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When you start out in disc golf, it’s overwhelming enough trying to learn the different discs and main throws.

However, as you start to get the hang of things, you’ll be ready to progress to more complicated shots like roller shots.

So what’s the best roller disc for beginners?

In order to find a disc that you’ll be able to throw into a roller and that will roll well, you have to know how to look for some key features and identifications. 

In this article, we explore some of those considerations in greater depth and highlight several products that may work well for your disc golf needs.

What is a roller shot? And how do you throw one?

A roller shot describes any shot where the primary distance is travelled rolling on the ground instead of in the air. Roller shots are achieved by throwing an understable disc with an anhyzer release.

Understable: An understable disc describes a disc with a tendency to turn right at the highest speed part of the throw on a right-hand back-hand shot.

The faster you throw an understable disc, the more it will turn. Depending on the “fade” of the disc (a definition we’ll get to later), the disc may hook to the left at the end of the flight.

However, in order to prevent it from fading and instead to insure it rolls, you’ll want to throw it at an anhyzer angle.

Anhyzer: Anhyzer describes the angle at which the disc is launched into the air.

Anhyzer happens when the outside edge, which is the edge opposite the one your hand is grasping (otherwise known as the “nose” of the disc), is pointed upward when released by a right-hand back-hand thrower.

Typically, roller shots are achieved using a Fairway Driver disc.

Disc golf discs are divided into four general categories:

  1. Distance Drivers. These are used to achieve maximum distance on the disc golf course. These are often the most difficult discs to throw accurately, and therefore it’s recommended that beginners avoid these.
  2. Fairway Drivers. These are good hybrid discs. They can be used for distance, or they can be used for approach shots (when you’re ready to approach the target for a putt). Typically, if you want to try out a roller shot, you’ll use a Fairway Driver.
  3. Midrange Discs. These are the best discs for beginners to use because they’re typically the most manageable. They’re great for shorter approach shots or shorter distance shots. They’re an excellent practice tool when you first start out playing disc golf, and are obviously useful as you progress your skill level.
  4. Putter Discs. These are used when you’re ready to make that final shot into the basket. Putters are used typically within 10 meters or less of the target.

What to look for in a good beginner roller disc

A good roller disc is going to be quite understable, which means that in order to find a disc that’s good for rolling, you have to know how to identify an understable disc.

Before we can begin with identifying an understable disc, we have to look at how discs are measured in the first place.

Disc golf discs are measured according to the following four criteria: speed, glide, turn, and fade.

  • Speed: Speed describes the velocity at which the disc will travel through the air. For a good roller disc for beginners, try a disc with a medium range speed, between 8 to 9.
  • Glide: Glide describes the disc’s ability to maintain loft during travel. For a beginner roller disc, try a higher speed, between 5 to 6.
  • Turn: Turn describes the disc’s likelihood to turn to the right while travelling at high speeds on a right-hand back-hand throw. For a beginner roller disc, you’ll want between a -2 to -4. As we’ve stated previous, understable discs are best for roller shots, so make sure that turn rating is as close to understable as possible!
  • Fade: Fade measures whether or not the disc will hook sharply to the left at the end of the flight once the speed has slowed. For a good roller disc, look for a lower fade rating, from 1 to 2.

Best roller disc for beginners

There are a number of roller disc options that may give you a good place to start your search. We highlight just a few potential choices below.

Innova Disc Golf DX Sidewinder Golf Disc (Colors may vary)

The Innova Sidewinder has been a tried and true roller disc for disc golfers across all skill levels.

For beginners, we recommend choosing the one in the DX plastic line. The DX is a great plastic line for beginners because the discs are made of softer plastics as opposed to, say, Innova’s Champion plastic line, which is harder and firmer and created for professionals.

DX discs perform well in a variety of weather conditions are are broken in with time, so that as your skills continue to grow and progress, you’ll be well adjusted to the changing flight characteristics of your disc.

The Sidewinder has a flight rating of: Speed 9, Glide 5, Turn -3, and Fade 1. This means that although the Sidewinder is a medium speed disc, it is a high glide and can still cover a fair distance.

Additionally, its -3 turn rating means it is very understable, and the fade means that it will maintain a straight path as the speed begins to slow.

This PDGA approved disc comes in a variety of weight categories: 140 to 150 gram, 151 to 159 gram, 165 to 169 gram, 170 to 172 gram, and 173 to 175 gram.

We recommend purchasing one of the heavier discs because these are more likely to roll the way you want them to rather than bounce off the ground and land off-course.

Its rim width is 1.8 centimeters, making it capable of faster speeds.

View at Amazon to learn more about how this product may work for your playing needs.

Pros:

  • Good flight ratings for an understable disc
  • Variety of weight categories allows you to choose a heavier disc for rolling
  • Grippy, comfortable plastic blend appropriate for beginners

Cons:

  • You cannot choose a specific color to purchase as the colors vary

Latitude 64 Opto Line Fury Fairway Driver Golf Disc [Colors May Vary]

Another great choice for beginners is the Latitude 64 Fury. This disc is beginner friendly and made with Latitude 64’s Opto Line plastic, which is quite durable and able to withstand extreme weathering and prolonged exposure to the elements.

Although the available weight range for this disc may seem more limiting than the Innova Sidewinder, it doesn’t matter so much since you’re looking for a roller disc. You want a roller disc to be heavier, anyway.

The Latitude 64 Fury’s weight ranges from 160 to 169 grams, 170 to 172 grams, and 173 to 176 grams.

Its flight ratings are: Speed 9, Glide 6, Turn -2, and Fade 2. Similar to the Innova Sidewinder, it is a medium speed disc with high glide, which will help you achieve more distance.

It’s not the most understable disc out there, but it still has a good rating at -2.

This disc is PDGA approved, made in Sweden, and comes in a variation of colors. It has a rim width of 1.9 centimeters, making it capable of faster speeds.

Thicker rims are also more ideal for disc golf players with bigger hands or thicker fingers, because this will allow you to grip the disc more comfortably.

View at Amazon for more information on how this disc may work for your needs.

Pros:

  • Good flight ratings for an understable disc
  • Variety of weight categories allows you to choose a heavier disc for rolling
  • Grippy, comfortable plastic blend appropriate for beginners
  • More ideal for players with bigger hands

Cons:

  • You cannot choose a specific color to purchase as the colors vary

Westside Discs VIP Hatchet Fairway Driver Golf Disc [Colors May Vary]

This PDGA approved disc is made from Westside Discs’ VIP plastic line, which is one of their durable yet beginner-friendly plastics.

Its flight ratings are: Speed 9, Glide 6, Turn -2, and Fade 2. This is comparable to the other two discs we’ve highlighted, but keep in mind that ratings are not consistent between brands.

Remember that each disc will behave differently.

This disc is available in the following weight categories: 160-169 grams, 170-172 grams, and 173-176 grams. It is available in varying colors.

Its rim width is 1.9 centimeters, making it comfortable to grip without being too thick.

View at Amazon for more information on how this product may work for your recreational needs.

Pros:

  • Good flight ratings for an understable disc
  • Variety of weight categories allows you to choose a heavier disc for rolling
  • Grippy, comfortable plastic blend appropriate for beginners
  • More ideal for players with bigger hands

Cons:

  • You cannot choose a specific color to purchase as the colors vary

How to choose?

So how do you choose between three awesome and comparable discs? Ultimately it may boil down to aesthetics, as vain as that may seem. Which disc do you like the best?

Our nomination for the best one is the Innova DX Sidewinder, simply because it is one of the most popular and well-known beginner roller discs on the market.

Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com @osons163