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Innova’s Thunderbird is a reliable distance driver suitable for most skill levels.
It’s a stable disc, so it performs well in practically any wind scenario, but it’s not too overstable such that it’s difficult to throw.
It’s a harmonious blend of control and adequate distance.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the features of the Thunderbird, some of the cons of the Thunderbird, and at the end we’ll offer an Innova Pro Thunderbird review to help you determine whether or not this product could work for your game.
What is the Innova Thunderbird?
The Thunderbird is designed to drive distance and advance you closer to your target.
Its flight numbers are speed 9, glide 5, turn 0, and fade 2. This is not a max distance driver by any means, but the Thunderbird definitely has a time and place on the fairway.
The Thunderbird is a great disc choice for either backhand or forehand (sidearm) shots. This is not a max-power disc; you’ll want to be a little softer and gentler with your power than you would be with higher speed disc.
Flight-wise, the Innova Thunderbird is a straight flyer, although this disc does fade left at the end of flight rather than finishing straight.
If you don’t put a lot of power into it, it fades a lot sharper and more suddenly than it would otherwise, so keep that in mind.
What shots work well for the Thunderbird?
Try out a few different ways of throwing the disc to find what works for you.
One recommendation is to try throwing the Pro Thunderbird on a bit of a hyzer initially so that it flips over and flies flat.
The Pro Thunderbird is an awesome control driver that can be used in tunnel shots as well.
With tunnel shots, the main thing you want to focus on is ensuring you throw with control and accuracy so your disc flies exactly where it’s supposed to.
If you don’t have a plan or strategy going into the tunnel shot, you risk the disc flying out of control, bouncing off a tree, and ricocheting somewhere vastly off course.
Another additional problem is the disc potentially getting lost in the trees.
Suffice to say, if you don’t throw a tunnel shot with control, with an accurate disc, you could destroy your game.
This is also a great disc to use for controlled hyzers.
A hyzer is where the disc turns into the spin for a right-hand backhand player and travels towards the left side of the fairway.
These shots are useful for helping to angle you around obstacles so you can stay on track instead of having to break your shots up into increments.
Examples of when you don’t want to use the Thunderbird can include:
- In strong tailwinds. Wind can majorly affect how your disc flies. Stable discs can typically perform well in any wind scenario, but if the tailwind is especially strong, consider selecting a more understable disc than the Thunderbird. If you are throwing the Thunderbird in a tailwind, consider it will behave more overstable than it might otherwise.
- In strong headwinds. Tailwinds make discs behave more overstable, while headwinds make discs perform more understable. In the presence of a lighter headwind, your Thunderbird will behave more understable than it would otherwise. In strong headwinds, consider a more overstable disc than the Pro Thunderbird.
- For roller shots. A roller shot is where you throw an understable disc on an anhyzer so that it turns over on its side and rolls down the fairway. Rollers are an awesome strategy to help you achieve more distance than you might otherwise if you don’t have an especially powerful arm.
However, since the Thunderbird is not an understable disc, it is not a good choice for a roller because it won’t flip over onto its side the way it needs to.
How the Thunderbird behaves once you break it in
Once you break in your Pro Thunderbird, it’ll become gradually more understable and achieve some more glide.
It also gets a little more flippy as it breaks in, but that still doesn’t qualify it as a good choice for rollers.
The Pro plastic is not Innova’s most durable plastic line, but it is softer and more grippy than tougher, slick plastics like the Champion.
The Pro plastic is suitable for all weather conditions and will remain grippy regardless of rain.
The plastic blend you choose should depend on what you intend to use the disc for.
Since the Thunderbird won’t be used for rollers or putting or other shots that create a lot of wear and tear on the disc, a more flexible plastic is a perfectly suitable choice for this time of disc.
Innova Pro Thunderbird Review: Final thoughts
Overall, as we have mentioned already, this is a must-have disc in every disc golfer’s bag.
It’s not the faster disc out there, but it is still extremely useful. If you’re looking for a faster disc in the Innova line, consider trying out the Innova Monster, Starfire, or Monarch.
The Innova Thunderbird is a reliable, predictable, accurate, straight-flying driver that will be useful for controlled shots like tunnel shots.
If you need a more understable driver with more turn, consider an Innova Sidewinder or Roadrunner.
The Thunderbird has a rim width of 1.9 centimeters, putting it on the thicker end of the spectrum.
According to the Professional Disc Golf Association, discs cannot have rims wider than 2.5 centimeters.
The Thunderbird in the Pro plastic line can be purchased in a weight category from 165 to 175 grams.
The heavier the disc, the more stable it is. The lighter the weight category, the more flippy the disc will fly.
The Thunderbird is also suitable for any skill level.
So, if you’ve been on the hunt for a stable distance driver that is perfect for accuracy and control shots, regardless of your skill level, we recommend giving the Pro Thunderbird a go!
It’ll prove to be reliable and will break in smoothly and gradually.
You should always consult an industry professional before using any new disc golf product to ensure its appropriateness for your game.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com @krisrobin