Discs are commonly rated on a flight rating system. Innova Disc Golf has an excellent chart on their website that breaks down how discs can be rated. Flight rating is determined based on Speed, Glide, Turn, and Fade. What is notable here is that different companies have different ratings. While Innova discs rates on Speed, Glide, Turn, and Fade, while Vibram Disc Golf has a more different chart that is dedicated to relating discs to one another. We will be informing you on ratings from Innova disc’s chart as it is easier to comprehend and more thorough.  

Speed

Speed is defined as the rate at which an object travels. In terms of disc sports this means the rate at which the flying disc can travel through the air. Innova disc rates Speed on a scale of 1 to 14 with 1 being the slowest and 14 being the highest. 

Speed 14 Distance Drivers are the disks that have the highest speed with the assistance of the maximum disc width the PDGA allows. Now is a good time to note that the material the disc is made out of has a large impact on disc speed. 

Another factor with speed is whether the disc is traveling upwind or downwind. The more speed a disc has, the easier it is for that disc to travel upwind. When a disc naturally navigates the wind, you don’t have to use as much force to throw the disc. 

On the other hand, a slower disc with a rating closer to 1 would require more force to cut through an upwind. That same disc could travel further and more accurately downwind.  

It is recommended that beginners use discs with a lower speed rating as they will be easier to control. 

Glide

Glide is defined as a flying discs’ ability to maintain loft while thrown. Innova discs rates glide on a scale of 1 to 7 with 1 being a disc that maintains less glide, and 7 a disc that has more glide. Discs with a glide rating of 7 are excellent for beginners as they provide more glide, and are easier to control. 

Pros may find that they prefer discs with a lower glide rating. The lower the glide rating the easier it is to throw accurately in high wind scenarios.

Turn

Turn is the tendency for a disc to turn or bank in the air. This banking usually occurs in the beginning of a disc’s flight. Innova Disc rates turn from a ratio of + 1 to -5. A disc with the rating of +1 is going to be more resistant to turn while a disc with the rating of -5 will definitely turn. 

Discs with less turn will move more accurately in the wind, while discs with more turn will turn more in the wind. Some users will appreciate the curve as they are trying to make trick shots, say off of a tree and into a metal basket. 

Fade

Innova discs rates Fade on a scale of 0 to 5. Lower fade discs will hook left when thrown with a Right Hand Back Hand style. A disc that is rated with a 0 will have a straight finish while a disc that is rated with 5 will have a higher hook towards the end of its flight.

High Fade discs are excellent options when attempting Spike and Skip shots. These shots are helpful for when certain terrain needs to be covered. 

Plastic Matters

Not only do the categories of Speed, Glide, Turn, and Fade affect how a disc travels in the air, but also the type of plastic used affects the flight of the disc. Innova discs claims that their more premium plastics will maintain their original flight pattern longer than less premium discs. 

Innova discs sells a number of plastic discs. The plastic discs Innova sails is as follows:

  • Star
  • Starlite
  • Echo
  • Gstar
  • Champion
  • Metal Flake
  • Blizzard
  • XT
  • Driver Pro
  • KC & MCPRO
  • R-Pro
  • JK Pro
  • DX

Each line of plastic has specific ratings that will also affect the Speed, Glide, Turn, and Fade of each disc. Be sure to check that so that the plastic you choose is in line with your needs. You obviously want the top of the range product that will do the job you desire.

Alternative Disc Ratings

While Innova disc has its own rating system, so does Vibram disc golf. VIbram disc golf has a rating system similar to Innova discs considering Speed, Fade, and Turn. However, Vibram disc golf has a more specific flight chart for Distance covering Distance Drivers, Fairway Drivers, Mid-Range Drivers, and Putt & Approach drivers.

Speed Charts Help Beginners And Pros

Whether you prefer Vibrum’s chart or Innova’s chart, these disc charts are made to help you understand the flight characteristics of flying discs. With over 100 different flying discs to choose from its important to understand how each disc performs.

Of course, these speed rating charts are suggestions, once you purchase a disc, try it out to get a feeling for how the disc performs.

This article should serve as a guideline. That means we have presented as much information as we could cram in here. You need to take that information and determine what’s important to you. You’ll only know how the disc performs after you try it. Sometimes you can’t have all the information upfront, and you have to take the plunge and ask questions later. Although we dispensed our knowledge in this article, we’d love to hear your experience. How did you use the information above to make an informed decision and what was your experience with the disc that you chose?

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions and be sure to let us know your story.

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