Last updated on September 20th, 2023 at 09:48 pm
Last updated by Maredith Damasco
“Which disc golf brand is the best?” is probably a question any disc golf beginner asks themself. As a newcomer to the sport, it’s quite a reasonable question to pose. Therefore, when we consider the leading brands in disc golf, the comparison naturally leads us to Discraft vs Innova. Those two are the giants of the disc golf world.
I will evaluate and compare three aspects: disc charts, plastics, and their overall ease of use.
Discraft vs Innova: Disc Stability Charts
First and foremost, let’s delve into how these two brands assess their discs. When I first delved into the realm of disc golf, it was disheartening to realize that different brands utilize unique rating systems for their discs. Consequently, if you happen to obtain two discs with identical ratings from different brands, their flight characteristics may not perfectly correspond.
In order to properly compare the two brands, let’s study how they come up with their disc charts.
Discraft gives players a very simple and understandable rating system. A lot of the time, players would look at a disc’s stability rating. Discs have stability ratings that fall into three categories: stable, over-stable, and under-stable. These ratings are listed as “Turn.”
Stable discs maintain a straight flight path when thrown with the proper technique, arm speed, and strength that matches the disc’s requirements. When a right-hand backhand throw (RHBH) results in no deviation to the left or right, the disc can be considered stable. Stable discs typically come with a turn rating of 0.
Over-stable discs resist the intended direction of the throw. When a player uses the same throwing technique with an over-stable disc, it tends to curve to the left. Depending on the severity of its over-stability, the disc will fly more to the left the more over-stable it is. Over-stable discs have turn ratings of -1 to -3.
Under-stable discs, on the other hand, tend to turn in the direction they are thrown. With an RHBH throw, an under-stable disc will fly towards the left. Discraft rates their under-stable discs from 1 to 3.
If the player is left-handed, the direction of the disc flight is reversed if thrown with a left-hand backhand (LHBH). If the disc is under-stable, it will fly to the left; if it is over-stable, it will fly to the right.
Despite the initial lack of appeal in discs that tend to turn, a proficient player can leverage a disc’s stability to their advantage. After you’ve gained a grasp of how to evaluate a disc’s stability, you can fine-tune its flight path to match your techniques.
In my opinion, Discraft gives players better and simpler turn ratings. Innova has a more complicated way of rating the stability of their discs (though the principle is the same). Innova uses a +1 to -5 turn rating system.
A disc featuring a +1 turn rating displays a strong resistance to turning. However, when Discraft produces an equivalent disc, it often receives a rating of -3 (or something similar). Innova discs with a +1 turn rating are generally considered overstable, resulting in a leftward curve when thrown using a right-hand backhand technique.
As the turn rating of an Innova disc diminishes, moving closer to -5, it progressively becomes more understable. Hence, when a right-hand backhand throw is employed, the disc typically veers to the right. Likewise, akin to Discraft discs, the flight pattern of Innova discs undergoes a reversal when a player utilizes a left-hand backhand throw.
Nonetheless, the complexity of Innova discs extends beyond this point. Even though Innova employs standard turn ratings for their disc models, these ratings may not consistently match every disc within the same model. This diversity stems from Innova’s regular practice of presenting its disc models in various plastics, with each specific material leaving its unique imprint on the disc’s flight attributes.
Discraft vs Innova: Plastics
The material used to make discs affects their flight pattern, as it determines their weight, flexibility, durability, grip, and other characteristics.
There are eight Discraft plastics from which you can choose. The eight plastics are:
- Z Lite
- Pro D
Of these plastics, the FLX, Ti, Z, and Z Lite are the most durable. The FLX, X, and Pro D plastics provide the most grip.
Innova features more plastics from which you can choose. The plastics are:
- Echo Star
- JK Pro
- KC Pro
- Metal Flake
- Driver Pro
- Blizzard Champion
Although your Innova disc is labeled as stable, it could display a subtle inclination towards under-stability when manufactured from DX plastic. This particular material introduces a hint of under-stability to the disc. Conversely, Innova’s most stable plastics, such as Star, Starlite, and Champion, do not exhibit this propensity.
Discraft vs Innova: Which is More Player-Friendly?
In my view, it seems that Discraft is more geared towards beginner players among the well-known disc golf brands. From my perspective, comprehending Discraft’s disc model charts seems considerably simpler in contrast to Innova’s charts. Additionally, the narrower selection of disc plastics simplifies the disc selection process for novice players as they decide on their disc preferences.
However, Innova caters to a wider range of players, and despite the apparent complexity of their disc ratings, they provide an extensive selection of over a hundred options. This means that Innova has a disc suitable for players of all skill levels.
To help you better compare the two brands, here’s a final look at our Discraft vs Innova comparison:
|Number of Options
|-3 to +3
|More suited for beginners
|+1 to -5
|Caters to any player