New Disc Golf Discs – Spring 2016 Review

As the summer months approach, it is time for the seasonal slew of new disc releases to keep our selection of plastic fresh and exciting. Here is a rundown of a few of the new discs that you may want to explore this summer:

DEFENDER by Dynamic Discs

  • Speed: 13.0
  • Glide: 5.0
  • Turn: 0.0
  • Fade: 3.0
  • Primary Use: Distance Driver
  • Stability: Overstable
  • Recommended Skill Level: Advanced, Intermediate

 

 

 

 

 

Though I’m not personally adept with higher speed discs in the 13-15 range, I found the Defender to be a solid new disc for long, overstable throws. I was able to get respectable distance even though I typically do better with slower discs. If you’re an experienced player and have the arm to whip the Defender out there, then you’ll really like the result. If you’re a beginner, then there are other drivers you may want to try first.

KNIGHT by Latitude 64

  • Speed: 14.0
  • Glide: 4.0
  • Turn: -1.0
  • Fade: 4.0
  • Primary Use: Distance Driver
  • Stability: Overstable
  • Recommended Skill Level: Everyone

 

 

The Knight is another high-speed disc with a solid, overstable fade. However, it is more understable on initial release, so it flew a nice S-curve pattern when I threw it. It has a wide rim and feels slightly different. I don’t do a lot of forehand flicking, but this disc flew quite well for an associate of mine that has a really strong flick throw. Latitude 64 puts out some great discs, and though the Knight is more for the intermediate to advanced players, it is a solid addition to their family of discs.

DDX by Dismania

  • Speed: 12.0
  • Glide: 6.0
  • Turn: -1.0
  • Fade: 2.0
  • Primary Use: Distance Driver
  • Stability: Overstable
  • Recommended Skill Level: Intermediate, Everyone

 

 

Here is a new distance driver that really felt good to me. The speed 12 is a great fit for my personal limitations and abilities. The disc has a really nice glide, which keeps it up in the air when I throw it, plus the understable release that transitions into a nice fade. I can get a really good S-curve flight pattern with the DDX and felt a lot more comfortable with it than some of the higher-speed, more overstable discs. I’d definitely recommend this disc to the intermediate player. It would even work fine with a developing new player who wants to practice getting some nice distance. Compare it to an Innova Destroyer, but with less fade.

VANISH by Axiom (note: Also available with limited stamp)

  • Speed: 12.0
  • Glide: 5.0
  • Turn: -3.0
  • Fade: 2.0
  • Primary Use: Distance Driver
  • Stability: Understable
  • Recommended Skill Level: Everyone

 

 

 

 

I enjoyed throwing the Vanish and was able to do some different things depending on the angle of my wrist during release. When throwing it with a hyzer angle, it flipped up nicely and covered some good distance. However, if you’ve got a strong arm and really try to whip this disc out onto the fairway, it may flip over on you because it has an understable release. All in all, the Vanish is a good addition to the unique Axiom family.

UNDERTAKER by Discraft (note: Now available in Ledgestone Glow Z plastic)

  • Speed: 9.0
  • Glide: 5.0
  • Turn: -1.0
  • Fade: 3.0
  • Primary Use: Control Driver
  • Stability: Overstable
  • Recommended Skill Level: Advanced, Intermediate

 

 

The Undertaker is a beefy fairway driver that can really hold a line nicely, even in somewhat windy conditions. It didn’t feel understable to me on the release, despite the -1 rating. I felt like I could throw this disc quite straight for an accurate shot within reasonable distances, though I had to be aware of a strong fade at the end of the flight. The Undertaker will make a sudden turn once it loses velocity. It’s a great disc for shorter, precision drives and flies well in the wind.

ONYX by Vibram (note: Light-weight discs great for beginners)

  • Speed: 8.0
  • Glide: 6.0
  • Turn: -3.0
  • Fade: 1.0
  • Primary Use: Control Driver
  • Stability: Understable
  • Recommended Skill Level: Beginner

 

 

The Onyx is probably the best disc I’ve seen lately for beginning players who don’t have their throwing technique down yet, or for women players or even children who are just getting a feel for the sport. That isn’t meant as a negative observation at all.  In fact, I’ve seen several women overjoyed with the distance that they were able to get with the light-weight Onyx.  I wouldn’t recommend this disc for the advanced player, who really wouldn’t have a need for something so understable and light, but it can completely change the game of disc golf for those groups who want a disc that will stand up and fly effortlessly even with little experience. Thank you, Vibram, for making a driver that can fill a void in a market often lacking discs for the novice player! The Onyx is available generally in weights between 135g and 155g.

A2 by Prodigy

  • Speed: 4.0
  • Glide: 4.0
  • Turn: 0.0
  • Fade: 3.0
  • Primary Use: Mid Range, Putt & Approach
  • Stability: Overstable
  • Recommended Skill Level: Advanced, Intermediate

 

 

The “A” series discs by Prodigy are designed to be hybrids between putters and mid-range discs. They have a thinner profile than most putters, but aren’t quite as large as some mid-range discs. The A2 is an overstable disc and will turn rather quickly after the release. Don’t turn to it for a precision putt, nor should you turn to it for a long drive. But it works nicely as a utility disc that can turn around obstacles and set you down where you want to be within short distances. I’d recommend the disc for advanced players who need to fill that niche in their bag.

AQUARIUS by Millenium (Note: This disc floats on water)

  • Speed: 10.0
  • Glide: 5.0
  • Turn: -4.0
  • Fade: 2.0
  • Primary Use: Distance Driver
  • Stability: Understable
  • Recommended Skill Level: Beginner, Everyone

 

 

 

Let’s face it– floating discs are something of a novelty. There are a few around to help comfort the aquaphobic player who hates seeing their disc sink when accidentally thrown into a water hazard. I’ve seen players lose many discs to the depths in windy conditions on certain courses. The Aquarius floats and can blow back to shore for easy retrieval.  But on top of that little novelty, the Aquarius actually flies quite well as a distance driver.  It won’t break any distance records, and it is a bit on the understable side for the advanced player, but it will cover respectable distances with great accuracy. I would highly recommend the Aquarius to beginning players who want a basic distance driver that is easy to throw.

MIRAGE by Innova

  • Speed: 3.0
  • Glide: 4.0
  • Turn: -3.0
  • Fade: 0.0
  • Primary Use: Putt & Approach
  • Stability: Understable
  • Recommended Skill Level: Beginner, Everyone

 

 

The Mirage is marketed as a putt and approach disc, but I’d say that the emphasis is on the approach. It flies straight and true for longer distances than most putters, while pulling to the understable side when released with more snap.  It could be used nicely as a midrange for a beginning player or to bridge the gap between a midrange and a putter. It actually looks almost identical to an Innova Wedge and serves a similar purpose.

GRYM X by Kastaplast

  • Speed: 13.0
  • Glide: 5.0
  • Turn: -1.0
  • Fade: 2.0
  • Primary Use: Distance Driver
  • Stability: Stable
  • Recommended Skill Level: Advanced, Intermediate

 

 

I’m not sure about the flight numbers on the Grym X because it feels and flies like a more beefy overstable disc than the numbers indicate. I’d probably give it a Turn: 0 and Fade: 3.  I struggled to get too much distance before the fade, but I watched an advanced player throw the Grym X for what seemed like a half mile.  I would highly recommend this disc for the intermediate to advanced player looking for a strong, overstable distance driver.

HABIT by Plastic Addicts (Note: Over-sized putter)

  • Speed: 3.0
  • Glide: 5.0
  • Turn: -1.0
  • Fade: 0.0
  • Primary Use: Putt & Approach
  • Stability: Understable
  • Recommended Skill Level: Beginner, Everyone

 

 

Though I wouldn’t expect to be wowed by a putter, I have to admit that the Habit was one of my favorite new discoveries of the Spring 2016 season. Plastic Addicts is a new company introducing discs to the market this year, and the Habit is one of the more unique putters I’ve seen lately.  When you pick it up, you’ll instantly notice how much bigger it is than the typical putter.  Because of the added size, the disc is also available in weights into the low 180g range (I now throw a 181g Habit).  The true appeal of the Habit is the fact that it can hold a straight line and float longer than many putters, without as much effort. I found that I didn’t need to kick and push so much on longer putts because the Habit could fly true with just the flick of the wrist. Maybe it’s because of my affection for old-school frisbee, but the oversized Habit putter just feels great to me.

INTERVENTION by Plastic Addicts

  • Speed: 12.0
  • Glide: 5.0
  • Turn: -1.0
  • Fade: 4.0
  • Primary Use: Distance Driver
  • Stability: Overstable
  • Recommended Skill Level: Advanced

 

 

Along with the Habit putter, Plastic Addicts released a flagship driver.  The Intervention is true to the flight ratings, releasing with a nice straight-line flight while finishing with a very strong fade.  While it is a solid, dependable driver for overstable needs and would be a welcome addition to the bag of any intermediate and advanced player, I didn’t find it as much as a stand-out disc as the Habit putter. But I am excited to see what else comes out of the Plastic Addicts line.

ROCKET by Prodiscus

  • Speed: 9.0
  • Glide: 4.0
  • Turn: 0.0
  • Fade: 3.0
  • Primary Use: Control Driver
  • Stability: Overstable
  • Recommended Skill Level: Advanced, Intermediate

 

 

The Prodiscus line of discs from Finland are solid, predictable discs. The Rocket works well as a shorter range diver with a solid fade. I didn’t get the opportunity to throw it much, but I’m told that it is quite similar to another disc by Prodiscus called the Titan.

DEFY by Axiom (Note: Also available with limited stamp)

  • Speed: 12.0
  • Glide: 5.0
  • Turn: -1.0
  • Fade: 2.0
  • Primary Use: Distance Driver
  • Stability: Stable
  • Recommended Skill Level: Intermediate

 

 

 

I was able to get some good distance out of the Defy when I picked up a lighter weight version in (about 168g).  It seemed the fade was a bit stronger than advertised. I got more distance releasing with an anhyzer angle.  It is less understable than the new Vanish, and continues to build on the Axiom line of distance drivers. I still love the limited 1616 stamp too.

OCTANE by MVP

  • Speed: 13.0
  • Glide: 5.0
  • Turn: -1.0
  • Fade: 2.0
  • Primary Use: Distance Driver
  • Stability: Stable
  • Recommended Skill Level: Intermediate

 

 

 

 

The Octane, along with the Nitro, introduce a new line of wider-rimmed discs from MVP, designed for higher speed and more distance. Apparently there was a lot of demand from MVP fans to make high-speed discs.  The rim doesn’t feel strange to me at all.  It was comfortable to throw. With my own distance limitations I was able to throw the Octane about as far as a lot of other stable distance drivers. I think that MVP fans will find it a great addition to their bags.

NITRO by MVP

    • Speed: 13.0
    • Glide: 5.0
    • Turn: -1.0
    • Fade: 2.0
    • Primary Use: Distance Driver
    • Stability: Overstable
    • Recommended Skill Level: Intermediate

 

 

 

 

Though the numbers provided for the Nitro at the time of this post are identical to those of the Octane, I feel comfortable in saying that the Nitro is slightly less overstable. I could consistently land the Nitro a good twenty feet further than the Octane with my intermediate arm strength. If I had to choose between one or the other, I’d take the Nitro for my own throwing style. I’d rate it slightly less “advanced” than the Octane. It is also part of the new wider rimmed releases by MVP.

TRAVELER by Full Turn

  • Speed: 9.0
  • Glide: 4.0
  • Turn: 0.0
  • Fade: 2.0
  • Primary Use: Distance Driver
  • Stability: Overstable
  • Recommended Skill Level: Everyone

 

 

Full Turn is a new company on the scene, and they’re working with Prodiscus to manufacture and put out a new line of discs. Thus, the plastic feels like Prodiscus plastic.  I have to admit that I loved throwing the Traveler by Full Turn. I found this disc to be very accurate as a shorter distance driver. Whenever I released the Traveler with a low, flat release, it flew like a laser-beam in a perfectly straight line, only fading right at the end with a little dump to the overstable side. I feel like I could throw this disc with pin-point accuracy at a target. As a fan of the finesse game, I am now lusting after the Traveler and feel like I’d use it regularly.

Well, there is a look at some of the newest discs on the market as we head into the summer of 2016. I’m sure that I’ve missed a few here, but I hope that this guide helps to give you an idea of what each disc is like. Of course, the opinions are my own, and we all know that the feel and performance of different discs is often a very personal matter. The discs that I love for my own style may differ from yours, so I’d encourage you to try them out and share your own input and opinions in the comments.

Here is a quick summary for beginners — You’re safe with the Aquarius, Onyx, Mirage and Habit
For me– I’ll be throwing a lot more of the DDX, Undertaker, Traveler, and Habit
For the advanced player– Give a rip to the Defender, Grym X, Intervention, Octane, Nitro, and A2 as a utility disc.