Introducing Alfa Discs

Inspired by Infinite Discs

 

It isn’t often that people who stop by the Infinite Discs store in Logan, Utah are impressed enough with their visit that they start their own disc golf manufacturing business, but that is exactly what happened to brothers Alexander and Benjamin Eliassen. The pair, who hail from Norway, dropped by our store in 2019 during a family vacation to America. Here is their story.

Made in Norway

If you hop on a boat traveling East from New York City you could navigate the Atlantic Ocean until you got to the North Sea, east of the UK and south of Norway. If you head north on the Oslo fjord to the Drammensfjorden, you could make your way to the Drammenselva River, which flows right next to Kokksund Norway. In Kokksund you will find the Nostetangen Museum, where visitors can learn about how glass was made anciently. You will also find the Haug Church, which was originally constructed in 1152. Kokksund is also home to Alfa Discs, one of the newer disc golf companies, and the only manufacturer in Norway.

Inspired by Infinite

 

Shortly after their visit to America, and Infinite Discs, Alexander started studying Entrepreneurship and had to come up with an idea for a student project as part of the degree. Remembering the excitement he felt at seeing how successful Infinite had become, he and his brother decided to start the disc golf store they were dreaming about.

The brothers started their business two years ago by selling online and at local tournaments. They started selling only Infinite molds, but soon expanded by added more and more brands, until they had a well-rounded selection of discs. Unfortunately, several months after they started, Covid hit.

Making Their Own Discs

 

The global pandemic was a double-edged sword in the disc golf world. The sport is perfect for social distancing, and grew significantly. Unfortunately, the increased demand for discs, combined with slower production due to shutdowns and materials shortages, meant that there was a much bigger demand than there was supplies to meet the demand. This shortage was felt throughout the industry, and Alfa Discs was no exception. The owners decided that the best way to ensure they had the discs to sell was to manufacture their own. That’s when they decided to become the first manufacturer in Norway.

The founders of Alfa Discs (L to R): Alexander Eliassen, Christoffer Eliassen, Reidar Finnerud, Benjamin Eliassen

 

The decision to manufacture their own discs was made in June of 2020. The next few months were spent planning and working out the details to become a manufacturer. After much thought and discussion, the team, which now included a third brother and a friend, decided to make a stable midrange as their first disc. And thus was born the Apollo.

The Apollo

 

The Apollo is a straight flying disc that can be easily shaped for long, technical approach shots, or for a drive where distance is necessary. The mold was designed to be a good fit for beginners, and experienced players.

Their inaugural mold was named after the Apollo 11 mission, which flew the first people to the moon. That name seemed fitting for the first mold produced. The challenge of starting a new company, then producing their first mold, felt like an achievement akin to standing on the moon for the first time. As for the names of future molds, we will have to wait to see what they come up with.

Alfa discs has two different plastic types. The first Apollo release will be in their Crystal plastic. This is a premium plastic that is extremely durable. In fact, Alfa discs makes their premium plastics a point of pride. They want only the best discs for their customers. To that end, they even inspect each disc to make sure they are perfect. The Apollo and future molds will also be made in Chrome plastic, which is another premium plastic.

Future Molds

 

As for any future molds, Alfa is keeping the details close to the vest. They suggest checking their website for updates on future discs. They are planning on releasing a few more molds next year (2022), and will be working toward providing a full lineup of molds for their fans.

Even though Alfa is a young company and just producing their first mold, they want to help grow the sport by sponsoring players. Currently, they only have one sponsored player, but expect to add more to the roster as they grow and expand. Their current pro is Morten Brenna. Morten is one of the best disc golfers in Norway. And he loves the Apollo. He qualified for the UDGC, so you may very well see the Apollo flying around Rock hill this year!

 

Alexander is very optimistic about the future of the sport. Although disc golf is a much newer sport than ball golf, he believes that it could be just as popular as its cousin. He recognizes the role that Alpha Discs has in helping the sport grow, and looks forward to businesses like his having even more sponsored players and increasing the visibility of the sport. He will do his part by providing unparalleled customer service.

“Our customer is our boss,” said Alexander. “And we will listen to them no matter what.”

The new Apollo was just released and are available now! Check out the link below and get your first run Apollo from Infinite Discs.

https://infinitediscs.com/Alfa-Discs-Apollo

Check out Alfa Discs’ sponsored player, Morten Brenna, PDGA #79859, you can see his Norwegian-language In The Bag video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLqACdLX9IA

Visit the Alfa Discs website here:

https://alfadiscs.com/

We would like to give you an opportunity to win a First Run Apollo from Alfa Discs. To enter, let us know in the comments below what midrange mold that you throw that has a similar flight to the Apollo. Next week we will randomly select three commenters to win an Apollo.

 

 

A Look At New Disc Golfers

New Disc Golfer on Mountainous Course

2021 State of Disc Golf

New Disc Golfers

As has been pointed out in numerous blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos, and even this blog series, the pandemic has created a boon for the sport of disc golf. A perfect storm of having more time on our hands, the need to socially distance from people, in many cases a bump in income from the federal government, and a sport that is relatively inexpensive and easy to get into has led to unprecedented growth for disc golf. That growth has not been without its pains. Shutdowns, materials shortages, and the increase in demand have led to challenges in maintaining inventory.

Even with the difficulties we are experiencing, and have experienced, it is great to see so many new people embracing the sport we love. Those new players are going to be the focus of this blog. We’ll take another look at how many survey respondents indicated that they started playing last year. Then we’ll look at why they started, how many discs they’ve amassed, and we’ll take a peek inside their bag to see what they are throwing. Finally, we’ll also compare their responses to the ‘veteran’ disc golfers to see what we can learn about them and us.

New To The Sport

Let’s start by seeing when people indicated in the survey that they started playing. In a previous State of Disc Golf 2021 blog we learned that nearly 20% of respondents started playing last year. Here are those results:

 

Let’s take a look at a few previous years’ survey results to see how the pandemic might have affected the results of the same question (as if we really wonder how it was affected!) Here are the results from two previous years. The chart shows the survey year, and the percent of people who started playing disc golf the previous year:

2015 9.70%
2019 10.20%
2021 19.20%

Given that extraordinary increase in the number of people who joined the PDGA last year, the 19% figure could have been a lot higher and it wouldn’t have surprised me. Still, one in five of all survey respondents starting last year isn’t too shabby.

Introduced To Disc Golf

The follow-up question in the survey was for people who indicated that they started last year, and that question was, “How did you get into disc golf?” I discovered in writing this blog that the spreadsheet format excluded some of the answers in the previous blog, so I ran the data again and here are the accurate numbers for that question:

 

 

Just like last time, the number one reason people started playing disc golf was because of a friend. What better way to share the sport than inviting a friend? Close to half of all respondents who started last year were looking for something to do during the pandemic. Over 28% wanted some way to get exercise, while 22% just stumbled onto the sport. Even though the smallest number of respondents found disc golf from seeing it on a sports program, I like the idea that people are intrigued enough from watching disc golf to give it a try.

In Their Bag

Alright, let’s take a look at what the new disc golfers are throwing. Because of the disc shortages experienced last year, I expected the discs in the bags of the new golfers to look like Infinite’s inventory: full of whatever we could get our hands on. It turns out that the typical new-person bag looks very similar to what everyone else’s bag looks like, statistically speaking. Here is the graph of the average bag, followed by the graph for the discs in the average new player’s bag.

 

 

For comparison, below is a chart from last year’s survey showing what discs were in our bags. As you can see, the numbers are similar to the ones in the graphs above. That is both the percentage and the overall ranking of the top brands.

Although there are some differences with the new player’s numbers, most of them are pretty close to the group numbers. Many of the statistics are driven by available supply. However, taking a look at last year’s chart for the same category, we can see that they numbers aren’t too far away from what we’ve seen in the past. It will be interesting to see what changes take place in the future, based on what people had in their bags last year. How many people ended up trying new disc brands because that was all that was available? And will they stick with brands they were forced to try?

Give The Gift Of Disc

I was curious to see where new players got their discs, and how many got them from their friends who invited them to play. That would help explain why the charts look similar. According to the survey, 45% of players who started playing last year received, among other sources, a disc as a gift. We didn’t differentiate in the survey between discs that were given by another player versus discs that were received as a present for Christmas, birthdays, etc. Getting a disc from another player might mean they are receiving brands that the friend throws.

One other survey question I want to explore will tell us a little bit about how hooked the new players are on disc golf. We asked how many discs people own. Here is a graph of everybody’s answers:

 

And here is a graph of the players who started playing last year. Although the new players have the lead compared to seasoned golfers up to the 31-40 discs category, after that the long timers take over as the leader. That makes sense because we have a tendency to increase our disc golf collection over time, whether we are keeping discs we don’t throw, have more wall hangers, or start to collect discs. Here is the graph:

In The Future

It will be interesting to see how the influx of new players affects the sport in the long run. Growth is good and hopefully will compound in the near future. We REALLY hope the supply/demand dynamic will flatten out soon so we can escape the hoarder mentality and be able to buy what we want when we want it.

Check back next week for more of the 2021 State of Disc Golf.

What Disc Golf Accessories Do We Own

 

2021 State of Disc Golf

 

What Accessories Do We Own

 

One of the benefits of our sport is that it is relatively inexpensive to get started. A beginner who wants to play casually can get a few base-plastic discs and find a course that is free to play. For $20, you could be set for the summer. Even if you opt for premium plastics and a small bag, you could keep your expenses under $50. Compared to ball golf or many other sports, that is a bargain! Plus, that easy entry into the sport contributes to its growth. Even if you are buying discs for the whole family, it’s still a cheap hobby.

Once we’ve been playing for very long at all, we start considering some of the other disc golf related items we could use when we play. A mini is a necessity if you play tournaments and even leagues. Towels are nice in case our discs or our hands get damp. Maybe a bigger bag? Or how about jumping up to a cart? While disc golf CAN be played inexpensively, one can also spend a lot of money upgrading to the best discs, bags, and many varieties of accessories and apparel. For the 2021 State of Disc Golf survey, we wanted to see what disc golf paraphernalia was the most popular. We asked about accessories, apparel, water bottles, and what we use to haul our gear around. Let’s take a look at what items were the most popular.

Accessories

 

In the survey, we listed popular accessories and asked how many of them we own. Not too surprising that the number one answer was a plastic mini. Number seven is a premium mini (made out of wood, glass, etc.). Although there were a lot of people who indicated that they own both a plastic and a premium mini. The bottom line is that nearly all of us have a mini of one kind or another. If you play in a sanctioned event, you really NEED a mini. That need, along with the fact that the regularly show up in player’s packs, makes it easy to see why the mini is number one. Here are the results:

 

 

When I consider what accessories I own, and what I see my buddies use, most of these numbers look right. There is one that looks glaringly wrong: the ubiquitous water bottle. Less than half of us own a water bottle? It wouldn’t have surprised me if the water bottle were the number one accessory. I know a few golfers that use bladders, similar to the CamelBak. But that doesn’t account for what I consider to be a lot smaller percentage of people who indicate they don’t own a water bottle, than what I see on the course.

More Accessories

 

Towels and grip enhancers are two more items that I see enough on the disc golf course that it is not surprising to see them at the top of the list. Rounding out the list is an item that we’ve been see a lot more advertising for in the past few years: the rangefinder. I see a lot more of these in use than even a year ago. With less expensive options like the Apex Rangefinder, it is easier to justify getting one.

 

Water Bottles

 

Speaking of water bottles, we also asked in the survey what kind of water bottles. Jesse from Trash Panda Disc Golf will be happy to hear that over 80% of us prefer reusable water bottles. (To see what Jesse is doing for sustainable disc golf, check out our blog post featuring Jesse here). Like so many of us have discovered, the double-wall insulated water bottles are the most effective at keeping your beverages cold. Pro tip: you CAN put too much ice in these types of water bottles and end up with nothing but ice after you drink all the liquid. That’s a bummer on a hot day. Experiment with the level of ice to see what works best for your water bottle. Here are the results:

 

 

Apparel

 

Whether you are talking about a sports team, shoe company, favorite band, or YouTube celebrity, many of us like to show our loyalty by wearing apparel from the companies, individual, or groups that we support. It’s no different with disc golfers, so we asked in the survey what branded apparel we own? I would have thought that tee shirts and hats would have been at the top of the list, but I would have bet on hats being the number one choice. Here are the results:

 

 

In addition to tee shirts and hats, rounding out the top five are hoodies, polo shirts, and beanies. Personally, I have everything on the list but a branded jacket, shorts, and pants. The percentages listed in the results represent 2/3 of us. Slightly over 33% of us indicated that we don’t own branded apparel of any kind on the list. That’s surprising, given how frequently these items show up in player’s packs.

 

Hauling Discs Around

 

The final category we’ll look at today is how we carry our discs. We let people choose all that apply to them, so the percentages add up to more than 100%. Taking the top spot is the popular backpack bag. We don’t have to play disc golf for long before we have enough discs and accessories to justify getting a backpack bag. They are great for casual rounds and multi-day tournaments. Some golfers even get a cart that can hold their backpack bag, to use on cart-friendly courses. Over 77% of us have a backpack bag. That’s more than three times the second most popular choice, the small bag with a single strap. Here are all of the results:

 

Only about 1% of us don’t use a bag or cart. And 5% of us use some kind of bag we’ve repurposed for disc golf. Everyone else has at least a small bag. About 20 % of us have a cart of some kind.  Only about 11% of us use a large style bag.

Comment Below

 

What is your most important accessory? The one thing you couldn’t imagine playing disc golf without? Let us know in the comments below and we can see what accessory you value the most.

How Stable Are Your Discs?

The State of Disc Golf 2021

 

The Stability of Discs in our Bags

 

In our continuing series highlighting the results of our annual State of Disc Golf survey, this week we take a look at the stabilities of our discs. We will also discuss the term stability and how the language of disc golf can be unclear in regards to the stability of a disc. Then we will take a peek inside our bags to see the discs we throw and how stable they are.

 

Learning the Flight Ratings

 

One of the things we learn about discs when we are starting out playing disc golf is that the flight of the disc is important, and we need to learn about the how ours fly. Depending on how much coaching we got when we first started, a lot of us went for the ‘fast’ or ‘high speed’ discs because we wanted the discs to fly out of our hands at a high rate of speed. Since we were selecting our molds randomly, we undoubtedly ended up with discs that would do nothing but hang a sharp left turn (for right-handed players who throw back-hand shots, or ‘RHBH’). Over time, we learned that discs have a general flight rating and found out that the common four-number flight rating or the single digit flight rating can be used to tell us how our discs will fly. Most of us came to embrace the rating system and would frequently use it to guide our purchases. No longer were we buying discs because of the flight description stamped on the disc. Instead, were now using those flight ratings to help us fill gaps in our bags. No, the flight numbers are not always exactly how the disc flies. But it’s the best we have.

 

Learning the Language

 

In addition to the variability of flight numbers versus the actual flight of the disc, the sport’s lexicon has a glaring issue that regularly calls for clarity. That is the issue of ‘stability’. If someone comes into Infinite Discs and tells us that they are looking for a new midrange that is a little more stable, we don’t exactly know what they are looking for until we find out what they are replacing. Is there old midrange worn and too flippy, and they are looking for something a little less understable? Or, are they throwing a Justice that they just can’t get any distance with, so they are looking for something less overstable?

Although typically, what people are referring to when they say more or less stable is ‘straighter’. We would still need to clarify exactly what they are looking for, rather than selling them an Anubis and sending them out to play.

In Our Bags

 

For our survey, we wondered what the make-up of people’s bags were as far as the stability is concerned. We let participants decide what is overstable or understable. The same disc has different flights for different people. We broke the categories into disc types: distance drivers, fairway drivers, midranges and putters. We asked ‘What stabilities of discs are in your bag? [for the given disc type]’. Let’s look at the results.

Distance Drivers

 

The first type of disc we’ll look at is distance drivers. We asked how many of each of five stabilities do you carry, from Very Overstable to Very Understable. Since most people carry a variety of distance drivers, people were allowed to select all stabilities that applied to them. This chart shows the percentage of people who carry at least one of these stabilities. As an example, the survey shows that 69% of us carry a straight/stable distance driver, as show in the chart below. Here are all the distance driver results:

 

 

 

It is not too surprising to see that a majority of us don’t carry the extreme stabilities. Most of us can come close to mimicking the flight of a very overstable or very understable disc, with something close. Even so, that leaves a lot of us that just want that ultra-meat hook or ultra-flippy disc. I broke the numbers down to see what percentage chance we have of carrying discs with the given stability and here is what I found. Naturally, the chart will look similar to the previous one. This just gives us a snapshot of an average individual bag.

 

 

One and Only Stability

 

In looking at the spreadsheet with the data, I was curious about how many of us carry drivers with only one stability. I was surprised at how big the number was. It was a lot more than I see with our club members. Here is the chart with the date:

 

 

My first thought was that there were a lot of beginners who just didn’t carry a lot of discs. So I broke the 28% down into reported skill levels and found out that I was pretty accurate in my assessment. People who called themselves Beginners or even Intermediate made up 85% of the people who only have one stability for their distance drivers. Here is the chart:

 

 

Control Drivers

 

Now let’s look at the data for fairway drivers.  There were slightly fewer people who carry over and understable discs, and a decent amount more that carry straight/stable discs. The extreme stabilities are the outliers again, with similar numbers to the distance drivers.

 

 

And again let’s look at what makes up an average bag with fairway drivers. Again, similar to the chart above. And not a huge difference between fairway and distance drivers.

 

 

Midrange Stability

 

Let’s see if midranges tell a different story. The chart below indicates that there is a bit more difference when it comes to the stability of midranges. Straight/stable mids reign supreme, but with even larger numbers. And mostly at the expense of the extreme stabilities again. Far fewer people throw very understable mids.

 

 

Distilling those numbers down we look at the average bag for mids:

 

 

The Kon Tiki

 

With over 27% of us throwing understable to very understable discs, it will be interesting to see the reception for the new understable Infinite mold, the Kon Tiki. I assure you, the timing of this post was purely coincidental! As of this writing, the Kon Tiki is a brand new release

 

Putt Putt

 

Moving on to the category I was most curious about, the stability of putters. As you can see from the chart below, the straight/stable category is closest to 100% of any disc type. Based on the guys I throw with, that seems spot on. So do the very overstable/overstable categories, which represents a combined 70% of us. The ‘very understable’ is the smallest of all the disc types.

 

 

Using the information to graph an average bag, here are the results.

 

 

I thought the ‘very overstable’ category might be a tad higher, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if it were a lot higher, due to how many people drive with putters, and like them as stable as can be. Like so many categories we’ve looked at, I think people go with the overstable disc and just make it work. Also, putters had the highest number of people who only throw one stability, with 40% of us only bagging one. That includes me and my R-Pro Dart!

 

 

 

There is a look at our bags and the stabilities we carry. There are sub-categories that we could explore, such as the make-up of a pro’s bag vs a beginner/rec player’s bag. But, we’ll have to address that in another blog. Until then, throw what you love!

 

Comment below and let us know about the stability of discs in your bag. Do you have Very Overstable or Very Understable discs?

Introducing Trash Panda Disc Golf

 

Trash Panda Disc Golf

 

Infinite Discs carries over 55 brands of discs! We started this blog series to introduce you to some of the brands and molds that you might not be as familiar with. Each week we will spotlight a different company and tell you a little more about them. Because of Covid shutdowns our supply of discs was severely affected. Therefore, we may not have all of the molds from all of the brands we will talk about. But, it might put a few more molds on your radar for the future. This week we are hitting the road again, literally, to introduce you to Trash Panda Disc Golf.

Recycled Idea

 

Nestled in the suburbs of Denver lies a garage that is home to an unusual disc golf manufacturer, Trash Panda Disc Golf. I braved a couple snow storms to travel to Denver to interview Jesse, the founder of this new company. I stumbled onto Trash Panda Disc Golf when a video popped into my feed YouTube feed with the title stating something about making a disc. I got hooked on the YouTube Channel, and the theme for Trash Panda, which is growing disc golf sustainably.  Jesse’s goal was to make a disc out of recycled plastic.

Man With A Vision

 

Jesse started Trash Panda Disc Golf last year and has already garnered a growing fan base. Trash Panda fans are not like the usual people who like a particular brand. Most people like a manufacturer because of the molds they produce. Not with TP fans though, because so far Trash Panda doesn’t have any molds on the market.  Realistically, Trash Panda fans are more than a group of people following a brand. They also contribute to the goal of making a disc out of recycled plastic. Jesse has received tons of tip, tricks, suggestions, and even some machining by one loyal follower. The idea of recycling and disc golf really resonates with a lot of people.

Check out my interview with Jesse of Trash Panda Disc Golf in the link below. Then check out instructions on how you can be entered to win one of the new minis made from recycled plastic.

Comment

 

Comment below and let us know if you would pay a little more for the chance to make a disc out of recycled plastic!

Five names were randomly selected to win a mini from Trash Panda. Here are the winners:

Greg P

Jarrett J

Aaron F

Emanuel

Mike M

Check out Trash Panda Disc Golf here:

Website: https://www.trashpandadiscgolf.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/trashpandadiscgolf

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/trashpandadi…

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIrkL-1VQP215VALlOJYPwg

 

Disc Golf Brands We Know

 

2021 State of Disc Golf

 

One of the great benefits of being such a large disc golf retail store is that Infinite can carry every brand of disc golf disc that we can get our hands on. In addition to the big name brands that everyone has heard of, Infinite also carries smaller brands, including companies just starting out. Some brands we carry literally have only one mold! We want to provide our customers with as many choices as possible so that we can help you live up to our motto: ‘Throw what you love!’

To help you get to know some of the less popular brands, we have been running a blog series which highlights many of these companies. Check out the most recent post here. In the comments to these blogs, invariably there are people posting that they hadn’t heard of the brand before. Bringing awareness was one of the goals in starting the series.

Which Brands Do We Know?

Brand awareness is also one of the questions we asked in the latest State of Disc Golf survey. While Infinite Discs has sales numbers that tell us which brands and molds are the most popular, the survey digs in a little deeper. We want to know if you’ve even heard of some of the manufacturers. We also want to know how well we know the bigger brands. Let’s check out the results.

In the survey, we listed the brands and asked you to rank how well you know each brand on a scale from 1 (Not aware of the brand) to 5 (I regularly follow this brand). I’ll list each number on the scale and show how each company ranked in the survey.   We will start with the least amount of brand awareness.

Never Hear of That Brand?

 

The chart below shows how each brand was ranked according to the percentage of people who have not heard of that brand.  Less than half a percent of us are not aware of Innova, while over 94% of us are not aware of the brand XCom. For the 2% of us that are not aware of the Infinite Discs line, click here. 😁

Here are the results. The higher on the chart, the less know the brand:

Some of the brands are still rather small and are on the high end of the scale. There are some in the middle that I wonder if people aren’t associating certain molds with the company that produces them. For example, a lot of people have heard of a Wizard, but might not know that the Wizard is a Gateway disc.

Know a Little

 

The next answer in the survey asks if we have at least heard of the company. Just to clarify, while nearly all of us have heard of Innova, this survey question asks if that is the MOST we know about the company. Here are the results:

 

The next option in the survey was to indicate that we at least know a little about the company. Maybe we know their top-selling molds. Or we have a buddy that throws some of their discs. We might even have one of their molds, but don’t know much more than that. Keep in mind this chart, like the last, indicates the most we know of the company. Here is the chart:

 

 

Familiar Disc Golf Brand

 

The next category is that we know enough about a company that we could hold a conversation about them. We know their molds, or at least their most popular molds, and know the flight numbers of those molds. Either we throw or have thrown some of their discs. We might even know some of the pros that throw the brand. While we don’t necessarily keep up with their new releases, we have more than a casual knowledge of the company. This is where there should be a little more separation from brand to brand. The higher on the list, the more well-known the company. Let’s see how they stack up:

 

 

Ask Me Anything About…

 

The final category is for the die-hards. The question asked which brands we like well enough that we follow them. Since a large number of us follow the pros and watch the tournaments, we are exposed to a number of brands and molds. We hear what the top disc golfers throw and we know the molds and flight numbers. We hear about the new releases and are eager to try out the ones that fit our lineup. The higher a brand is on this list, the more well-known they are. Here are the top brands:

 

It will likely not come as a surprise to see the company names that are on the leader board of this category. While some brands are relatively new, these are the names we see sponsoring tournaments or sponsoring pros. If a brand can afford to promote their molds, those are the brands we will be exposed to the most and are more likely to throw. The top two on the list, Innova and Discraft, have been around for decades and have a head start on the newer brands. If you’ve been playing for a long time you probably throw one of the older brands. They sold the molds that the long-time players grew up with.

Most and the Least

 

Just for fun I wanted to look at the first and last categories and see if the graphs looked like the inverse of each other. I was pretty close. Below is a graph showing the best known and the least well known manufacturers. You can see that they are close to mirroring each other.

 

Top Sales

 

In addition to learning about the brands that you know or don’t know, I thought we could take a look at Infinite Discs sales for last year and see how the brands that had the most sales compare with the brands that people are most familiar with. As with any statistic from 2020, the numbers are not what we would have seen had Covid19 not affected disc golf supplies. Here are the top selling brands for 2020. The top ten are very similar to the top ten in the category ‘I Regularly Follow This Brand’:

Here are the top ten in sales and brands that are followed:

 

In YOUR Bag

 

The percentages aren’t going to match perfectly because the survey allowed us to select all of the brands that we follow so those numbers will always be bigger that the total sales. These graphs still give us a decent snapshot of the most well-known brands. And, we can always take a peek inside our bags to see if our knowledge of the different brands translates into filling our bags with those brands. In the survey we asked what brands are in our bags. Here is what we indicated. Let’s see if the graph aligns with the brands we follow. These results show what percentage of us throw what brand:

 

 

Once again, the top 10 or 15 brands are pretty much the same as what we sell and which brands are the most well-known. We’ll see in next year’s State of Disc Golf survey if our blog series affects how many brands we know, and see if that means having more brands in our bag.

For the record, one person indicated that they carry 18 different brands in their bag! That sounds like someone as dedicated to a mixed bag as the person who bags only one brand. Either way, we at Infinite are happy to carry as many brands as we can so you can throw what you love!

Comment below and let us know the top few brands that you know best!

Introducing Dino Discs

We’ve travelled around the world during this blog series to introduce you to disc golf companies that might not be as mainstream as the larger manufacturers. For this one, we head home. In this case, ‘home’ refers to Logan, Utah. Logan happens to be the home of Infinite Discs. And Dino Discs. Sort of.

Logan is located in Cache Valley Utah. It is about 90 minutes north of Salt Lake, and less than an hour from Ogden, home of the 2021 PDGA World Championships! Cache Valley is clean, quiet place that is surrounded by mountains. There is nearby fishing, hunting, hiking, two ski resorts, and as of this writing, not a single 18-hole disc golf course in the valley. Cache Valley is also where you’ll find Dino Discs.

Interesting History

To tell the full history of Dino Discs, we have to take a little journey back in time and place. In our journey we’ll learn about a few different disc golf companies, and pay homage to a passed disc golfer. And we’ll meet several people who had a common goal: to grow the sport. The time we will start with is a little over a decade ago. The place is Illinois.

Winding Back the Clock

In 2010, long time disc golfer Dan Pastore received PDGA approval for several new molds for his new, Illinois-based company, ABC Discs. He saw the growth of the sport he loved, disc golf, and knew that there was a need for new manufacturers to help with the growing demand for discs. Dan combined his love of disc golf with his desire to find a career that fit him, and ABC Discs was born.

During the next ten years, Dan grew the company and helped grow the sport. He added another mold to his catalogue, and continued to promote disc golf. Sadly, last November Dan Pastore, PDGA #4320, passed away. With his passing, the future of ABC Discs was on hold.

Resurrecting Old Molds

Last year, in addition to Dan’s passing, the owner of Zing Mini Discs, Craig Myers, sent some discs to Infinite Discs that were made using ABC molds, but with the plastic he used for his minis. Although the discs were too light for a majority of the mainstream disc golf market, Infinite Discs’ Vice President Todd Durrant thought that the discs would be good for kids or people who can’t throw heavier discs.

With all of the disc shortages last year, Infinite was eager to get any discs possible, so they ordered a few hundred of the light ABC molds from Zing to test the market and see how they sold. Since the discs were primarily for kids and dinosaurs are popular among kids, the decision was made to call the discs “Dino Discs.” The molds would be named after dinosaurs.

Success!

The order of discs arrived. Some dinosaur shape images were licensed and Kesler Martin, the manager of Infinite Discs’ stamping department, touched them up for the simple stamps. They were added to the Infinite Discs website. Much to their surprise, the discs sold out quickly. Another batch was ordered then stamped, and they sold out as fast as they were put online. Infinite Discs was surprised to discover that their was such a high demand for ultra-light discs.

Since Zing was busy with their own business during the pandemic, they were not able to keep up with the demand for the light discs. It was during a conversation with Gateway Discs’ Dave McCormack that he offered a contribution to the Dino Discs lineup from Gateway. They could also make ultra-lightweight discs using some of their easy-to-throw molds. With the ten total molds sold under the Dino Discs name, five came from ABC molds and five came from Gateway molds.

With Gateway operating out of Missouri, Zing Mini Discs in Indiana, ABC discs in Illinois, and Infinite Discs based in Utah, Dino Discs is a multi-state disc golf collaboration, showing how several companies can work together to create a product that is needed in the disc golf community. Since there are multiple companies involved in the production, there are different ways to look at the most popular plastics. The best-selling molds are a little easier to analyze.

The Best of Dino

The top molds are the Spinosaurus, Pterodactylus, and Brontosaurus. Those are a control driver, distance driver, and midrange, respectively. The best-selling plastics are broken down by manufacturers. From Zing/ABC Discs, the Egg Shell Plastic is the best-selling. For Gateway Discs, the Extinct plastic is number one. Both of these plastics are colorful and sparkly, adding to their appeal.

When it comes to the PDGA, Dino Discs and their molds present an interesting case. None of the discs offered by Dino are currently approved by the PDGA for use in a sanctioned tournament. Since all of the molds have already been approved when ABC and Gateway originally released the molds, Dino Discs is hoping to get the discs approved without having to resubmit the molds and pay a fee. They are currently working out the details with the PDGA. Until the molds get approved, they will remain unapproved to play in a sanctioned event.

Moving Forward

What does the future look like for Dino Discs? Although there aren’t immediate plans to release new molds, there is a possibility that more could be added to the line later. Right now, the goal is to make enough of the discs fill the existing demand. Infinite Discs has started selling the Dino Discs line to other retailers who have found the same need in their communities and among their customers. You can ask your favorite retailer to stock these fun, lightweight discs and Infinite Discs will gladly support their efforts.

Dino Discs has certainly tapped into a market that wants and needs light, easy to throw discs. The rapid sales and increased interest is evidence of the need for this kind of disc. Kids like the discs, too. One of the sons of the owner of Infinite even got his first birdie with the Spinosaurus!

Although we’ve learned in this blog about Dino Discs and its success in the disc golf world, the brand has a unique distinction: It really isn’t a single company! It’s really a brand made out of experimental products by four different collaborating disc golf companies. That’s the power of some good ideas!

 

Check out Infinite Discs’ line of Dino Discs here:

https://infinitediscs.com/category/Dino-Discs

Check out Dino Discs here:

https://dinodiscs.com

 

 

Comment About Dino Discs

 

We want to hear from you about DIno Discs! And we’ll give a disc to three random commenters. To be eligible, answer one of the questions below:

If you or someone you know has thrown a Dino Disc, which have you thrown?

If you haven’t tried one yet, which would you like for yourself, or someone who needs light discs?

We will choose the winners and post them next week when we feature our next disc golf brand.

 

Last Week: Yikun Discs

 

Last week we looked at Yikun Discs. We selected three random people who commented on that blog. Here are the winners:

Brian D

Mathew S

Kenneth E

Congrats! We’ll ship your disc out shortly.

Factors Influencing Disc Purchases

Disc golf discs on racks for sale

The State of Disc Golf 2021

Factors in Buying a Disc

Three weeks ago we looked at the number of discs that we bought in 2020. On average, we bought around 25 discs each. For the record, according to the survey, we bought over 157,000 discs last year! Of all the discs sold, what factors went into deciding which disc we would buy? This week we’ll take a look at those factors and how heavily they influence our buying decisions. Let’s look at the factors in the order they appeared in the survey. In the survey, we listed the factors, then gave participants the option to choose how much that factor affected our purchases. The options were:

  • Don’t Care At All
  • Not Very Important
  • Semi Important
  • Very Important

 

Obviously, when it comes to buying discs, there are many things that each of us look for. Sometimes we have to sacrifice some of those preferences in order to get a disc. Or, we decide that the available discs don’t check enough of our preference boxes, and we don’t buy until we find a disc that meets more factors. Other times the stars align and we find exactly what we’re looking for. Let’s break it down to the different factors and see how we rate them.

Manufacturer

According to last year and this year’s  survey, only about 5% of us only throw discs from only one manufacturer. An overwhelming majority of us have a mixed bag. That being said, most of us still care about which manufacturer’s disc we will throw. Roughly 82% of us thought it was at least semi-important. That leaves about 18% of us who don’t care much, or at all, about the manufacturer.

I suspect that much of the loyalty we exhibit is because of our familiarity with certain brands. We throw what we know. When it comes to quality discs, even the smaller brands sell discs that are high quality. That doesn’t really matter though if we stick with brands we already know about. We know the flight numbers of the brands we like, and are familiar with the feel of their molds and plastics, so we stick with those. Here is the graph of the results:

Plastic

For most of us, the feel of a disc ranks pretty high on our personal hierarchy of disc factors. Durability is also a reason people give for selecting certain plastics. Flight stability is another reason we gravitate toward one plastic or another. Some of us even change plastics we throw based on the season. Or, more specifically, the temperature we’re playing in. All of the above are factors as to what plastic we throw. According to the survey, nearly all of us, 97% of us, rate plastic as at least semi-important. 65% said it is very important. Here are the numbers:

 

Flight numbers

 

When I first thought about the importance of flight numbers in selecting discs, I thought that nearly everyone would rank that factor highly in the factors that influence our disc buying. I mean, who doesn’t care what the flight number are?! But, then I thought about it pragmatically and thought that it’s really the flight of the disc that we are buying a mold for, not the numbers assigned to its flight. How many of us have multiples of the same mold and even plastic, with each one having a different flight. Whether it is wear, weight, or variations in the manufacturing making the difference, we all know that the flight numbers might not be an indication of the actual flight of the disc.

However, even knowing all that, I think most of us still look at the flight numbers to guide us to the general flight we are looking for. It’s really all we have, short of testing each individual disc before we buy it. It shouldn’t be surprising that the importance is so high.  According to the survey, over 89% of us indicated that it is semi-to-very important. Here is the graph:

Color

It was when I threw my tie-dyed colored Firebird in the reeds at Blind Gulley disc golf course in Providence, UT that I started caring about the color of the discs I was throwing. I really liked how good my Firebird looked, but when I couldn’t find the disc after 20 minutes of looking, I vowed to always choose bright colors to throw. Bright pink is my first choice. Blaze orange is my second choice. Orange can cause trouble in the fall, but most of the year it’s a good color when you’re looking for a lost disc.

I’ve even owned a jet-black disc that was simply beautiful. But I would never want to throw a black disc again. The first time they land in a bush, they disappear in the shadows. That’s where a bright pink or orange disc really shines. Yeah, it’s nice to get a variety of colors. But, I would rather save time hunting for discs by bagging easy to find colors. Here’s how the question was answered in the survey:

Weight

Most of my friends that are above a certain skill level like to throw max weight discs. It’s easier for them to control the disc to get the flight they want for a given hole. Most of my friends above a certain age like to throw discs that are quite a bit less than max weight. Generating the arm speed is easier, and sometimes only possible, if the disc is lighter than max. Based on those and other scenarios (beginners, power throwers, injured players, etc.), it’s easy to see the importance of weight in determining which discs we buy. The survey results indicate that weight is important to most of us. Over 93% of us rank weight as an important factor. Here are the numbers:

Stamp/Artwork

I like this factor for a couple reasons. First, I collect discs and have bought quite a few simply because of a cool or unusual stamp. Second, I see a lot of people interested in a particular disc because of the stamp. Yes, I would guess that good looking stamps and artwork, outside of collecting, is just a nice bonus for most people. But, a lot of us seek out cool stamps, so I figured a decent number of people would indicate that stamps are important.

It turns out that only 15.6% of us think the stamp or artwork is very important. However, more than 58% of us think it is semi or very important. I’m curious to see if the Collectability factor has similar numbers, but first, here are the results of the survey question:

Collectability

 

It turns out that, even though most of us consider the stamp as something that would influence our decision to buy a disc, we are looking at the stamp from an aesthetic point of view, rather than a collector point of view. According to the survey, only 17% of us consider the collectability of a disc as an important factor. Nearly half of us don’t care at all about a discs collectability. Here are the results:

Resale Value

The final factor we asked about was how much we consider the possible resale value when we’re buying discs. It’s no surprise that few of us buy a disc with the thought that we can flip it later for a profit. Only 8.5% of us consider resale value at least semi-important. Judging from the after-market sales web sites, quite a few of us will take advantage of opportunities to make a buck from discs that are hot at the moment (Sexton Firebirds, for example.) But, that is just a small part of the total number of disc golfers. Most of us just buy discs for utility. Here are the results of the Resale Value question:

The factors that determine our disc purchases can be broken down to three groupings. First, the primary reasons we buy a disc. That would be the factors most important to the flight of the disc. Plastic type, weight and the flight numbers. The secondary factors would be those that are important, but less than so than the flight factors. Manufacturer, disc color, and the stamp/artwork on the disc. And the tertiary factors would be the discs collectability and resale value. Here is a list of the factors ranked by importance (Semi and very important):

 

Check back next week for another look at the 2021 State of Disc Golf

 

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