backhand. It held straight maybe with a touch of turn before coming back for a reliable fade. The Athena flies very true to its assigned flight numbers (which are almost exactly the same as the Teebird’s).
I actually took a couple Teebirds with me to see how they compare, and consistently they were landing within 10-20 feet of the Athena. The main difference for me was that the Athena seemed to fade a touch harder than my Teebirds, but that also could just be because the Athena was brand new while my Teebirds were broken in a bit more.
I don’t mean to cheapen the Athena by calling it a Discraft Teebird. I really mean to compliment the Athena by making the comparison. I think it is a great addition to the Discraft Paul McBeth lineup, and if you love the feel of Discraft plastic but have been looking for something to fill that stable 7-speed driver slot, then you should be pretty excited about the Athena. I would definitely recommend the Athena to anyone looking for a reliable straight flying fairway driver.