Let’s take a look at some of the discs from Vibram that are easy-to-throw and would work for novice players. These are discs that are more forgiving when it comes to premature fades, so they work not only for beginners, but for those who have lower arm speeds and want discs that will achieve more distance and accuracy without a lot of power.
When it comes to video disc reviews for beginners, one of the sources that I really like is Tuck4S1 because he has a down-to-earth way of reviewing and testings discs and can relate to a lot of the recreational players out there. Here is his video review for three Vibram discs that make a good “starter pack” with an easy-throw driver, a straight-flying mid-range, and a putter:
I instantly caught one slip-up in the commentary in the video with the words, “I loved the feel of the plastic.” Vibram discs are unique in the disc golf market because their discs are all made of rubber, not plastic. They have a tackier feel than most plastics, which is great if you prefer a disc that is easy to grip. They are also extremely durable and can take a huge beating without sustaining the kind of damage that changes the flight characteristics of plastic discs. Here is a look at the three discs covered in the video, and then I’ll add a couple more personal favorites:
I agree with the video reviewers that the Onyx is an excellent disc for both beginners and players with slower arm speeds, as well as for throwing “downwind” (with the wind coming at your back). The Onyx only comes in light weights, ranging from the low 130g to 155g max, so it definitely isn’t for power throwers. It also cannot stand up against a headwind at all. But I have recommended the Onyx many time for older players who find themselves slowing down, for women who want to play with their husbands but feel embarrassed about their distance abilities, for children who are just getting started, or for anybody who wants a disc that is easy to throw. The rim is comfortably small, so it even feels right for players with smaller hands. Vibram got everything right with the Onyx in terms of making an easy-throw disc. I definitely don’t want people thinking that they’re getting some “easy-throw” Walmart special when they buy the Onyx— they are getting a professionally made disc that really works. Sure, you may be able to buy a Walmart starter set for the same price as a single Onyx, but this disc is better than anything in those cheap plastic sets (which are usually worthless). This disc will fly right and last a long time even under constant use and abuse.
Vibram doesn’t have a large selection of mid-range discs in their arsenal yet. That is probably because mid-range discs tend to be the most underrated disc types when it comes to a player’s perception of their importance in the game. Everybody knows that putting can make or break a great round, and that distance drivers bring the showmanship to the game. But mid-ranges are work horses that get the job done at moderate distances, which is where a lot of the game is played. The Ibex is the straight-flying mid, and the Obex is the overstable (harder fading) partner to the Ibex. Vibram also recently released the Launch which seems to fly somewhere in between the two. The Ibex is very dependable in terms of being a point-and-shoot mid, flying straight with only minimal fade. It is a good disc to use when learning control and technique.
The Summit is the straightest (slightly understable) of the Vibram putters and is thus most suited to new players who are working to release flat and fly straight. It is a good, light-touch putter that is very easy to control. One of the things players love most about Vibram putters is the rubber feel. They love the grip, and they love the way the rubber sticks where it hits (whether than be the chains, or the ground). In fact, a lot of players use Vibram putters in X-Link Soft rubber because it is extremely flexible and very useful as a utility disc on shots where they need the disc to hit and stay (no skipping or rolling). X-Link Soft rubber is so flexible that it can be folded in half with ease. The Summit has a small bead on the bottom of the rim, for grip and comfort. Vibram has other great putters with a variety of rim configurations for personal tastes, like the Ridge, or the Sole which is one of my personal favorites as a beadless, driving putter for longer throws.
I have always been a huge fan of the Unlace. It was one of the first distance drivers that I was able to throw with an instantly noticeable increase in distance. It is understable enough that is resists the fade very well for those who have decent throwing technique, but who lack the power for a lot of the big-name distance bombers. I was able to throw, but struggle to get much further than 300 feet until I got a hold of an Unlace. I don’t use it as much anymore, except for anhyzer throws where I want the disc to pull significantly to the understable side (to the right, for right-hand, backhand throwers). But if you are a borderline on your ability to get a lot of distance, but are getting a good feel for the technique, give the Unlace a try! I have seen guys who are huge fans of the Unlace– so much that once they learn to throw with more power, they still use the Unlace with a hyzer release to see it stand-up and fly.
For those who like the sound of the Onyx, but don’t necessarily feel comfortable with the light weight of the Onyx, I would strongly recommend the Vamp. This disc is the understable fairway driver from Vibram, and it is a great disc for beginners who can handle the full weight, but who want the disc to resist the end-fade as long as possible. It is also a favorite disc for my anhyzer turns (turning right with a right-hand, backhand throw). If released on an anhyzer angle, with the outside edge of the disc angled up, it will turn, flatten out, and then glide for a respectable distance. This is a very versatile fairway driver that can be steered by the release angle, or be dead straight when thrown with moderate power. If you don’t have the arm speed for a distance driver like the Unlace, but want something similar, then the Vamp is the disc that is just a notch down in speed. I’ve seen it used very effectively by women who have good technique and want a disc for extra distance.
Those are some of my recommendations for Vibram discs that are great for beginners or for those who want more distance with less power. All in all, Vibram is a great brand and has a promising future as a unique disc-maker in the growing disc golf market.