The State of Disc Golf 2014: Best Discs of 2013
[box type=”info”]This is part 3 of a seven part editorial series of the 1,422 responses from the survey “The State of Disc Golf: 2014”
We acknowledge and emphasize to you that the results here directly reflect the disc golf community who is in some way, shape, or form, involved with disc golf online. We recognize that it would be inaccurate for us to claim that this survey is a proper reflection of the entire disc golf community. The results portray disc golfers who found this survey via Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Google+, forums, E-mail, and many other means. [/box]
It is time to look back on the discs that were released in 2013. In our State of Disc Golf survey, we asked you which of these discs were your favorites. We have looked over the results, and with the Winter Olympics taking place in Sochi, It seems fitting to award the top discs with gold, silver and bronze medals. So without further ado, let the games begin!
Best Putt & Approach Disc of 2013
There were nine putters released in 2013. While this number is impressive there were fewer putters released than any other type of disc. Prodigy alone had 1/3 of the new putters released.
Taking home the first gold medal of our games is the Dynamic Discs Warden. After releasing the highly rated Judge in 2012, Dynamic Discs struck again this year with the Warden. The Warden is Dynamic Disc’s beadless version of the Judge. It is no wonder this disc took the number one spot. Doug, one reviewer of the Warden said, “Within a week I was hitting more puts and from farther distances. Guess this putter is just more intuitive for me. It goes where I aim it. The rim is clean and shallow, so I rarely miss wide with it.”
This disc made an impressive late run to take the silver medal after being released very late in the year. The Nova was Innova Discs’ second release to utilize a two plastic blend known as the overmold. The Nova is a very reliable straight flying disc. The outer rim is made of a softer gummy plastic to grip the chains. Several great reviews of this disc can be found here: Innova Nova Reviews.
In their first year Prodigy released three putters and the PA-4 won as the most popular. The PA-4 is the most understable of these putters. Many of our reviewers credited this putter as a fantastic driving putter as well. One reviewer said, “The PA-4 is an excellent approach and driving putter. It can be thrown flat and expected to turn over for a good portion of it’s flight. It is a hyzer-flipping machine and has glide galore.” One interesting note, is the other two putters released by Prodigy took fourth and fifth place, and the total votes received by Prodigy exceeded the votes received by the Warden. It is safe to say Prodigy made a big splash in the world of Putters this year.
Best Midrange Disc of 2013
The field was dense in the Midrange category this year with twenty new releases, each of these discs vying for a spot in the bag as a consistent flyer which feels great in the hand, flies with ease, and has beautiful control.
Even in the dense field of new releases it was the Roc3 that ran away with the gold by a wide margin. Innova Discs’ Roc has become a staple in many disc golfer’s bag. Therefore, it was natural that the release of the Roc3 received the attention that it did. The response to the Roc3 has been overwhelmingly positive. The Roc3 is slightly faster than the original Roc, and at this time it is only available in Innova’s more durable Champion plastic. Just recently Mike wrote this review, “If I had to choose one disc out of my bag to play an entire round with… the Roc 3 would be my choice. This disc does it all and is very predictable. In wind, it handles very nicely and its a straight flier. This is by far my favorite disc of all time.”
Dynamic Discs Can you handle the Truth? The Truth is a very “true” flying mid-range. It will hold its line very well with minimal fade at the end of the flight. The Truth is also considered by many to be a great anhyzer disc. One review written by Jack reads,“Just got my max weight Truth and am in love. This is the disc I’ve been waiting for to fill my straight flying midrange gap. The Truth can handle some power and really will hold just about any line.” The Truth has made a great splash in 2013 and was very deserving of the Silver Medal.
The Atlas won a very close race for the Bronze medal followed by the MVP Tangent and Innova Mako3. The release of the Atlas also received a lot of attention as it was the first disc Innova released using a two plastic blend. The response to this disc has been a resounding, “It flies straight.” Also just like the Truth, the Atlas has a very minimal fade. We have received many reviews already on this disc, and they can all be read at Innova Atlas Reviews .
Best Fairway Driver of 2013
Competition for the best Fairway Driver is not as fierce as the competition for best midrange or best driver, but it’s still fierce. Fourteen discs have been released which we’ve labeled Fairway Drivers, with a full set from Prodigy, and other pairs of discs from a variety of manufacturers.
The Zombee was the disc of the 2012 Ace Race and carried on the momentum from that event to bring home the gold. It is a very stable Fairway driver with a predictable fade. It has been compared to be as a cross between the classic mid-range Buzzz and driver Stalker. Discraft gives the Zombee a stability rating of 1.0. The response to this release has been very positive as the Zombee has found a place in many disc golfer’s bags. One reviewer even said it replaced the Buzzz in his bag. He said, “If i had to choose just ONE disc to play with all the time it would be the Zombee. I fully endorse this disc and believe it would make a great addition to any ones bag. you can drive, approach, and even putt with this disc. Discraft nailed this one.”
Westside Discs is a smaller but growing brand that has been establishing a strong presence with the rest of the discs manufactured by Latitude 64. Westside has a reputation for reliability and quality, so we were very excited to see them make the podium and take the silver medal. The Underworld is an understable driver with very minimal low speed fade. Our reviewers have called this disc a great disc for beginners. Here is the link to read all the reviews: Westside Underworld Reviews. We look forward to the rest of the Westside batch being released in just a few months.
MVP is another up and rising disc golf manufacturer that has already made a great name for itself. They burst on to the scene with their revolutionary overmold technique utilizing GYRO technology which affects the aerodynamics and flight of their discs. The Shock is more stable than MVP’s other fairway driver the Volt, making it a great disc for more powerful throwers who found the Volt too flippy. James wrote, “The shock is a great disc for mid-long drives with a strong fade/flare at the end. If I ever need to take a sharp corner around a fairway with some type of height restriction the Shock is the way to go. A nice low hyzer thrown with a lot of snap will skip up and around a 90 degree corner every time. I have yet to throw a disc with a more consistent flare at the end of both long/short shots and am thoroughly impressed with the shock overall.” As with Westside, we are excited to see what the future holds for MVP. Especially after their announcement this week that they will soon release their first distance driver. Congratulations to MVP for the bronze!
Best Distance Driver of 2013
The competition for the top driver is arguably the most fierce. Innova & Discraft each had one release, while the Scandinavian plastic & Prodigy had a majority of the others. Vibram finished the Lace trio with the understable and overstable versions of their widely demanded and popular driver.
And Innova receives their second gold medal! With the release of the Tern, Innova again proved they are a powerhouse among disc manufacturers, and they don’t plan on changing that any time soon. The Tern is a high speed understable distance driver. This makes it a top disc for intermediate players seeking for max distance, but have found other high speed molds too overstable to control. One review by RJ had the profound statement, “You could build your game around this thing.” We have received many reviews on the Tern and they can all be found at https://infinitediscs.com/innova-tern/ .
With the release of the Escape, Dynamic Discs showed that they aren’t just to be known for their excellent putters. The response to the Escape has been positive across the board. It is a very stable distance driver. A pattern seen in many of our reviews is the use of this disc as a great tunnel shot disc. The Escape holds its line very well with a strong fade at the very end. This predictability has helped the Escape to find a niche in many disc golfers’ game. A very deserving silver medal for the Folks at Dynamic Discs!
The final medal of these games goes to Discraft. Just like Innova and the Tern, the release of the Crank showed the Disc golf world that Discraft plans to stay a powerhouse manufacturer. The Crank is described as a mix between the Nuke and the Nuke SS. It provides controllable max distance and is perfect for experienced players who have found the Nuke too overstable and the Nuke SS not stable enough. Some of our reviewers have compared it to the Innova Destroyer. One reviewer wrote, “Field threw this bad boy!! Great feel!! Immediately made throwing 350′ easy. Great glide! Just took over my go-to driver!! Get one of these! You won’t be disappointed!!”
What do you think? Did your favorite disc make the podium? Who will take home the hardware for their releases this year? Feel free to let us know what your predictions are for 2014, as well as what you would like to see us do/change for next years survey and results![/box]