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Ultimate frisbee seems like a fairly easy sport to prepare for in that there is not a ton of equipment that you have to acquire.
In fact, if you cut it completely down to the basics the only piece of equipment you need for a game is a disc.
However, there are an overwhelming amount of frisbees on the market to choose from. With so many options, it can feel impossible to choose the best disc for ultimate frisbee.
But don’t worry. In this article, we’ll explore some details that will make your decision easier.
All discs are not created equal
There are several games that you can play with a flying disc, which means there are also several different types of discs that are designed for different purposes.
For example, while both ultimate frisbee and disc golf are both played with discs, these are two very different sports with different objectives.
In disc golf, the objective of the game is to get the disc into the disc golf basket with the fewest throws possible.
As a result, disc golf discs are designed to be thrown but not caught.
Ultimate frisbee, on the other hand, is a team sport where players pass the frisbee to each other in an attempt to get the frisbee down to the end zone to score.
Therefore, ultimate frisbee discs need to be thrown and caught.
Because of these variances, the discs used for each sport have various design differences.
Golf discs are smaller and more dense than a frisbee; they are thinner and have a sharper outer edge that helps them cut through the wind and fly farther.
Conversely, while frisbees are a similar weight, they are wider, and the weight is spread across a larger surface area.
They are not designed to fly as far since they are being passed shorter distances between players.
Since they are not flying long distances, aerodynamics is not as import.
Instead, they have a rounded outer edge that makes them easier to catch and handle.
Because of these design differences, it is important to make sure you get a frisbee rather than a disc golf disc for playing ultimate frisbee.
A golf disc would be much harder to play with because of its smaller size and because it is harder to grip when trying to catch it.
Instead, you need to make sure you get a frisbee that is good for both throwing and catching.
If you are interested in a more detailed explanation of the types of discs, you can view this video:
Now that we have established the type of disc to avoid, there are further details to consider when choosing the best frisbee for ultimate frisbee.
Additional guidelines for choosing a disc have been drafted by the USA Ultimate.
USA Ultimate is the organization that governs the sport of ultimate frisbee, creating the official rules and guidelines for the game.
USA Ultimate also has a set of standards that each disc has to meet in order to be used during an official game, which is called the Disc Technical Standard.
According to this standard, each disc has to be 175 grams, plus or minus 3 grams. The diameter must be 274 millimeters (mm), plus or minus 3 mm, and the height must be 32 mm, plus or minus 2 mm.
Once a disc has met these size requirements, there is then a multi-level player review that takes place to go over the flight characteristics of the disc.
This process ensures that each disc has appropriate flight characteristics and a comfortable grip for all players and that there is a reasonable level of catchability.
Discs that have been approved need to be resubmitted for approval every 3 years.
If a manufacturer is to make changes to the mold for the frisbees or the type of plastic used to make them, they will need to reapply for approval even if their former approval has not yet expired.
The discs obtain approval by meeting the following definition: they are considered “good enough for use by leagues, tournaments, and USA Ultimate members.”
If more than 50% of the members on the committee agree to this, then approval is granted.
All of these standards and guidelines are listed on the USA Ultimate website for easy access.
They have also provided a list of approved discs that you can choose from, so you know you are getting one that meets the technical standard.
If you are just getting started with ultimate frisbee or just looking for a disc to practice or warm up with, you don’t necessarily have to get a disc that meets these requirements.
In fact, you might want to get a heavier disc because they fly further and faster which makes them more fun to toss around.
However, if you are practicing for the purpose of being able to play official games, then practicing with one of these approved discs will be beneficial because you will get a feel for the disc weight and the proper way to throw it.
Best Disc for Ultimate Frisbee
All of the discs recommended in this article are on the Current USA Ultimate Approved Lists in the general level category and can, therefore, be used in formal games without having to submit for approval.
Discraft 175 gram Ultra Star Sport Disc
Since 1991, the Discraft 175 gram Ultra Star has been the official disc of the USA Ultimate Championship Series, and it sets the world standard for quality, consistency, and performance in the sport.
This disc is 175 grams and 10.75 inches in diameter.
It is a stable disc that will maintain your angle of release longer and fly further than any other disc of its kind.
Its aerodynamics allow it to fly fast and far, especially when there is a lot of power behind the throw.
It has a contoured grip that makes it easier to throw at any level of experience. It is well-balanced and easy to control, making it a great disc for beginners to learn with and for advanced players to play with.
This is also a versatile disc that can be used for competitive game play or just for a simple game of catch.
The white Ultra-Star is the most popular disc, but it also comes in a variety of other colors, so you can choose your favorite color or even match your team colors. It even comes in a “Nite Glo” option that will glow in the dark.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this product might work for you.
eurodisc 175g 4.0 Organic Sustainable Ultimate Frisbee Disc Creature Yellow
The Eurodisc is championship approved and highly popular among German professional frisbee players.
In addition to USA Ultimate, this disc is also approved by the World Flying Disc Federation and the European Ultimate Federation for tournament use.
This disc is 175 grams and 27 cm in diameter.
The Eurodisc is made from 100% organic, renewable material—bio-based polyethylene—that makes it more durable, so you do not have to worry about this frisbee breaking.
All Eurodiscs are produced in Germany and have to meet specific criteria before they are put on the market.
This criterion includes flexibility and an exact rim and edge thickness which ensures stability no matter the flight distance.
The rounded edges are easy to grip and comfortable in the hand for consistent throws.
This is a stable disc that can fly over 100 meters.
The print on the face of the frisbee is scratch-resistant and will hold up over time.
The company will also print custom logos, advertisements, etc., on the discs, and you can order these customized discs in bulk or individually. They also come in a variety of color options.
View at Amazon for more information on how this disc could work for you.
Innova Pulsar 175g Ultimate Disc
In addition to USA Ultimate, the Pulsar is also approved for Super Class and for disc golf use through the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA).
It is also the official disc of Major League Ultimate.
This disc weighs 175 grams and is 27.5 cm in diameter with a rim width of 0.8 cm.
While this disc is approved for competition, it is also versatile and can be used in other ways. It is a good choice disc for an ultimate frisbee game, for a pre-game warmup, or for freestyle play.
It is made with Innova DX plastic which has excellent grip in all weather conditions.
This type of plastic also wears progressively, and as it wears, your disc can take on new flight characteristics over time.
This disc flies straight and is well-balanced, making it an asset for both beginners and advanced players.
This disc comes in 5 different color options, giving you the chance to pick a color that most closely matches your own style or personality.
The Innova Pulsar is approved in the General Level category by the USA Ultimate, but it is not approved at the Championship level, so if you anticipate playing in or practicing for the Championship level, this disc would not be the best option.
View at Amazon for more information on how this disc might work for your game.
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