When my Amazon order arrived with my fresh Kestrel Outdoors disc golf set, I eagerly opened the package in anticipation to see what this brand of plastic was like. I’m always curious to see what discs are like from any new disc manufacturer.
Upon opening the package it was like deja vu… these discs looked very familiar to me. They looked exactly like the base plastic Yikun discs I received as a sample about six years ago. Not only were the disc molds the same shape, but they were even the same color!
The distinctness of the blue lid putter with the grooved ridges in the flight plate rim quickly gave it away. The putter is the same thing as the Yikun Talon.
The yellow midrange (which is actually more of an approach disc with a low profile putter-like rim) of the exact same shape and flight ratings of the Yikun Wings.
The red fairway driver with the distinct plastic feel (it’s a very good feel, just not very durable) is the same mold as the Yikun View.
The fact that these three discs were all the same color as the ones I received in 2013 from Yikun left me no doubt. I immediately knew who the manufacturer of these Kestrel Outdoors discs is.
For Chinese made discs, Yikun Sports makes really good ones. Unlike other manufacturers that just mass produce plastic in the form of discs without playing the sport or having any scientific knowledge of disc flight, Yikun is serious about disc sports and sells a lot of Ultimate Frisbees in Asia. They have also come a long way in their disc golf disc production. When they first got started with disc golf about five years ago they sent me a set of discs to test out. After hitting a light pole with a the base plastic tiger-line driver that immediately warped beyond use, I gave them some feedback about their product. They have since improved their techniques and quality and the new Active Line discs they make for Discmania are really good.
However, these Kestrel Discs appear to be from Yikun’s original batch before the quality improved. My theory is that they sold Kestrel the remaining discs from their first production runs.
Kestrel Starter Set Review
Overall, this is a decent starter set, and pretty good value being that it was only $23 including shipping. But, other than for a putting putter, base plastic discs just do not work for thickly wooded courses like those I’ve been playing in Delaware.
The Kestrel putter is different than the traditional disc golf putter, but after using it for a while I absolutely love it. I play a lot of Ultimate Frisbee and drained many long putts with this disc. Because it is so slow and floaty you don’t have to worry about it going too far from the basket. As a starter set putter I think it is a good one as its similarity to a traditional frisbee is helpful for new players learning to play disc golf. The Kestrel putter is still stable like a golf disc though and doesn’t have the true straight floating finish of a frisbee.
The Kestrel Mid-Range has a very slim profile and a thin rim. If classified by the major manufacturers, it would likely be in the “putt and approach” discs section rather than as a midrange, but is definitely designed for throwing rather than putting. This disc has a good stable flight, perhaps a little bit too overstable for the average beginner. Unfortunately, because of the low grade base plastic, this disc became unusable during my second round after a major tree hit. Notice how warped the disc got after impact with a tree.
Kestrel Fairway Driver
The Kestrel fairway driver had a really nice slightly understable flight path the first few times I threw it, but quickly became too understable for me to use (which is probably actually a good stability for a true beginner). The mold shape and design is good for a beginner set, but in my opinion, no one should ever buy a disc golf driver in base plastic. During my third round with the Kestrel Fairway driver the disc hyzer flipped completely over, drifted far right, and then kicked off a tree and over a fence. I didn’t bother trying to retrieve it as is now way too flippy and well beyond its useful life for me.
I purchased this set just for the discs, the bag was not a selling point and didn’t make a difference whether I bought the set or not, but for what it’s worth, it really is a pretty nice little draw string bag. It has multiple compartments and will easily hold 6-8 discs for quick casual rounds (which is exactly what I am using it for right now). It’s not a bag I would want to keep for regular use, the biggest flaw is the lack of water bottle holder (very important for my drinking habits), but as a light weight bag to hold a few discs for a quick round it works just great..
Overall, the Kestrel Starter set is better than most of the cheap-o sets available on the internet. At least these discs are made by a company that focus’s on flying discs. If the courses you play have very few trees — that you aren’t going to hit, then this is an acceptable set and for the price I would recommend it. If you play disc golf in the woods, don’t waste your money on this set and instead buy a set of durable disc golf discs that will make it through more than three rounds of disc golf. For more highly recommended sets, check out this post for our top rated disc golf sets.
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