How Much of a Headwind to affect disc?

brettwasbtd

Newbie
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
39
So I got a few minutes to head out to the field to practice yesterday, and it was pretty frustrating. I was making solid improvements last week - focusing on my form but really trying to hit my lines rather than distance (getting mids to 280' on target). Yesterday it seemed like everything was starting off straight on a slight hyzer but flipping to flat, then riding an anny line to finish 30° to the right of the target. I was thinking I must have really regressed in my form, but now I'm wondering if it was wind? I was probably getting gusts of 5-10mph straight at me. Hoping that was enough to flip my comet/buzzz? How much of a headwind does it take to affect these discs?
 
Headwind will tend to show any form flaws with slower discs (us faster ones too) but if either of those molds are beat up (comet for sure) they might turn a little into a headwind. I think 10mph+ being where issues should come up.

Probably a combo of conditions and some weird torque.
 
I've noticed that discs with any turn will do that in a strong headwind. Even something with fade in equal amount will stay right/continue right without fading back/fading back very little. I typically will only throw OS stuff into headwinds. I love my Comet but would not throw it into a headwind; I would probably throw a Verdict or Harp and just play a little bit more hyzer. YMMV or someone with more experience might chime in with better advice but this is what I've experienced.
 
I'm definitely not an expert, but have been noticing lately that slight to moderate headwinds are definitely affecting the flight on my throws more than they used to. I've been developing a little more snap lately, and find myself going to the next 'more beefy' disc in those conditions. For instance, if I would throw a Comet when it's calm, I'll go to a Buzzz for a light to moderate headwind, and up to a Bard if it's much stronger of a headwind than that.

The disc that's perturbing me lately with this is the Stag. For a straight fairway driver shot in zero wind, I used to be able to throw a River, go to the Teebird if it's moderate, and the Stag if it's stronger. But lately, even with the Stag's 0 turn, 3 fade rating, I'm having a hard time getting it to fade like I need it to. It's almost as if headwind has the same effect as beating in a disc over time, and believe me, some well-worn in discs, I'll never throw into a headwind!
 
10 mph headwind will definitely cause stable discs to turn right, and flippy discs will roll. You have to feel that wind before you throw and adjust accordingly. More headwind means more hyzer, and maybe throw it a little bit left so you have room if it turns. Tailwind means less hyzer, and/or a less stable disc. Cross winds can be the trickiest, when in doubt throw it flat.
 
I think 5-10 mph can definitely affect a Comet or Buzzz. Wind seems to be the Comet's kryptonite, and the Buzzz's early turn seems particularly susceptible to wind. Of course form can be a factor, but headwinds (even mild) do affect these discs. Of course learning to adjust to small winds is useful.
 
Yeah, slow discs like midranges can definitely be affected a lot, even if your form is clean. Think of it this way...if you gave your disc to someone who throws 50'+ farther than you, you wouldn't be surprised if the discs flipped a lot more, right? That's an extra 5-10MPH arm speed, so the wind is making the disc act that same way, other than the added distance of course.

I've actually been impressed with how well Comets can handle slight to moderate breezes, but mine is quite true stable. I keep expecting it to go off of the line but it usually doesn't even flinch. I imagine a Comet that shows some turn in calm would get pushed around though.
 
I do a lot of field time, and have found that it is very frustrating to throw into the wind.
If I cannot throw in calm or with a bit of tailwind, then it's just not helpful.
Part of that is that I have all neutral discs in my practice bags (Comets, Cobras, etc).
 
Yeah, slow discs like midranges can definitely be affected a lot, even if your form is clean. Think of it this way...if you gave your disc to someone who throws 50'+ farther than you, you wouldn't be surprised if the discs flipped a lot more, right? That's an extra 5-10MPH arm speed, so the wind is making the disc act that same way, other than the added distance of course.

You might even expect a little MORE trouble from the wind than that, because you have extra air speed but not any extra spin. (Presumably someone with 5-10MPH more arm speed than you also gets a little more spin on the disc.) Without that extra angular momentum, the disc will act less stable.
 
Let's put it this way... if you can notice a breeze while throwing, your discs will react to it. One way or another. Throwing with the breeze at your back (tailwind) you'll notice discs seem more stable and glide less. Throwing with the wind at your front (headwind) you'll notice that discs glide more, but get hung up in the air and flip over much easier. You'll likely lose distance.

Cross breezes are where it can get tricky. A slight L to R breeze can result in some massive bombs, as your disc turns over a bit more than usual, but doesn't get knocked down.
 
My thinking has always been that slower discs should turn over less with a headwind than faster discs. (These numbers are pulled out of thin air, not based on fact or anything.) A Comet's cruising speed is 20mph; a Destroyer's cruising speed is 50mph. I throw discs at 50mph. The Comet goes from 30mph over cruising speed to 35mph over cruising speed while the destroyer goes from cruising speed to 5mph over cruising speed. It seems like the effect should be greater with the Destroyer.

That being said, Comets and Rocs (high profile beaded discs) have always given me problems in headwinds. OAT? Sure ... but I don't have that problem with Buzzzs and the like.


Rather than using a beefier disc, I throw a faster disc. I go from a Squall to a Leopard, rather than a Squall to a Buzzz.
 
^I don't think range of cruising speed and disc speed work like that. I realize you also admit to pulling some numbers out of nowhere, but 30MPH is like a super soft upshot.

Most slower discs like putters and mids will glide at a lower velocity, but their effective/useful range of velocities is very high. Think of a Roc, a beginner can throw it pretty straight and McBeth can pump one out 400' dead straight. They can handle beginners likely throwing ~45MPH to pro's throwing 70MPH I'd say, obviously flying different, but still being useful.

Now some high speed drivers, especially those with some turn for slower arms...say 50-55MPH will get crazy flippy when pushed to 60MPH and beyond that are completely unusable (say a flippy King for example). These numbers will be close based on my experience, etc., but are not scientific/exact. So a high speed disc like this will get really, really affected by the wind.

I think slow discs get affected by wind a lot because they are less aerodynamic...they may not flip as crazily as some higher speed discs that are on the verge of understability, but their distance range will get completely changed in a headwind. Whereas a faster disc will tend to cut through the wind and not get stopped as short. Faster discs that are moderately overstable will be least affected by mild to moderate wind, almost acting like it's not there, whereas a slower straight disc will likely lose significant distance (say 30') and drift off line noticeably. At least for how I throw. But faster understable discs get 100% unpredictable and should stay in the bag or in the car.

I typically go up a stability notch and a speed notch when there's a bit of headwind, and when there's a lot of wind then it's about going really fast and overstable, and not exposing the flight plate to the wind if possible.
 
I feel that mids get knocked around by wind far more than drivers. On a windy day I'll generally not pull out the Buzzz on shots I'd otherwise use it on. If I have to make short drives in breezy conditions the Flick comes out. That disc is immune to wind and goes the same distance as a mid anyway.

The Flick almost feels like cheating in wind. It does the same thing throw after throw and you never have to worry about it flipping or being erratic.

Its the best wind disc ever created.
 
Thanks for all the replies! Lot more to think about on the subject than I originally thought. One thing I have been considering is maybe my 5-10 mph wind estimate was off, a couple of times it was blowing my shirt back pretty decently, so it could have been faster. Funny the last poster mentioned the Flick - my last throw of the day I was frustrated and said screw it, I'm going to backhand the Flick, which is something I never do. Strong headwind but it on target with a moderate hyzer about 300 ft. That disc eats wind for breakfast haha

Sent from my XT1049 using Tapatalk
 
Thanks for all the replies! Lot more to think about on the subject than I originally thought. One thing I have been considering is maybe my 5-10 mph wind estimate was off, a couple of times it was blowing my shirt back pretty decently, so it could have been faster. Funny the last poster mentioned the Flick - my last throw of the day I was frustrated and said screw it, I'm going to backhand the Flick, which is something I never do. Strong headwind but it on target with a moderate hyzer about 300 ft. That disc eats wind for breakfast haha

Sent from my XT1049 using Tapatalk

Yep, the Flick is one of a kind for windy conditions. I'd never consider playing without one.
 
Yep, the Flick is one of a kind for windy conditions. I'd never consider playing without one.

Beefy driver is a must have in the wind. Firebird, Felon, Stiletto, PD, PD2 ect.

On topic, any wind at all is enought. A headwind basically just increases the discs relative speed.

So a disc thrown at 40mph in to a 20mph headwind will have the same flightpattern as a disc thrown at 60mph wo any wind. Note that the disc won't go as far :)
 
Beefy driver is a must have in the wind. Firebird, Felon, Stiletto, PD, PD2 ect.

On topic, any wind at all is enought. A headwind basically just increases the discs relative speed.

So a disc thrown at 40mph in to a 20mph headwind will have the same flightpattern as a disc thrown at 60mph wo any wind. Note that the disc won't go as far :)

Exactly right.
 

Latest posts

Top