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Innova was started in 1983 and has been one of the top manufacturers of flying discs ever since. Today they have one of the most popular golf disc lines in the world.
Their discs are designed to fly great right out of the box without needing to be broken in, and they wear in slowly so that you can keep playing with the same disc for years to come.
Innova makes a variety of different discs to accommodate any skill level.
One of the categories of discs that they make is distance drivers. Distance drivers are used for long shots and are designed to go far and fly fast.
In this article we are going to look in depth at two of Innova’s popular distance drivers: the Sidewinder and the Valkyrie.
We will directly compare and contrast the Innova Sidewinder vs Valkyrie to help you decide which one would be a better driver for your collection.
Innova Sidewinder vs Valkyrie: How do they compare?
The only flight rating that these two discs have in common is speed. Both drivers have a speed rating of 9 on a 1-14 scale, so they are both fast flyers.
The other flight characteristics differ.
On a 1-7 scale, the Sidewinder has a glide of 5 and the Valkyrie has a glide of 4. The Sidewinder will be able to stay in the air a bit longer.
When looking at turn and fade ratings, we are going to assume the discs are being thrown by a right hand backhand thrower for the purpose of this article.
When thrown right-handed, the turn refers to how much the disc will curve to the right during the first part of the flight, and the fade refers to how much the disc will curve left at the end of the flight.
If you are left handed, this would be opposite.
For the turn rating, the Sidewinder is rated a -2 and then Valkyrie is rated a -3 on a +1 to -5 scale.
Based on these ratings, both the Sidewinder and then Valkyrie are understable discs, but the Valkyrie is going to curve a little further to the right during the initial part of the flight path than the Sidewinder.
These discs also differ in their fade rating. On a scale of 0 to 5, the Sidewinder is rated a 1 and the Valkyrie is rated a 2.
This means that the Valkyrie will fade more to the left at the end of the flight path than the Sidewinder.
Both the Sidewinder and the Valkyrie are good options for beginners that do not yet have the ability to throw as far.
The Sidewinder is described as being particularly useful for people that do not have a lot of power behind their throw.
The Valkyrie’s lighter weight gives extra distance to throws.
Both of these discs come in a variety of different plastics.
The Sidewinder comes in the following plastics: Star, GStar, Starlite, Champion, and DX.
The Star plastic is created with a blend of grippy polymers for improved grip.
This plastic is also durable and built to last long.
The GStar and Starlite are made from this same line of plastic.
The GStar blend has added flexibility and grip, making it a perfect choice for play in cold weather.
The Starlite is similar to the Star plastic but includes microbubbles that results in a higher speed.
The Champion plastic is a hi-tech plastic that is generally firmer and more stable than the other plastic.
It also has a beautiful clear appearance than makes it more aesthetically pleasing.
The DX plastic is the best value option. As this plastic wears in over time, your disc will take on new flight characteristics.
The Valkyrie is one of the most popular drivers and has been around for a while, so it comes in an even wider variety of plastics.
In addition to the plastics listed above, the Valkyrie also comes in EchoStar, Pro, and Glow.
The EchoStar plastic is a blend of the Star plastic but is more environmentally friendly because it is made from recycled plastic.
The Pro plastic has an enhanced grip and durability and also provides additional glide.
The Valkyrie also comes in a Glo plastic that glows in the dark, providing added fun and better visibility as it gets dark.
Which one is best for you?
While both discs are suitable for beginners, the Sidewinder is a better bet based on the flight characteristics.
The Sidewinder is going to give a huge advantage to beginners that do not yet have a lot of power behind their throws; the glide rating is higher than the Valkyrie, so this disc will soar really far no matter how hard it is thrown.
It also has less turn and fade than Valkyrie, so it is going to fly a little straighter which will be easier for beginners to get the hang of.
Both of these discs are also advantageous for advanced players.
If you are looking for a disc with more turn and fade, then you are going to enjoy the Valkyrie the most.
The Valkyrie can go the distance and can fly especially far in tailwinds and for long-range turnover shots.
The Valkyrie disc even held the world distance record for a decade, so you know it’s a disc you can rely on for distance.
If you are looking for a disc that will help you get out of a rough situation, then the Sidewinder is for you.
This disc is a great narrow woods driver and makes long roller shots look easy, allowing for even those who have not yet mastered roller shots to be amazed at what they can do with this disc in hand.
You will likely be happy adding either one of these Innova drivers to your bag, and you will certainly get the quality that people have come to expected from Innova.
If you are able, try them both to see what feels better! If not, the flight characteristics should help you decide which one to choose based on your needs.
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