Today we close out the first round in the Alpaca region, and tomorrow we start the action in the P2 region. Today’s match features the 2 seed Discraft Luna going up against the 15 seed Viking Knife.
The Discraft Luna is the putter in the Paul McBeth line of discs for Discraft. It is a straight to overstable putter that is tall and beadless. It is primarily known for being the putter of choice for the now 6-time world champion Paul McBeth since his groundbreaking sponsorship change to Discraft from Innova a few years ago.
The Luna has consistently been a top seller since its release in 2018 shortly after McBeth’s move to Discraft. It is one of the more popular choices for a putting putter as well as a driving and approach putter for disc golfers of all skill levels. Other than some occasional special releases, the Luna is usually exclusively available in a unique Paul McBeth putter plastic blend that is tacky and uniquely textured.
Viking Discs is a relatively new disc golf manufacturer based out of Finland. Their discs are now made in China by Yikun Discs. As the global supply chain shortage and astronomical growth of disc golf wiped out the stock of the bigger disc golf brand names, Viking was one of several smaller manufacturers that saw a big bump in popularity as folks gave their discs a try and found them to be a reliable and affordable option for their disc golf discs.
The Knife is a shallow beadless putter that features a straight to overstable flight. It has garnered popularity as an approach putter as well as a putting putter, and its size and flight make the Knife comparable to discs like the Axiom Envy or Discraft Ringer. Today we used the grippy and somewhat soft Ground Knife for our testing.
Specifications and Flight Numbers
Let’s take a look at some of the specs courtesy of the PDGA and break down the major differences between these two putter molds.
|Flight Numbers: 3/3/0/3 (1.0 Discraft Stability Rating)
Max Weight: 175.1gr
Rim Depth: 1.4cm
Rim Thickness: 1.1cm
Inside Rim Diameter: 18.9cm
Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 6.6%
Rim Configuration: 68.50
Max Weight: 175.1gr
Rim Depth: 1.3cm
Rim Thickness: 1.0cm
Inside Rim Diameter: 19.1cm
Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 8.5%
Rim Configuration: 58.75
The first thing I’m surprised by here is how the Luna is actually rated to be more overstable than the Knife when you go by the flight numbers. That 3 fade rating seems a bit high to me, especially since the Luna is known for being thrown on long straight lines by Paul McBeth. Of course, the average disc golfer isn’t McBeth, but still so far I’d consider the Knife to be a more overstable disc than the Luna.
The primary difference between these two discs when compared side by side is the height of these discs. The Luna is a touch taller, which makes it a floatier disc in flight. This height difference is also probably why the Luna seems less overstable to me, as it will hold up for longer before giving in to the end of flight fade.
The two plastic blends are quite a bit different as well since the Luna’s Paul McBeth putter blend features a very unique texture. The disc has tiny little bumps in it that make the disc feel a bit grainy in the hand. It almost feels like the texture of an orange peel, but more subtle. I thought this texture might cause me issues when testing the disc, but once I got going with the disc it became less and less noticeable.
Now, let’s get to the results of the head-to-head match.
I conducted this match on a beautiful morning at a local disc golf course on a permanent Innova Discatcher basket. After warming up, a coin flip determined that the Viking Knife would be thrown first. Here is how it all played out:
(2) Luna Scorecard
(15) Knife Scorecard
|20ft: Y Y N Y N Y Y Y Y Y (8/10 putts made)=24 points
20ft: N Y N Y Y Y N Y N Y (6/10)=18 points
|30ft: N N Y Y Y N N Y Y Y (6/10)=24 points
30ft: Y Y Y N N N N Y Y Y (6/10)=24 points
|40ft: N N N N Y N Y N Y N (3/10)=15 points
40ft: N N N Y N N N N Y N (2/10)=10 points
|Total: 63 points
Well, I said I expected my putting to get better during this project, and in the final match of the first round of the Alpaca Region, we have the highest scoring match so far. Both discs tested well, but the Discraft Luna came out on top defeating the Viking Knife 63-52..
Notes from the Match
This was a fun match for me as I felt like I was able to get a pretty nice groove going on the putting green with both discs. While The Luna is a bit taller than the Knife, I didn’t feel a need to change my approach too much when I switched between discs. That being said, I do think I just felt more comfortable with the shape and feel of the Luna than I did with the Knife as the match went on.
While it wasn’t detrimental to the Knife’s final score, the Knife fell victim to one of the most brutal chain outs I’ve ever experienced. From 20ft, the disc crashed near dead center into the chains before turning sideways and pushing through to the back of the basket where it wobbled on the rim for a few seconds before finally sliding off the edge onto the ground. Spit outs happen, but this one was rough.
I don’t have too much profound to say about the difference in how these discs performed. As I mentioned above, I just think the shape and feel of the Luna gave me a touch more confidence as I approached each putt. The unique texture of the disc became less distracting and maybe even became a source of confidence in my grip. Also, the Knife is a touch shorter and has more of a flatter profile. While I’ve done well with discs like this–In fact, I still did pretty good with the Knife–The Luna’s size and shape just felt more natural for me, and it ended up showing in the final score.
The Luna is one of the flagship molds for Discraft these days, and it is definitely priced accordingly. It can’t be ignored that you could buy 2 Ground Knifes and have some change left over for the price of a single Discraft Luna. That being said, the Luna is a quality mold made with quality plastic, and if I felt that the Luna was the right disc for me and gave me a competitive advantage, I’d pay the price. So if choosing between these two discs for the putting green, I’d recommend the Discraft Luna, but the Viking Knife is a great option as well if you want to save a buck.
Tomorrow, we get things rolling across the bracket in the P2 region with the 1 seed Discmania P2 taking on the 16 seed Yikun Meteor Hammer.