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When you are choosing a disc, you likely look at the weight, diameter, style, and flight ratings of that disc to see if it will be a good addition to your bag.
But did you know the type of plastic a disc is made from also has a profound impact on the way a disc flies?
Plastic types matters way more than you might think, and there are dozens of blends of plastic across the various manufacturers.
While there are numerous types of plastic to choose from in this industry, we are going to specifically look at Luster vs Champion.
Why does the type of plastic matter?
The type of plastic your disc is made from can impact the way that it flies, the grip, the durability, and the stability of the disc.
During the frisbee’s production process, discs are removed from the molds while they are still hot, and as they cool, the plastic shrinks.
When the plastic shrinks, it can change the shape of the disc, taking it from a flatter profile to more of a dome.
The shape that the disc takes on once it cools largely determines its flight characteristics.
Since there are various types and blends of plastic, they all have different levels and rates of shrinkage and all cool a little differently, leading to different shapes and different characteristics being produced even with the same mold.
As a result, a certain model of frisbee can fly differently depending on the type of plastic even though it was made in the same mold.
The type of plastic has further impact as the disc starts to wear out over time.
Discs can become more understable with wear because as the disc starts to wear out from hitting trees and making other impacts, the aerodynamics of the disc changes, leading to a change in the flight characteristics over time.
If you would like to learn more about how the disc plastic can affect a disc’s flight, you can watch this video:
Categories of plastic for disc golf discs
Because the plastic type can have such an influence on the flight of your disc, it is valuable to know your favorite brand’s plastic options to be able to make a more informed decision on which to buy.
As an example, we will look at the Innova Champion and Discmania Luster plastics.
There are dozens of types of plastic across manufacturers that fit into several different categories: basic, middle grade, ultra durable, ultra light, and premium.
Both the Innova Champion and Discmania Luster plastics fit into the ultra durable category.
Plastics in this category are very hard and can hold up against impact on rough courses from things like rocks and trees.
These plastics also produce discs that have a smooth, steady flight path.
They are also known for being clear.
Discs made with this plastic do not have as much grip as other plastics, however, which is the main disadvantage of this category.
Luster vs. Champion plastic: A closer look
The Innova Champion line is made with a hi-tech plastic.
Discs made with this plastic are designed for professional players, so the discs are a little firmer and more stable than the same model of disc in another plastic.
The Discmania Luster C-line plastic is a twist on the normal C-line plastic which is the brand’s most durable type.
The luster is also the most stable blend of plastic amongst Discmania’s types.
The biggest advantage to both of these plastics is the durability.
Both Luster and Champion are the most durable plastics of their respective manufacturers.
They are resistant to damage even on rough courses or in a wooded areas, and they are able to withstand repeated impact without changing flight characteristics.
Because they wear out slowly, discs made with both of these plastics will keep their original flight characteristics for a long time, so you don’t have to worry about these discs needing to be replaced very often.
Discs made with these plastics are also extremely predictable and perform the same in any course or weather situation.
Another advantage to both of these plastics is their appearance. Champion plastic is known for its beautiful, translucent appearance.
While also translucent, Luster is a little more opaque and can have some bursts of color.
With either of these plastics, you are getting a disc that is not only functional, but also aesthetically pleasing.
So what are the differences between these plastics?
Luster is a little bit softer than the Champion plastic and has a little more flexibility.
Champion is more stiff which also makes it a little slower, so it is better suited for power throwers.
Luster also has a better grip that Champion plastic, especially in cold weather.
Which one is best for you?
Overall, these two types of plastic are very similar.
They are both extremely durable, and you can trust that a disc made from either plastic can withstand the abuse that comes with constant play.
If you are looking for a disc that has a little bit more grip, then you will likely favor the Luster over the Champion. This will be better for players that have less grip strength or for playing in colder weather conditions.
Additionally, if you prefer a softer disc, Luster will be your best option, but if you prefer a stiffer feel, then Champion will suit you better.
In truth, you really can’t go wrong with either of these options.
If you have a preference between the Innova and Discmania manufacturers, then you can stick with your brand preference without worrying you are missing something better from the other brand, for these plastic types are extremely comparable.
If you are interested in trying a new disc, though, or are just starting to figure out what brands you prefer, you could try both of these types to see which one feels better in your hand and helps you play your best.
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