#1  
Old 06-12-2019, 11:24 AM
Shutrbug Shutrbug is offline
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Central Alabama
Years Playing: 0.2
Courses Played: 6
Throwing Style: RHBH
Posts: 32
Niced 18 Times in 10 Posts
Default What does the weight difference mean?

I read on a forum post that someone thought they should "be a man" and get the heaviest discs available, then later learned to get lighter discs instead (the implication being that heavier is not always better). My starter pack of Innova discs came with a 150g Aviar and 150g Shark, which seems to be the lowest weight I've seen. So at the beginning of my disc career (which was about a month ago), I decided that Lighter = Beginners. So when I bought a 3 pack of Innova putters for practice, I got the lightest available (163).

Now I'm reading about the different plastics available, and I can generally tell that you get what you pay for, so the softer plastics get dinged more than the harder plastics. I send a significant portion of my throws into the parking lot next to my local course, so there's no need to upgrade to nicer discs for me yet - even the nice plastic will get dinged where I'm throwing them!

I was lucky enough to get to see the NG Exclusive setup in my hometown this past weekend. There was a rep there with a tent selling used discs, so I got a few. I see that some of them are significantly heavier than what I already have. So I am now wondering - what does that mean? I haven't really uncovered an article or a Youtube video that says what a heavier disc will do vs a lighter disc, so I thought this would be a good place to ask.
Sponsored Links
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-12-2019, 01:12 PM
slowplastic slowplastic is offline
* Ace Member *
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 6,020
Niced 2,453 Times in 1,561 Posts
Default

While you can technically throw a significantly lighter disc...say 150's vs. 170's slightly faster, that is pretty insignificant. It will be like 1-2 MPH from what I have measured on my own throws.

The bigger difference is more glide. You have the same surface area/size of disc but less mass. So lighter discs can be more floaty/glidey so they are easier for beginners to throw...slower arm speed will get a bit more glide.

The downside is that more glide = more wind influence. Better players can throw far easily, so they'd rather have a disc that is less affected by wind.

As well, lots of light discs tend to be made less consistently, I guess they are harder to manufacture. So for people who buy tons of discs, generally there is more disc to disc variation in super light weights.

In general the "nicer" plastics like Star/Champ take forever to wear in...throw them into the parking lot repeatedly and they are fine. At worst if there is a scuff then just use fine sandpaper or even smooth cement like from a skatepark or sidewalk to rub the disc on to smooth them out. Discs gain glide and lose fade as they get dinged up...so a beat in star/champ disc is a good thing. You just want to avoid nasty gouges like throwing into the edge of a sharp sign or some other freak accident that is unlikely to occur.

But generally the higher end plastics are way more overstable, as in more fade when they are new. It's not just the weight factor, they actually generally have a higher wing/PLH...google that if you want a ton of info about disc nerdiness.

If you want a step up from baseline plastic so you have a bit more durability, but not as overstable as star/champ then either try out Gstar or Pro plastic from Innova, for example. I'm using Innova as a reference just because they are so well known. Those plastics wear in a bit faster than star/champ and are easier to grip. Keep in mind that Gstar is very soft and pro feels closer to star.

I would not buy drivers in cheap/DX plastic, the sharp rim with the soft plastic means they will take flight altering gouges very easily. In putters/mids DX lasts quite a while. DX fairway drivers are amazing fliers and good for newer players...they have an ok durability depending on how soft the particular disc is. Above speed 9 or so in general I would stay away from DX. Again, this is just a personal preference and no "rule".


Last edited by slowplastic; 06-12-2019 at 01:15 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-12-2019, 01:47 PM
RFrance RFrance is offline
Eagle Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Tampa, FL
Years Playing: 5.9
Courses Played: 27
Throwing Style: RHBH
Posts: 940
Niced 246 Times in 156 Posts
Default

Here are a couple of good videos on the subject. But, unfortunately, I think the answer to heavy vs. light weight is that it just depends...



Niced: (1)
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-12-2019, 03:18 PM
Shutrbug Shutrbug is offline
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Central Alabama
Years Playing: 0.2
Courses Played: 6
Throwing Style: RHBH
Posts: 32
Niced 18 Times in 10 Posts
Default

Thank you both - I appreciate that! That's exactly the type of information I was hoping to find.

I think I will google some of that - I am reviewing the spreadsheet I made of my discs with columns for plastic type, weight, color etc - I guess I've already dipped into the realm of disc nerdiness...
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-12-2019, 05:01 PM
slowplastic slowplastic is offline
* Ace Member *
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 6,020
Niced 2,453 Times in 1,561 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shutrbug View Post
Thank you both - I appreciate that! That's exactly the type of information I was hoping to find.

I think I will google some of that - I am reviewing the spreadsheet I made of my discs with columns for plastic type, weight, color etc - I guess I've already dipped into the realm of disc nerdiness...
Haha yeah then definitely look up PLH - parting line height. It is the best way to compare/estimate relative stability between discs of the SAME MOLD. Even comparing different plastics like a Star Teebird to a Champ Teebird with PLH is useful. But you can't, say, compare a Teebird's and Leopard's PLH...the shape of the wing itself is different and those curvatures also impact flight characteristics.

Generally you'll find players throwing heavier putters and midranges...these discs are meant for consistency and not supposed to be your longest discs anyways. Plus being blunter rim shaped, they tend to get decent lift/glide already. Lots of AM/casual players will then prefer their fairways or drivers in slightly lower weights to help with distance. For example it's common to have players bag putters/mids in the 170+ range up to 175+, but drivers in that 165-170 range.

I honestly don't feel or find much difference until I go to 165 or less...I really think disc shape/PLH/plastic matters way more than a few grams here or there. For example my most overstable Destroyer is 7g lighter than my others, but the wing shape and PLH are the cause of that.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-13-2019, 06:46 AM
Casey 1988 Casey 1988 is offline
Shun the frumious Bandersnatch!
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Pierre, South Dakota, USA
Years Playing: 16.1
Courses Played: 25
Throwing Style: RHBH
Posts: 3,735
Niced 634 Times in 545 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by slowplastic View Post
Haha yeah then definitely look up PLH - parting line height. It is the best way to compare/estimate relative stability between discs of the SAME MOLD. Even comparing different plastics like a Star Teebird to a Champ Teebird with PLH is useful. But you can't, say, compare a Teebird's and Leopard's PLH...the shape of the wing itself is different and those curvatures also impact flight characteristics.

Generally you'll find players throwing heavier putters and midranges...these discs are meant for consistency and not supposed to be your longest discs anyways. Plus being blunter rim shaped, they tend to get decent lift/glide already. Lots of AM/casual players will then prefer their fairways or drivers in slightly lower weights to help with distance. For example it's common to have players bag putters/mids in the 170+ range up to 175+, but drivers in that 165-170 range.

I honestly don't feel or find much difference until I go to 165 or less...I really think disc shape/PLH/plastic matters way more than a few grams here or there. For example my most overstable Destroyer is 7g lighter than my others, but the wing shape and PLH are the cause of that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shutrbug View Post
.
Note some midrange come at 180 grams max being that they are the next up bigger diameter that the PDGA allows a weight up to 180 grams. With those I tend to get 175 grams plus or minus a gram or two. As I like my drivers under speed 10 to be at 169-172 grams about 5 grams or so lower. This is not even considering max distance drivers as those should not be used by people who are not experienced with at least 3-4 years experience, even US Max distance as those will not go anywhere for a beginner.

Last edited by Casey 1988; 06-13-2019 at 06:49 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-13-2019, 09:48 AM
Blobfish's Avatar
Blobfish Blobfish is offline
Birdie Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Years Playing: 3.1
Courses Played: 17
Throwing Style: RHBH
Posts: 394
Niced 134 Times in 78 Posts
Default

Your question about the weight has mostly been answered, but I just wanted to add a tiny bit about the physics, specifically rotational inertia (moment of inertia):
In case you forgot your HS physics, rotational inertia is a property of an object that defines its resistance to a change in its state of rotation (in other words, how easy it is to spin). For the bulk of your discs, the rotational inertia can somewhat simplify to MR^2.
The lower the value, the easier it is to bring the disc up to speed. By easier, I mean it take less torque (twisting force) to accelerate it to top rotational speed. In fact, you might remember Newton's Second Law of F=ma or Force = mass (aka inertia) x (acceleration). The rotational analogue is Torque = (rotational inertia) x (rotational acceleration).
Thus, if your arm is only strong enough to produce a certain amount of force (torque), for a given rotational inertia (property of the disc), you'll only accelerate it so hard.
Low rotational inertia discs have low SPEED ratings because they don't require much torque.
On the other hand, moving the mass further and further away from the axis of rotation (like a distance driver) increases the rotational inertia and thus the torque required to throw and thus these become HIGH SPEED discs.
That said, a disc can somewhat be simplified to having a rotational inertia of MR^2 and as the radius is fixed, a variable mass will impact it (but less so than the radius if that were variable since it's linear as opposed to squared).
So how this translates to you as a thrower is that for your fixed arm snap (torque), you'll get more rotational acceleration on a lighter disc and bring it up to speed faster.

Rotational inertia works the other way as well, since Newton's First Law says that an object in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force; it applies rotationally as well and so a high speed (high rotational inertia) disc wants to retain its state of rotation longer. This makes high speed drivers difficult for arms that deliver less torque to adequately throw because without enough rotational acceleration on the throw, the disc is already almost ready to fade out as it slows and precesses.
But to compensate, many people will throw lighter high speed overstable dics (Z-lite Nuke OS, for example, in the 140ish grams)

One last note about light discs and inertia (linear inertia this time): wind.

Just like Slowplastic mentioned about glide and wind, lighter discs are generally going to be a touch more affected by winds, which is why you will often see folks using heavy putters.

Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-13-2019, 10:51 AM
ThrowaEnvy's Avatar
ThrowaEnvy ThrowaEnvy is offline
* Ace Member *
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Pender Is. B.C.
Years Playing: 13.8
Courses Played: 5
Posts: 2,083
Niced 677 Times in 477 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shutrbug View Post
Thank you both - I appreciate that! That's exactly the type of information I was hoping to find.

I think I will google some of that - I am reviewing the spreadsheet I made of my discs with columns for plastic type, weight, color etc - I guess I've already dipped into the realm of disc nerdiness...
Way to go! I just wanted to second anything slowplastic and rfrance said.. And to reiterate the sentiment about 165+ weight discs. I'm getting older and better my preferred weight for drivers is 165ish to 170max.. I find it's a sweet spot for me. I don't like the extra 5g to max weight I have trouble getting them going properly. If I'm trying a new mold that's generally the first weight I will try. Anything lighter is generally a mold that's been tampered with etc, like a 155 can be a crapshoot because the disc was designed to be 165+

That being said I do pack around midranges generally 170-176ish and throw a few 155g distance drivers. Best thing I ever did was get a 170 Aviar, I always threw max weight before that and it instantly extended my flights and control. Now I prefer 167ish Envy's... and I've been playing for a long time.

*side note I also throw a lot of MVP/Axiom and weirdly enough some of their mid weight discs are more stable than the max weight but the inertia still applies the same. Just to interject some weirdness.

Last edited by ThrowaEnvy; 06-13-2019 at 10:53 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-14-2019, 01:09 PM
Shutrbug Shutrbug is offline
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Central Alabama
Years Playing: 0.2
Courses Played: 6
Throwing Style: RHBH
Posts: 32
Niced 18 Times in 10 Posts
Default

So my disc golf career has been hampered mostly by my inability to really get a 'good' throw off of the tee. And my lack of practice has been hampered by the fact that's it is AllStar season for little league baseball. Last night, I figured out how to use all of that to my advantage... BATTING CAGES!

While the kids and coaches were on the field, I was planning on taking my bag with me to one of the other fields to practice throwing. But last night, all fields were taken. So I thought I'd try to at least go into the batting cage to practice my throw - and it turned out to be a great place to throw over and over. I didn't have to go that far to retrieve my discs, and I could tell whether or not they went straight/right/left after release. That's all I care about right now, anyway. The harder I throw, the worse my aim gets. This way I could add power slowly and still stop to correct grip or my feet.

Niced: (1)
Reply With Quote
 

  #10  
Old 06-14-2019, 01:48 PM
RFrance RFrance is offline
Eagle Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Tampa, FL
Years Playing: 5.9
Courses Played: 27
Throwing Style: RHBH
Posts: 940
Niced 246 Times in 156 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shutrbug View Post
So my disc golf career has been hampered mostly by my inability to really get a 'good' throw off of the tee. And my lack of practice has been hampered by the fact that's it is AllStar season for little league baseball. Last night, I figured out how to use all of that to my advantage... BATTING CAGES!

While the kids and coaches were on the field, I was planning on taking my bag with me to one of the other fields to practice throwing. But last night, all fields were taken. So I thought I'd try to at least go into the batting cage to practice my throw - and it turned out to be a great place to throw over and over. I didn't have to go that far to retrieve my discs, and I could tell whether or not they went straight/right/left after release. That's all I care about right now, anyway. The harder I throw, the worse my aim gets. This way I could add power slowly and still stop to correct grip or my feet.
Batting cages are a great place to work on form. In addition to what you said I found that for me it also removed the urge to swing for the fences so that I could slow down and concentrate on getting the feel of the throw. This might be a good place to answer your original question. See if you can tell the difference between heavier and lighter discs.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Poll: low-weight overstable drivers, or higher-weight understable drivers? SD86 Discs 47 04-01-2018 11:33 AM
Weight Difference in Elite X DJ Sticky Feet Discs 5 01-11-2014 08:19 PM
light-weight high speed vs max weight lower speed discs Mueltrain54 Technique & Strategy 8 12-26-2013 09:14 AM
What's the difference? depster Discs 7 04-04-2013 07:57 PM
Disc weight. New to the game, did I buy the wrong weight discs? JonathanXz Technique & Strategy 26 10-22-2012 09:10 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:05 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.10
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.