The new release train has left the station for the 2018 disc golf season. There are already quite a few new discs that have hit the market as of the end of March, but more are coming. Let’s take a look at three of the new, high-speed distance drivers to hit the market already along with a quick review of each.
LU by YIKUN
First of all, I liked the feel of the Phoenix Line plastic on this run of LU drivers. It is durable plastic, but flexible, like Innova’s Gummy Champion, or Discraft’s Z FLX plastic. I tend to like plastics that aren’t rock-hard when it comes to distance drivers.
With the wide rim width and feel of the LU, I expected it to fly something like an Innova Boss, and after several throws at full power, I don’t think that expectation was far off. It might be slightly more understable than a Boss, but still has dependable fade at the end of flight. When thrown with maximum power, it can trace a huge s-curve across the sky and cover some real good distance. I found myself releasing it with an anhyzer, which I usually do when ripping a driver as hard as I can, and I loved the results as it managed to fade back at the end of flight for a balanced journey. I’d say the finish was slightly overstable and given the flight numbers, that is what I’d expect.
The Lu is a solid distance driver for intermediate and experienced players. It is likely too high-speed for beginners, so I would not recommend it as a good disc to use while learning. Wait until you’ve got your power built up, then go ahead and give it a try.
VALHALLA by VIKING
The Valhalla is another distance driver that is not beginner-friendly, but it is a very solid distance driver for intermediate to experienced players. Filling a slot similar to an Innova Destroyer, this is the kind of disc that can be the workhorse distance driver in the Viking Discs lineup. It has a more comfortable rim size than the high-speed Thunder God Thor from Viking, which has a maximum width rim, and the Valhalla can be used as a very reliable, stable-to-overstable driver. It certainly will fade every time, but only after you get some good 300+ foot distance, even with medium arm-speed.
The Storm plastic feels great (equivalent of the above-mentioned Phoenix Line plastic from Yikun). It is a translucent plastic similar to Innova Champion, but it is a bit more flexible (gummy) so that it isn’t too stiff and the disc has no sharp, uncomfortable edges. The Valhalla is certainly a great addition to the Viking Discs lineup, released along with the very good Barbarian fairway driver and the Loki overstable mid-range, and helps to boost the brand to a higher level, appealing more to players of all skill levels. I look forward to seeing what the next additions to the Finnish brand line-up will present as Viking continues to fill the niches and slots in the disc golf bags of players around the world.
TANTRUM by AXIOM
The Trantrum is the first of the 2.5 cm wide-rimmed distance drivers from Axiom and is designed to be a bomber for maximum distance. If you’re familiar with the maximum distance drivers from MVP that were released in 2017, then you can know that the Tantrum fits right between the Teleport and the Relativity, in terms of stability. This disc can be thrown with maximum power and has an understable enough release that it will pop up and fly for a long distance before hitting a steady end-fade. It doesn’t require that the player be an expert to achieve maximum distance results. It may end up being one of the best distance drivers for the general cross-section of players for the 2018 season.
This is likely too high-speed for beginners and players with slower arm speeds, but if you feel comfortable with your technique and want to try pushing your speed and distance, the Tantrum could be a great disc to begin testing your limits. For power throwers who love overstable discs, there are better choices in the market, but for the rest of us, there’s the Tantrum.