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Understable discs are not only the easiest ones for beginners to learn with, but are tried and true tools for advanced players as well!
In this article, we explore some of the best understable drivers for disc golf to offer you some new recommendations on discs you should try out.
We offer suggestions for beginners and advanced players alike, and even one for intermediate players!
When to use an understable distance driver
Understable distance drivers are an essential tool for a variety of important shots in disc golf.
These shots include (please note that these shots are described from the perspective of a right-hand backhanded player):
- Hyzer flips. A hyzer flip is where you throw an understable disc on a hyzer angle. A hyzer angle is where the nose of the disc (the part opposite you) is pointed down and away from you. This angle, which makes the disc travel left, combined with the disc’s understability, which makes it turn and spin to the right, causes a balance which results in the disc travelling straight. This type of shot is essential to long tunnel shots or other narrow situations.
- Anything anhyzer. Anhyzer describes the angle at which a disc is released. It is opposite from a hyzer angle. For an anhyzer angle, the nose of the disc is pointed up and towards you. When an understable disc is thrown flat, it will already spin out to the right. When it’s thrown anhyzer, it will follow a more dramatic rightward flight pattern.
- Roller shots. Throwing an understable disc on an anhyzer angle can sometimes result in a roller shot. This is where the disc turns over onto its side while in the air, lands on its side, and travels the remainder of its path rolling on the ground. The recipe for a good roller is an understable disc with a thick rim width.
- Long distance turnover shots. Understable distance drivers can showcase their glide and distance on a good long distance turnover shot. This is where the understable driver is thrown on a hyzer angle. Unlike the hyzer flip, the player throws the disc to the left side of the fairway so that the disc starts out travelling to the left, then is pulled back to the right by the disc’s understability. Turnover shots can help you weave your disc around obstacles and advance you closer to your target.
- S Shots. S Shots are quite similar to turnover shots but with one final element: the fade back to the left. Whether a disc performs a turnover or an S shot will depend on its specific fade rating. If it’s a low fade disc, you’ll get a turnover shot. If it’s a high fade disc, you’ll get an S shot.
- Tailwinds. Tailwinds are one of three wind types which affect the flight of your disc. Tailwinds are the winds that blow against you from behind. These winds have two effects on your disc: first of all, they create more overstability in your disc, which is why an understable disc is more predictable in a tailwind. Secondly, tailwinds push your disc down closer to the ground, which is why a high glide disc thrown at a higher angle can help get above the push-down effects of a tailwind.
What to look for in a good understable driver for disc golf
The most crucial element of an understable driver will be its turn rating.
The other aspects: speed, glide, fade, plastic type, weight range, etc., are more subjective or dependent on the individual circumstance.
So let’s start out focusing on the turn rating. Turn is measured on a scale of +1 to -5.
Anything between -2 to -5 constitutes an understable disc. Some players argue any negative rating, including -1, can be considered understable, but we prefer to think of -1 to 0 discs as stable, and 0 to +1 discs as overstable.
Anyway, as long as your disc has a -2 to -5 rating, it’s going to be an understable disc.
Now, there are some elements that will affect the understability of the disc. Two of the most major ones are the plastic type and weight range the disc is selected in.
Let’s take Innova’s plastics, for example. Innova is one of the most well-known and popular disc golf manufacturers.
They have several plastic lines to suit a variety of needs for their clientele.
One of their most durable plastic lines is the Champion line. This plastic is slick, hard, inflexible, and will help your disc maintain the integrity of its flight ratings for a more extended period of time.
There are, however, a few negative considerations to the Champion line.
Specifically, this plastic can be more uncomfortable to grip, can create less control, and can create overstability in the disc because it’s less flexible and therefore less flippy.
Other Innova plastics like the GStar or Pro offer some level of durability but with improved grip and flexibility so they’re more comfortable for the player and more grippy in rougher weather conditions like cold and rain.
In some cases, the heavier the disc, the less understable it is. Usually discs are manufactured on weight ranges of anywhere from 140 to 180 grams.
We typically prefer to recommend mid-range weights to our readers, like the 160 gram arena.
However, lighter weight ranges like the 140s can provide more speed and distance, and can sometimes be easier to throw for players who do not have a lot of developed technique.
A quick note on the speed of the disc: if you’re a newer player who can throw between 100 to 200 feet, we recommend you looking for a distance driver with a speed rating of between 7 to 9.
If you’re an intermediate player who can throw around 300 to 350 feet, we recommend a distance driver with a speed of between 10 to 12.
If you’re an advanced or pro-level player, any disc is fair game since you have the knowledge, skill, technique, and power to operate any disc. We’ll offer recommendations on all categories below.
Best understable driver for disc golf
There are a number of understable driver options in disc golf that could potentially serve as a good fit for your skill level and playing needs. Always check with an industry professional before you use any new product.
The following options may be a good choice for you, categorized by skill level.
For beginners: Innova Champion DX Archangel Golf Disc
For beginner players, we recommend none other than Innova’s Archangel driver, which is one of the most understable distance drivers available.
The Archangel’s flight ratings are: speed 8, glide 6, turn -4, and fade 1. Its rim width is 1.9 centimeters, making it an excellent choice for roller shots.
When thrown flat on a right-hand backhand throw, this disc will follow a classic anhyzer.
It’s quite easy, operable, and controllable for brand new players who are trying to learn driving technique.
We recommended this disc in the DX plastic because the DX plastic offers the widest variety of weight ranges among Innova discs.
With this variety, you can select the perfect weight that suits your power level.
Additionally, although the DX plastic is not the most durable line Innova’s ever created, it’s decent enough for new players and will offer the comfort and flexibility that beginners need to get warmed up to the game.
You’ll be able to practice hyzer flips and long turnover shots with this disc as well to help maximize distance.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this disc may work for your needs.
For intermediate players: Innova GStar Tern Distance Driver
The Tern is a classic driver known for its multi-use and variety. Its flight ratings are: speed 12, glide 6, turn -3, and fade 2.
This disc can be used for almost any of the techniques we mentioned above: rollers, turnovers, hyzer flips.
It cannot be used for S shots, however, because it doesn’t have a high enough fade rating.
We recommend this disc in the GStar plastic because it is comfortable yet durable.
This is how Innova describes the GStar plastic: “GStar is a blend of Star that adds flexibility and even more grip. GStar is opaque like Star, but features a pearlescent sheen. Their allure is only surpassed by their beautiful flight. GStar discs have a smooth, gradual transition in flight and the same durability as our Star line. For cold weather play the flexibility and grip of GStar cannot be beaten, and even when the weather warms up GStar still retains similar flexibility.”
You can rely on this disc to be a great asset for any type of weather and almost any situation on the fairway.
View at Amazon for more information on how this product could potentially work for your game.
For advanced players: Innova Star Shryke Distance Driver Golf Disc
Our contender for the best understable driver for advanced players is the Innova Shryke.
This disc’s flight ratings are: Speed 13, Glide 6, Turn -2, Fade 2. This is a high-speed, high glide disc that will soar across the fairway for max distance.
It is not recommended for players who cannot throw between 350 to 400 feet. You have to have a big arm for this disc!
We recommend it in the Star plastic because it is more durable.
By the time you’re advanced, you should be comfortable gripping the firmer disc golf plastics.
The Star will offer you more flexibility than the Champion line, but will still maintain durability and resistance to damage.
Expect beautiful soaring shots and max distance with this disc.
View at Amazon for more information on how this disc may work for you.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com