If you are new to disc golf and you have been shopping for discs. You have probably noticed the four little numbers stamped on the disc. They must have brainstormed for years to figure out a way to make a disc so complicated. Well I’m here to break down the numbers on disc golf discs for beginners in a nutshell.
There are a few different rating systems. Lets start with the Four Number System. Or maybe more suiting the Secret Disc Launch Codes. Everything below is for a disc that is rotating clockwise. Doesn’t mater if you throw it between your legs, behind the back, or from your mouth. If it its rotating clockwise the following applies. If it’s rotating counter-clockwise then everything is opposite.
Disc Golf Discs For Beginners – Four Number System.
So from left to right the numbers represent Speed, Glide, Turn, and Fade.
The “speed” rating is the one I believe to be the most confusing. This number just represents how fast you have to throw a disc to make it fly like it was designed. If you throw it faster or slower then it will not fly as the other numbers indicate it should. So you need to be careful to pick a disc that suits your arm speed.
The “glide” rating is pretty self explanatory. Pretty much the higher the glide number is the longer it can stay in the air. Simple is good right? Don’t answer that. Kinda strange to talk to a screen.
The “Turn” rating is for the high speed portion of flight. Or the launch portion however you wanna look at it. A positive turn rating means that it should stay to the left when you throw it. A 0 rating means that it should stay straight. Last but not least a negative rating means it should go right . the more negative the number is the more right it should go. Negative turn ratings are better for beginners.
The “Fade” rating is for the low speed portion of flight. When your disc starts to slow it will fade to the left. the higher the fade rating the more it will fade. A fade rating of 0 should stay on course as the disc slows. A fade rating of 5 should fade hard right when the disc slows.
That sums up the numbers for the Secret Disc Launch Codes. For a more in depth version click here
The Vibram System
This rating system consists of just three numbers. The speed in MPH that you should throw the disc in order for it to have the designed flight path. The degree of Turn (the amount the disc goes right in the high speed portion of the throw) measured from 0-30. The degree of Fade (the amount the disc goes left when it starts to slow) also measured from 0-30. Vibram even stamps an image of the discs designed flight pattern on the bottom of their discs.
The Discraft system
This rating system uses a single number ranging from 3 to -3. Maybe a little vague, but sometimes that can be a good thing. Basically the +3 rating means that this is an overstable disc ( it should go hard left during flight). A rating of 0 would be a stable disc ( it would go straight ). And a rating of -3 would be an understable disc ( it start out to the right during flight ) So if you don’t feel like putting a whole lot of thought into disc selection this slims down your options quite a bit.
With A Grain Of Salt
All of these ratings pretty good. Just don’t expect them to fly exactly like the numbers indicate. The flight pattern can be affected by your release angle, arm speed, the snap of your wrist, wind conditions, and even if you don’t hold your mouth right.
I hope I have been of some help getting you started with your Disc Golf adventures. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below. Now grab some discs, some friends, and enjoy bangin chains.
Vice President of DisbeeFrisbee.com