#1  
Old 08-21-2012, 11:44 AM
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sparty sparty is offline
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How fast does a disc fly??

I was wondering how fast you could clock a disc at with a radar gun. I throw a pretty powerful thumber and would be interested to find out how fast it comes out. Anyone have any ideas?

What kind of speeds do pros throw at?
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2012, 11:49 AM
buttdart buttdart is offline
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Quote:
A Northwest disc golfer, Theo Pozzy, performed a study in the summer of 2000. The relationship between the speed of a disc and the distance that it travels is shown in the chart below. A radar gun was used to make the measurements. Professional disc golfers throwing at a "distance competition" in New Mexico were the subjects of the study.



The speed of the disc is shown on the horizontal axis. The chart shows a good correlation between speed and distance. For example, a disc thrown correctly and efficiently at a speed of 50 mph is likely to travel about 300 feet. Reaching a distance of 400 feet or more requires a disc speed of around 70 to 75 mph. The circled group of plots seems to be a slight anomaly. It shows a group of discs that traveled a long distance, but with a slower disc speed. This might be attributed to the amount of spin imparted on the disc, the height that it was thrown, and wind direction. Increased angular momentum (spin) will help keep the disc stable and aloft for a longer period of time.

The weight and model of discs thrown varied from player to player. This factor also contributed to how fast a disc was thrown, and how far it glided. The most popular weights of disc used by the professionals in this study were 165 grams (11%), 172 grams (10%), 174 grams (14%), and 175grams (17%). The disc models that flew the farthest were the Discraft Xtra, Innova Teebird , Discraft XL, and Innova Eagle.

Additional speed and distance measurements were taken using amateur players. Table 1 gives the disc golfer an idea about the level of expertise needed to play in a particular division.

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Old 08-21-2012, 11:49 AM
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MrFixIt MrFixIt is offline
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I'll have to see if my buddy (who is a cop) can bring out the radar gun...
(I'm not a pro.)
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:54 AM
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notroman notroman is offline
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I threw into a net with a radar gun behind it a few years ago. Most of my release speeds were in the 55-60mph range. I was topping out at about 400 with a Wraith at the time. All the big arms had release speeds in the upper 60s to lower 70s. There was a guy that used to live here that was hitting 500 feet with a fan grip. His release speed was measured at 75mph.
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:04 PM
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grodney grodney is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buttdart View Post
I think this quote is incorrect: "Professional disc golfers throwing at a "distance competition" in New Mexico were the subjects of the study."

I have Theo's Excel file of data and his article that was published in DGWN. The data indicates it was taken across many divisions, thus explaining the very slow and very short throws in the chart. It was also across several events, including Field of Dreams, Ft Steily Open, Windy River Open, Worlds 2000, Souper Bowl, etc.

As an additional thought, Theo's study was essentially on initial speed. I don't know of any published studies on the decay of speed throughout the disc flight. We have spitballed on this and other message boards about using a video camera to measure the decay of speed and also the rpms of a disc in flight. It certainly seems it can be done -- I just don't know of anyone who has done it and published the results.
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:13 PM
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grodney grodney is offline
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I have borrowed a radar gun a couple times and measured, and it's consistent with all of this mentioned already. We even had Stokely in attendance for one of them, which was fun. Maybe it goes without saying, but you can get higher release speeds with 150-class discs, and it seemed consistently measurable in the stuff we did.

I was also at a local festival once where one booth was giving away cheap picnic frisbees, and another booth had a radar gun and baseballs. I talked them into letting me throw some frisbees. By their reaction, I don't think they expected a tall dork to be able to fling a picnic frisbee backhand at about 60mph.
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:21 PM
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thrembo thrembo is offline
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According to chart #2, I'm playing in the right division! Very interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:35 PM
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grodney grodney is offline
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From Theo's study, here is the max distance per disc. This is pretty meaningless (because it depended on who threw what), but it's fun to look at the discs being used in 2000.

630 - Xtra
627 - TeeBird
570 - XL
546 - Eagle
540 - KC TeeBird
507 - SE Eagle
498 - Firebird
480 - X2
480 - Banshee
462 - Super Eagle
441 - Viper
423 - KC Eagle
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:55 PM
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Dylan Courtney Dylan Courtney is offline
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480 with a banshee is a bomb . The only way I can get over 425 is with a hyzer-flip (beat destroyer, fresh vulcan, fresh archon). I just got my first katana so it will be interesting to see how it compares.
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  #10  
Old 08-21-2012, 01:33 PM
garublador garublador is offline
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Something that's interesting to note is that wider rimmed discs tend to come out of your hand slower than narrower rimmed discs. Bradley Walker at DGR used a radar gun to show this and his Rocs had a consistently faster initial speed than his Destroyers. He verified it with another member who was throwing the fastest with Rhynos.
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