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Disc golf is an engaging outdoor sport that allows you to get some good exercise while enjoying the fresh air. But what happens during wintertime, when frigid temperatures set in and the ground is covered with snow?
You can still play disc golf in the winter, but you have to make a few adjustments in order to play properly and safely!
So what are the best winter disc golf discs?
In this article, we outline some things to know about playing disc golf in the winter and highlight several products that may work well for your winter disc golf needs.
Disc golf in winter
Since disc golf is an outdoor sport, the weather can actually have a huge impact on how you play the game.
Some of the pitfalls of playing in the winter can include: lessened flight distances, over-stable flight patterns, broken and cracking discs, and less stable/more slippery grip.
One of the reasons for these effects is that cold, dry air actually has a greater density than the warm, humid air we’re used to in warmer months.
Dense air affects the aerodynamics of your disc because it increases the drag, lift, and turbulence of the disc.
Another effect of winter on disc golf is that cold plastic discs become more stiff and brittle due to the frigid conditions. They’re more prone to breaking and can easily shatter if they come in contact with the ground or a tree.
Additionally, the cold air can actually cause the plastic to shrink, lessen.
This can be frustrating for many disc golf players who become accustomed to certain muscular movements in warmer weather, then have to readjust and change to suit the colder weather conditions.
Winter disc golf tips
You might be wondering if it’s even worthwhile to try to play disc golf in the winter. Our answer: of course it’s worthwhile! The best, most dedicated disc golf players in world practice year round, regardless of weather.
Additionally, if you take off the winter months, your skills could worsen or soften by the spring.
Playing during the wintertime can help sharpen and increase your skills and knowledge by the time the weather warms up. Here are some tips and tricks to keep you sharp and disciplined throughout winter:
Safety first! Wear the right clothes. Wearing the right clothes and gear when you play can impact how you move and manipulate the disc.
Bulky winter gear can negatively impact your range of motion and throwing angles. Instead of wearing a thick winter coat, trying layering.
The layers we recommend are:
- Start off with a simple T-shirt or base layer. It can be sleeveless, short-sleeved, or long-sleeved. This initial base layer is to help trap on your torso.
- Next, add a compression layer. Compression gear can honestly be either a first or second layer, so it depends on how cold your local climate it. Top sports name-brands have great compression gear, but you can also find good second-hand options at your local thrift outlets.
- A thermal layer is next. The thermal layer helps trap warmth and insulate your body to prevent risks associated with cold exposure like hypothermia.
- In order to prevent your arms and movements from being hindered by a bulky coat, try going long-sleeved for the first three layers, then add a vest. The vest will keep your core and torso warmed and insulated without slowing down your arms.
- If you need more layers under the vest beside thinner compression and thermal gear, you can always try using windbreakers, sweatshirts, or hoodies. These will help keep you warm, but still won’t hinder your arms as badly as a thick coat would.
- Your lower layers are going to be just as important as your upper layers. Jeans or sweatpants are not sufficient to keep your legs warm and protected from the harsh temperatures. As with the upper layers, utilize a compression layer and a thermal layer to help protect your skin. If you can, try finding thinner waterproof pants that will allow you to move and pivot on your throws, while protecting you from the cold and damp.
- Don’t neglect your head, hands, or feet! The harshness of your winter climate will determine what type of headgear you need. Some disc golfers might try to get by with a baseball cap, but this leaves your ears exposed and vulnerable to the cold. Find a hat that sufficiently covers your head and ears, and don’t forget a scarf for your neck to protect your throat.
- Disc golf gloves are not made to protect your hands from the deep winter cold, but they can provide a light layer of coverage. These gloves typically come with non-slip attributes to aid you in making more accurate plays. In order to offset the thinness of the layer, try carrying hand warmers in your pocket to warm your hands between plays or use an appropriate pair of disc golf gloves for winter play.
- For your feet, you’ll want heavy-duty, warming, water-proof shoes or boots for protection.
Bring towels to wipe your discs. This helps remove excess moisture and weight which can negatively influence your throw.
Some tips on keeping track of your disc in the snow: do your best to keep your eyes on your disc as it lands. If you can, keep your eyes on that area until you’re able to fetch the disc.
Otherwise, try to make a mental note of objects around where the disc landed.
For example, maybe your disc landed a few feet to the right of a tree.
Finally, since cold weather can over-stabilize your plays, try slightly decreasing stability in order to achieve a “meet in the middle” effect.
What to look for in a good winter disc golf disc
A few things to look for in good winter disc golf discs can include:
- High-grip plastic and cold-resistant. Cold plastic tends to have less grip and be more slippery. Therefore, to counterbalance this effect of cold weather, find a high-grip plastic disc made of cold-resistant material.
- Materials to avoid: polypropylene and polyethylene, which shrink at freezing temperatures.
- Look for discs which are brightly colored so they are easier to find in the snow. One of the most frustrating things is losing a white disc in the vast winter landscape.
- During winter, don’t use irreplaceable discs you can’t bear to lose! For example, if you have a disc which is a family heirloom or something lucky which has helped you win competitions, you will not want to risk losing it in the snow.
Best winter disc golf discs
There are a number of frisbee golf disc sets for beginners if you are looking for a good starter kit to launch into your new hobby.
The following products may work well for your needs.
Innova Premium Beginner’s Disc Golf Set – GStar Putter, Mid-Range, Driver – Durable, Flexible and Supple Plastic– Colors Will Vary – 150-169g
Innova sells a few different Beginner packages:
The first one (linked) is the most basic, and includes the Aviar (Putter), the Leopard3 (Fairway Driver), and the Valkyrie (Distance Driver).
The second is a 4 set, and includes the Aviar, the Leopard3, the Valkyrie, and the Thunderbird (another Distance Driver).
The third is a 5 set, and includes everything the first two packages include, as well as the Destroyer (another Distance Driver)!
All the discs are brightly colored in varying shades of yellow, green, blue, purple, and red. It would be nearly impossible to miss these in the snow.
Innova is known for their patented GStar Plastic, which is known for its durability (so it won’t crack in the cold) and grip (so it won’t slip out of your hands).
The GStar Plastic is formulated so that it can stay flexible at very low temperatures while also remaining firm and grippy. It’s softer and resilient, and will help you maintain high performance during the winter time.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this product might work for your beginner disc golf needs.
- Brightly colored
- Soft plastic
- Won’t break in the cold
- Does not include a mid-range driver, so might not be the best set for true beginners (the mid-range driver tends to be the best disc for new players starting out).
Axiom Disc Sports Plasma Insanity Disc Golf Fairway Driver
Axiom has its own secret polymer blend for its winter disc golf discs–its Plasma Plastic.
Unlike the Innova product, these discs do not come in a full set on Amazon; rather, you have to purchase them individually.
While the Axiom discs will be visible in the snow, they are not as bright and neon-colored as the Innova discs.
That being said, this disc is manufactured to be non-slip and grippy, and to deliver a bit of an understable drive, which helps offset the overstabilizing winter effects.
View at Amazon for more information on how this product might work for your winter disc golf needs.
- Visible in the snow
- Non-slip and grippy
- Soft, special-formula plastic to reduce and prevent brittleness
- Aerodynamic and understable
- Professional Disc Golf Association approved
- Not as bright and neon as the Innova discs
- Cannot be purchased in a set
Either brand will honestly suit you just fine for winter play. Both discs are specifically designed to be durable despite winter conditions, so both brands are cold-resistant, non-slip, grippy, and colorful enough not to get lost in the snow.
Ultimately, one of the biggest distinguishers between the two is whether you like the more muted colors of the Axiom discs or the brighter, neon colors of the Innova discs.
And, whether you are okay with buying individual discs or if you would prefer to be able to purchase a single set.
Whichever disc you choose, keep those skills sharp and stay warm out there!
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com @juhajarvinen