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Innova’s Destroyer is a well-known distance driver in part thanks to disc golf champion Ricky Wysocki, who swears by its flight path.
However, the Destroyer has a rival of its own out there: Latitude 64’s Ballista Pro.
Both the Ballista Pro and the Innova Destroyer are known for their long, crisp, stable flights. Both discs are capable of providing a straight shot from the point of release, to the moment the disc begins to fade.
When they’re so similar, it’s hard to determine what their differences are so you know which one will be best for you.
The Ballista Pro vs. the Destroyer: what are the similarities and differences? What can each of the discs be used for? Are they nearly identical or are they actually quite distinct?
In this article, we explore these two products in greater detail to help you make the right choice for your game.
There are a few things we need to talk about before we can truly appreciate the differences between the Ballista Pro and the Destroyer.
First, we know that they’re both distance drivers. To clarify what this means: disc golf discs are divided up into four different types that help us understand how they’re meant to fly and when they should be used.
Distance drivers are the first type. These discs are used to cover max distances and a lot of distance in a single shot.
Distance drivers are the fancy, glamorous discs that are capable of performing long, soaring shots down the fairway.
Fairway drivers are used for more controlled distance shots. These discs are easier for beginners to throw because they are slower speeds.
Mid-range discs are arguably the easiest for beginners to throw, although they’re quite necessary for every skill level! Mid-range discs can be used for a variety of shots and strategies.
Putters are the final category, which are mainly used for putt and approach shots due to their slow yet controlled speeds.
The next important set of terms and definitions we need to discuss are flight ratings. Flight ratings are how we know what behavior to expect from a disc.
The first category is speed. Speed doesn’t necessarily describe the disc’s speed capability so much as it does the amount of power that needs to go into throwing the disc before it will fly the way it’s supposed to.
Speed is measured on a scale of 1 to 14. Discs that are ranked at a 14 should only be thrown by well-developed players with big arms.
The next category is glide, which describes how the disc flies at the highest-speed portion of the flight. Glide is measured on a scale of 1 to 7.
High glide discs will soar far and wide across the fairway, while low glide discs stay closer to the ground for more accurate throws.
Turn is the next category, which helps us understand which direction the disc will turn when thrown.
On a right-hand backhand throw, discs with a rating of +1 to 0 are known as “overstable” and will turn left.
Discs with a rating of 0 to -1 are known as “stable” and will fly straight. Discs with a rating of -2 to -5 are “understable” and will turn right.
There is some overlapping of ratings here because manufacturers create their molds differently, yet all work under the same descriptors.
The final category is fade, which describes what the disc does at the end of flight.
Fade is measured on a scale of 0 to 5. Discs that are high fade will hook sharply in one direction (usually left on a right-hand backhand throw). Discs with a fade rating closer to 0 will finish out straight.
Now that we know what each of these numbers mean, let’s look at the flight ratings of the Ballista Pro and the Destroyer.
Latitude 64 Ballista Pro: A closer look
View the Latitude 64 Opto Line Ballista Pro Distance Driver Golf Disc at Amazon to learn more about how this disc might work for you.
The Ballista Pro’s flight ratings are: speed 14, glide 4, turn 0, and fade 3. This is a stable max distance driver with moderate glide and moderate fade.
It will fly an extremely straight and stable flight wherever it’s going, but it will have noticeable fade.
The Ballista Pro is an ideal disc for when you have to navigate long, tight fairways. Notice we did not say tunnel shots, as that is a very distinctive situation.
A tunnel shot is where you have an obstacle on either side of you. An example would be when you’re in the woods and you have to throw between trees.
Tunnel shots require extremely accurate and controlled discs like mid-range discs.
The Ballista Pro is much too high-speed to manage a tunnel shot. It can, however, handle a narrow fairway where you need a long, straight shot.
We’ve selected the Ballista Pro in the Opto Line as our suggestion, and here’s why: the Opto Line was developed in order to resist wear and tear as much as possible.
If you’re advanced enough to throw the Ballista Pro, you’re advanced enough to throw a slick, durable line. This isn’t the most grippy plastic available, but your disc will last you a good, long while!
Innova Destroyer: A closer look
To learn more about how this disc might work for use with your game, you can view the Innova Ricky Wysocki 2X Star Destroyer Distance Driver Golf Disc at Amazon.
One of the most popular and well-known distance drivers is Innova’s Destroyer. The Destroyer’s flight ratings are: speed 12, glide 5, turn -1, and fade 3.
It looks like the Destroyer and the Ballista Pro each have very different ratings. And it’s true, they do.
But we actually cannot compare the ratings between brands because disc golf manufacturers all do things a little differently.
The Destroyer is one of the most well-known discs for sidearm shots. Sidearm is synonymous with forehand. Sidearm is the second most-popular throwing style.
Let’s take a look at some of the main differences between sidearm and backhand:
First of all, they’re set up and executed completely differently.
For a video demonstration of throwing backhand, check out this quick video.
For a video demonstration of throwing sidearm, view this quick clip.
The main determining factor between the two is that, while some players can achieve more distance with sidearm than they can backhand, almost every well-developed player can achieve greater accuracy and control when throwing sidearm.
The Destroyer is known as a Champion disc in honor of disc golf champion Ricky Wysocki, who is known for his sidearm shots.
We selected the Destroyer in Star plastic because it is one of Innova’s most durable plastic lines.
The Star will help maintain the integrity of your disc’s flight ratings without compromise.
However, it also has improved grip over the Champion line. The Champion line is Innova’s most durable plastic line available, but it’s extremely slick and difficult to control.
The Star line offers a more gummy grip so that it’s easier to hold onto, but still rivals the Champion line in durability.
Ballista Pro vs. Destroyer: Which is right for you?
Although they both have very different flight ratings, they actually fly quite the same. Both have a dead straight flight path with soft yet noticeable fade.
A key element is that neither disc is a suitable option for inexperienced players.
If you try to throw either one of these without the right amount of developed power, we’re afraid you’ll flop.
The Ballista Pro and the Destroyer require a big arm with a lot of power.
One of the main differences lies in how you can throw the Destroyer sidearm. If you throw it sidearm, it’s going to fade in the opposite direction of how you throw it backhand.
So, to make it simple, you throw the Destroyer right-hand backhand, it’ll fade left. Throw it right-hand sidearm, it’ll fade right.
You can use the discs for similar situations, but if you need a straight-shooter with a rightward fade, we suggest throwing the Destroyer.
Additionally, between the two of them, the Ballista Pro is the better choice for stronger headwinds.
A headwind is a type of wind that blows against you from the front. These winds cause your disc to fly more understable and they can push your disc up higher and therefore cause it to dead-stop instead of continuing to soar. A stable disc with moderate glide like the Ballista Pro is better equipped to handle the influence of a headwind than the Destroyer.
The Destroyer can perform decently in a headwind, but will perform better in a tailwind.
A tailwind is a type of wind that blows against you from behind. Tailwinds push your disc down to the ground and cause them to fly more overstable.
Since the Destroyer has a slightly negative turn rating, it can handle the stressors of a tailwind. It is also a high-glide disc which means it’ll better withstand the push-down of a tailwind.
We would avoid using either of these discs for stereotypically “understable” shots.
Some of these shots include: rollers, hyzer flips, anhyzer shots, turnover shots, or S shots.
Since both the Ballista Pro and the Destroyer both have stable ratings, they won’t hold up well on a shot made for an understable throw.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com