DiscGolfWarrior.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an affiliate, this website earns from qualifying purchases.
Wind can be one of the most frustrating aspects of disc golf because it’s uncontrollable and unpredictable. There’s no way of knowing when the wind will pick up or die off.
Although it takes some learning and strategy, knowing how to play in the wind can have huge pay off.
When you know how to play in the presence of different types of wind, and you have the best disc golf discs for wind in order to do so, you’ll have more advantage over your competition.
You won’t be easily deterred from weather conditions, and will therefore have that much more confidence in your game.
How does wind affect disc golf?
Disc golf, like every sport, is physics-based. As Newton’s 3rd law teaches us, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Force creates action, and the force of wind impacts the performance of your disc.
Wind is one of the 3 components of the weather than can impact how your disc performs. The other two components are temperature and humidity.
We’ll cover temperature and humidity in another article. Wind speed is one of the best indicators for what strategy you’ll need to use in order to select the right disc.
Types of wind and how they affect your disc
The first step to understanding the wind is to know which direction it’s blowing. There are three types of wind: headwinds, tailwinds, and crosswinds.
Headwinds are when the wind is blowing against you from the front. You know that feeling when the wind’s blowing against your face? That’s an aptly-named headwind!
Your disc will not travel as far in a headwind due to the wind blowing against it.
Some champion-level players with big arms are able to throw these discs harder to help counteract the effects of the wind, but what about the everyday, average player?
For everyday, average players there are a few things you can do to help counteract the wind.
For starters, throw an overstable disc during headwinds.
Headwinds have a tendency to make discs behave more understable than they’re naturally inclined to do, so an overstable disc can help counteract these effects.
Using a heavier disc is helpful as well because the heavier the disc, the more resistant it is to flipping over because of the wind.
It is normally recommended to avoid heavy discs if you’re fairly new to the disc golf game since they can be harder to throw, but in this case it’s necessary.
You should also consider throwing with less glide than you normally do.
The higher you throw the disc, the more likely it is that the wind will be able to get under it and push it up.
By keeping your disc lower to the ground, you’ll help it better avoid the wind.
Tailwinds are when the wind is blowing against you from behind. Our advice for this wind is going to be pretty much opposite our advice for headwinds.
With tailwinds, you’ll be tempted to throw the disc harder than usual in order to get more distance.
Tailwinds help your disc move further along down the fairway, so while that can be tempting, we advise sticking with your technique.
By sticking with proper form and technique, you’re more likely to land an accurate throw that will advance you closer to your target.
For tailwinds, the best disc you can use is an understable disc.
Tailwinds have a tendency to make discs behave more overstable than they’re meant to, so the understability of a disc can help balance this out.
While you should aim to throw lower with a headwind, you’ll want to throw higher with a tailwind.
Tailwinds have a tendency to push your disc down, so helping your disc glide higher can help counteract these effects.
That being said, you still want to keep your disc rather low to keep the wind from getting up under it.
Finally, consider using a lighter disc. The lighter your disc, the further your disc will travel.
Crosswinds can be the most difficult discs to discern since they blow from either left to right or right to left.
The disc you choose is going to depend on which direction they’re blowing in, how hard they’re blowing, and whether you throw left-hand or right-hand.
Generally, the rule of thumb for throwing discs in the presence of crosswinds is to select a disc that will travel opposite the direction the wind is blowing.
So, in the example of a right-hand backhand player, if the wind is blowing left to right, use an overstable disc since that will naturally travel more leftward.
Pros and cons of playing disc golf in the wind
There are several advantages and disadvantages of playing in the wind.
Some of the advantages include: having a firm understanding of how the wind works with disc golf and how to master it, so you can play in any wind condition, and improving your overall strategy and disc selection to make you that much better of a player.
Some disadvantages of playing in the wind include how unreliable and unpredictable the wind can be.
By checking your weather app, you might discover there’s little to no presence of wind, but once you get onto the fairway the wind picks up and starts blowing at a much higher mileage than initially anticipated.
This can be super frustrating, but it’s something every disc golf player has to deal with eventually!
Don’t neglect the impact of wind speed.
The speed of the wind can make or break your disc golf game. There’s no objective speed to determine when it’s too windy outside since this largely boils down to how much patience you have on any given day.
However, consider your safety. If you’re playing on a wooded course and the trees around you start cracking and breaking, it’s probably too windy to be playing safely.
Other players, however, will tap out at 20 mile-per-hour wind gusts. In order to know how fast the wind is blowing, you can check your local weather app.
Best disc golf discs for wind
There are a number of discs that can work well for play in windy conditions. It’s important to consult an industry professional for guidance before using any new product.
The following options may work
FOR HEADWINDS: Innova Blizzard Champion Ape
The Blizzard Champion Ape’s flight ratings are: Speed 13, Glide 5, Turn 0, Fade 4. This is an advanced-level distance driver meant to perform in strong headwinds.
It comes in a bit of a lighter weight range, up to 160 grams.
Being an overstable disc, the Blizzard Champion Ape will be able to counteract headwinds, which try to turn your discs over.
Although this disc is high glide, remember to throw it lower to the ground in the presence of headwinds to prevent it from flying out of control.
In the presence of a headwind, this disc will fly straighter than it would otherwise.
Without headwinds, you can expect consistent, accurate throws with this disc. It’s also a great tool for sidearm throws.
This disc is not recommended for players with slow arms who throw less than 300 feet.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this product could work for your needs.
FOR TAILWINDS: Innova Champion Katana Golf Disc
One of the most popular understable distance drivers out there, the Innova Katana is our choice for throwing in tailwinds.
This disc’s flight ratings are: Speed 13, Glide 5, Turn -2, Fade 3.
This is another high-speed disc that should only be thrown by experienced players with big arms.
This disc can be purchased in heavier weight ranges up to 175 grams, though we recommend getting one in the 160 to 164 gram weight range.
Innova’s Champion plastic makes this disc durable and capable of handling brutal beat up from rough terrain. This disc will maintain its flight ratings throughout prolonged wear and tear.
Without the presence of wind, this disc will follow a subtle S curve, flying out to the right before fading back to the left and finishing straight.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this product may work for your needs.
FOR NO WIND: Innova – Champion Discs Blizzard Champion Wraith Golf Disc
We do not have a recommendation for crosswinds, since either an overstable or understable disc will be suitable depending on the wind conditions.
However, our best disc in the presence of no wind is the Innova – Champion Discs Blizzard Champion Wraith Golf Disc.
When there is little-to-no presence of wind, it’s a perfect opportunity to drive distance with a lightweight disc.
The Innova Blizzard Champion Wraith comes in the following weight ranges: 130 to 139 grams, 140 to 150 grams, and 151 to 159 grams.
This disc’s flight ratings are: Speed 11, Glide 5, Turn -1, Fade 3. This is a stable disc good for intermediate and advanced players alike.
Although it doesn’t take a big arm to throw this disc, the high glide and lightweight can help drive distance for players who max out throws between 300-400 feet.
View at Amazon for more information on how this product could work for your game in the absence of wind.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com