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Old 08-10-2012, 07:57 PM
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Qikly Qikly is offline
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Default Qikly's Bag - A Work in Progress

Hello board!

I'm a newbie, both to this forum and to disc golf in general. Been hovering around here for several weeks now, and finally decided to ask my own questions for a change. Many thanks in advance for any and all help.

First, a quick synopsis: I started playing a few weeks ago (not counting one round undertaken ~6 years ago under questionable levels of sobriety), and have really taken to the sport. I'm a composer by trade, which means a lot of hours spent at my desk inside: disc golf seems to be a perfect way to break that up when needed. There are two nearby courses in New Orleans (where I live), including one a 15 minute drive away. When I can't make it out to a course, I have a park around the corner from my apartment that I can go throw at. So I've been getting at least a bit of time in on most nights this past month, and have seen a lot of improvement.

I've been doing a lot of reading up/video watching, and have really taken the "start slow, sort your form out first" advice to heart (reminds me of learning instruments - I enjoy the labor of the process). Garublador's post on building a bag has been especially helpful. I started off by buying a 150 g Skeeter and a 175 g Aviar Classic (both DX). At this point, I'm throwing the Aviar around 175'-200' comfortably. The skeeter varies a bit more, but I'd say achieving 225' is easy, and I've probably pushed 300' a few times. Just to give an idea of where things stand throwing-wise. I've been working a lot of release angles, and find that, generally speaking, I can get either disc to go in the general direction of where I want. Which is, of course, a good thing.

I'm happy with the skeeter - it seems like a good mid to learn on, and I find it to be both accurate and shapeable. Perhaps I'll grow out of it eventually, but for now, I have a mid locked down. As far as the Aviar: while it does the job, I've suffered from a seemingly-improbable number of bounce outs/brushes with the chains, which has had me wanting to try out a stickier disc. I'm leaning towards a Soft or Supersoft Voodoo right now.

I have two main questions. One is about my first driver: after doing a lot of research, I've settled on a Cyclone. It's a bit faster than the most beginner of beginning drivers, which is a conscious choice: I'm a pretty big guy (former wrestler), so I feel like once I get my technique down, I'll be able to handle the slight uptick in speed. I'd like a disc that's versatile, and that I can grow into. From what I've read, the Cyclone meets those requirements. I've been ordering through Disc Golf Center - they have a D Cyclone in 149 or 167 available, and I'm currently leaning towards the lighter weight. I want to make achieving distance as easy on myself as possible right now. If anything, the potential squirriliness of throwing a lighter weight will be useful in diagnosing my technique issues.

Also, I'm choosing to stay away from the Leopard: my brother has one, so I've had the chance to throw it on a few occasions, and I was not a fan of either the feel or the flight of that disc. So I'm open to other options (Cheetah and Eagle X were the other two that stuck in my mind), but I'd prefer to avoid the Leopard.

So, (a long) question one: thoughts on the Cyclone as a beginner driver, going 149 g vs 167ish g, and/or other directions to move in?

Question two: Garublador and others had suggested starting with an overstable driver in order to learn to work with that sort of a disc. I like this idea: I'm trying to keep things as bare as possible (both because it's my style and because I'm on a budget), but the overstable disc seems unique and useful enough to try and get comfortable with. However, I'm a bit hesitant to pick up a driver as my beginner's overstable, both because the speed is out of my comfort zone and because the course I'm most likely to play on is almost exclusively shortish par 3s. So I was thinking of starting with an overstable mid, such as a Drone or Gator, instead. Leaning towards the Drone. Any thoughts?

I know this is a bit, or more than a bit, on the wordy side. Thanks for bearing with my newbie enthusiasm! Any comments on this points, or any other tips, etc, on anything (practice routines, ideal disc weights for drivers and mids, etc), would be appreciated.

Again, my thanks!
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  #2  
Old 08-11-2012, 12:01 PM
Crazy Runner Guy Crazy Runner Guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qikly View Post
So, (a long) question one: thoughts on the Cyclone as a beginner driver, going 149 g vs 167ish g, and/or other directions to move in?
Welcome to the boards - I'm a big fan of the Cyclone. I'd go with the 167ish. Cyclones are stable enough to be a little forgiving of form flaws, but they will also show those flaws to you and allow you to correct them. Lighter discs are less forgiving, so a heavier weight is also better in that regard. If later you decide that you like the mold, have developed a clean release (i.e. no fluttering, called OAT/Off-axis-torque, on release), then you can look at something lighter.

It's good that you're getting the Cyclone in D (base) plastic. You'll then learn how the disc wears in better than say, something in a more durable (like X) plastic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qikly View Post
So I was thinking of starting with an overstable mid, such as a Drone or Gator, instead. Leaning towards the Drone. Any thoughts?
Sounds like you read Garublador's How to Build a Bag thread.
The Gator and Drone fall into the "stupidly overstable" mid slot for most players, and they are designed to do a few things really well.

I recently came across this thread: Are Overstable Mids Pointless? The basic upshot of the original poster was anything you can do with an overstable mid, you can also do with powering down an overstable fairway driver and keep your bag to fewer molds/discs. By learning to throw a driver powered down, you develop more as a disc golfer because you learn to adapt your throw to the discs you have instead of adapting your discs to the throws you need.

I think if you're going to go as minimal as possible and being a relative beginner, you can likely skip the stupidly overstable mid slot. Your better bet is to get a driver which is overstable by design and learn to throw that at full and less-than-full power rather than getting an overstable mid. Common suggestions you'll hear on the boards: Firebird; Banshee; XXX. A Banshee is a speed 7 - the same as your Cyclone. If you must get an overstable mid, I recommend something like a Roc or a Wasp. Each has a nice bead on the bottom of the rim, feel like a Cyclone in your hand, and are overstable enough to handle all-but gale-force winds and not stupidly overstable. (you'll want that driver for those days).

Good luck, and stick with minimalism.
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Old 08-11-2012, 02:32 PM
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Qikly Qikly is offline
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Thanks for the thoughts, CRG.

I appreciate the advice on weight for the Cyclone; I've been flip-flopping on that one a lot. I don't have any problem throwing my 175 g Aviar, so I imagine I should be fine throwing the heavier Cyclone. I guess I just wanted to maximize my distance with it by going lighter, but the reasons you gave for choosing the heavier version make a lot of sense.

That thread on overstable mids is very helpful food-for-thought. Given my predilection for learning how to get as much out of a single mold as possible, it makes sense to learn to power down a driver, since "power-upping" a mid isn't nearly as much of an option. I'll likely stew over my options some more, but the Banshee seems a likely candidate. I certainly don't think I'd like to go faster than that.

Again, many thanks for the feedback. It's extremely useful.
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Old 08-12-2012, 02:00 PM
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Qikly Qikly is offline
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I have a follow-up question re: the Banshee. I've never thrown one before. The ratings are very similar to a Cyclone's, minus the HSS. Would the discs be that different? I'm assuming they would be (I know ratings aren't everything, by a long shot), but I was curious to see if I could get any opinions on that. I just wasn't sure if I'd be able to work the Cyclone for similar hyzer shots, etc, or if its HSS is enough to get it moving on a different line.
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:18 PM
Crazy Runner Guy Crazy Runner Guy is offline
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You're right, take ratings with a grain of salt.

Sounds like you may be confusing a hyzer shot with a shot designed to fade. A hyzer is a release angle, where the far edge of the disc is lower than your hand on release. Fade is the tendency for the disc to turn left toward the end of its flight as it slows down (RHBH). The effect may be the same - both discs will end left, it's just a matter of what line you want and how the disc gets there.

The difference between a Cyclone and something more overstable when thrown with any release angle is that the more overstable will tend to fade fist, all things being equal. That Cyclone will hold any line you put it on, and will have a nice predictable, gentle fade.

Don't worry too much about the speed rating of the disc that fits your stupidly overstable slot, so long as the disc is overstable by design and not speed and not otherwise too fast (i.e. a Nuke OS or a Max are overstable by design and very fast.). Those OS discs are meant to be thrown into a headwind, and a headwind makes a disc fly more understable because in effect the disc is going through the air faster than your throw (because the wind speed would be added to the disc speed). Thus, you can throw a faster disc in your overstable slot than you might normally be able to. Of my current bag - see signature - my OS driver, a Firebird - is the fastest disc I throw, being at speed 9. Teebirds and Cyclones are 7, Roc is a 4, and Rhynos are 2.
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:08 PM
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Qikly Qikly is offline
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Thanks again for the feedback, CRG.

I guess I was worried about the Banshee and the Cyclone overlapping too much in terms of function. It doesn't seem like that's the case though - rather, it sounds like the Banshee is more overstable than the Cyclone enough to warrant having both in my bag. It'll be good to get an OS disc in my repertoire - I was out yesterday on my home course, which is pretty open, and my 150 g Skeeter was getting pushed around to all hell.

That's a nice tip to know about the relationship between OS discs, headwinds, and speed versus the normal speed I throw. I hadn't heard that before.

I'll probably go with a 165ish g Banshee - still want to keep things on the light side.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:43 PM
Rhynos4life Rhynos4life is offline
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I'll probably go with a 165ish g Banshee - still want to keep things on the light side.
Good call. There is no shame in throwing lighter discs although some may say otherwise.
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:39 PM
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Qikly Qikly is offline
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Yeah, I would say that disc weights are still something that I'm figuring out. I was out the other day throwing in the park, tweaking my form and trying different things, and I noticed how much more forgiving the 175 Aviar was than the 150 Skeeter. The Aviar seemed much more resilient to any mistakes I would make - it would show me that they'd been made, but it seemed much more likely to "bounce back" from a wonky release. I also noticed the obvious difference in stability between the two discs in the wind.

At this beginning stage, I image it's just a question of trying out different weights and getting a sense of what I want to use in what conditions and for what roles.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:58 AM
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Right, so I picked up some of the discs discussed above. Right now the bag stands at:

Drivers
- 167 g D Cyclone: workhorse driver
- 166 g DX Banshee: overstable driver, powered down for overstable midrange shots

Mids
- 167 g DX Skeeter: brand new, very workable
- 150 g DX Skeeter: beaten in enough to where it's starting to flip noticeably; especially good for anhyzer lines

Putter
- 175 g DX Aviar Classic

Got my first real work in with the drivers today. The Banshee instantly opened up a whole new series of lines for me - I didn't use it regularly, but on the shots I did use it, I wouldn't have wanted to use any other disc. Very excited to have added it to my arsenal. I like how the Cyclone feels, and had a few really successful drives with it. Still, I feel as though I have a lot to learn about it, as I didn't feel confident with my control over it on the whole. Seems like it will be a good driver to learn with, though.

Both drivers failed to consistently fly farther than my Skeeter (which I throw an average of 200'-225', and occasionally higher), so I still have some technique work to do until I'm really capitalizing on there speed. There were a few instances where I really nailed a throw with the Cyclone and it went ~275', which was nice to see, and I do feel as though throwing them farther requires less effort. Now it's just a matter of getting comfortable with them.

There were a few times where the Cyclone jumped up, then hooked hard left and came crashing down to earth. Any ideas on what the culprit of this might be? It didn't always seem to be a nose-angle issue, as there were times where the disc would come out relatively flat, then leap up suddenly before taking a dive left. The wind, maybe? It was an open course, which is susceptible to gusts. The Banshee seemed to similarly die prematurely at times. Perhaps it's simply a lack of not getting the discs up to their proper speed.

I must say, I'm really fond of the Skeeters, although the lighter one is getting temperamental as it beats in. I can eventually see myself getting one in Star or R-Pro plastic, to hold its condition longer. New, they seem extremely workable to me. Any reason they're not more popular? Is it just that they're a relatively new mold?

I'm not currently sold on my Aviar as a long-term choice of putter. It does the job, but there's something about how it flies that doesn't appeal to me. Too neutral, maybe? Part of it is just getting used to putting, and throwing powered-down shots, but I think part of it is the disc, too. I think I may pick up a Voodoo with my next purchase.

Besides the putter, I'm committed to working with these molds until my game really develops. As I said above, the learning the Banshee is particularly exciting, since I feel as though it opens up a lot of new shots to my game.

As always, any thoughts/comments/questions are appreciated!
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:36 AM
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tdschrock1 tdschrock1 is offline
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I have thrown a skeeter for a while in he past. If you like something a little more durable, try an x comet. They are glidey and neutral
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