If you were to look through my internet browsing history you’d see that I frequent the PDGA Approved Discs page almost every day. Why? Because I want to see what new discs are dropping, and when. I have to prepare my bank account too.
This week I’m going to review the discs that Innova, Discmania, and Discraft released in 2020. Some of them we carry here at SDG and I’ve provided the links to them if you want to click and learn more. Here’s some of the good things that came from 2020.
Innova Avatar. This came out way back in October 2019 but we didn’t get it in until late 2020 so I’m counting it. It’s the third overmold disc from Innova in what I hope is more to come. It’s the most stable of the overmolds and I like this disc. The plastic/rubber on the outer edge is grippy and it gets a clean release in my hand. The disc is pretty flat and reminds me a lot of a longer straight Roc. It’s different enough from the Atlas which I think is flippy. I’m glad Innova made this disc.
Innova Invictus. From January of 2020. I was initially worried that this disc would be a carbon copy of the discontinued Starfire. But it’s more overstable and a little flatter. I think it’s a faster firebird that’s got a little less bite when it starts to fade. It’s a great disc to rip into where I don’t worry about it flipping but I still get good distance. I’m surprised I don’t see more pros bagging it to be honest.
Innova RhynoX. From March of 2020. If you’ve thrown a Rhyno you know it’s a slow predictable putter. But it seems that the edge wears out of them pretty quick to me, regardless of the plastic. The extra curve in the lip of the X mold gives it a little extra stability and less glide. It’s great for folks who want to keep that overstable flight longer.
Innova Invader. This was approved in May 2020. I like that this disc was invented, it’s an improvement in my opinion of the bullfrog. It doesn’t glide which is sometimes what you want. It’s not an overstable disc either, it’s neutral and doesn’t flip. I like that when Innova released it, it wasn’t just in the DX plastic but is also available in Champion and XT as well. It’s a nice straight, throw it where you want it kind of disc.
Innova Animal. From just September of 2020. It’s a disc in the Nexus plastic which I’m a fan of. It’s tacky and grippier than most and it’s still more durable than DX. The Animal would have been an incredible disc 5-10 years ago, now it joins a field of stable slow putters. I’d recommend it to people who haven’t got something that they feel comfortable throwing straight. I think this will be one of those discs that has a cult following, if you throw it it’s because it works for you.
I like Innova, what can I say? I have lots of their discs in my bag and I feel comfortable recommending them to anyone who wants good plastic. Innova has been releasing a few discs a year and now has 155 molds PDGA approved since 1983. Overall I wish they’d take a little step back from the stable putter department. They already had the Rhyno, Whale, Bullfrog, Aviar3, AviarX3, and the Rat. Maybe that’s where the game is heading though. Innova creates discs for people based on their needs. I liked the avatar most of all from them this year. I’ll admit I was initially skeptical of the disc, but it’s really a great mix of control and low speed.
Discmania Tactic. From January 2020. The reason I didn’t link this one is because we’re out of them. If you find one, buy it. I used to rely on the zone for my OS putter needs, then the tactic came out and boom it was hit everywhere. For me it’s a little more gentle when it loses energy. Other discs kind of drop out of nowhere but I love that the tactic handles the high speed and touch shots. Great work to the team who designed this disc.
Discmania Essence. March 2020. It’s a great straight fairway driver. I think this was the first in the “Evolution” line. It’s one of those discs that when you grab it, you want to throw it fast. I like the turn it has and despite it being a 1 for fade it’s still reliable you know? You won’t turn it into a roller, you may overcrank it on anhyzer but it still wants to fight back. I think it’s something Discmania was lacking from their lineup and good on them for filling a hole.
Discmania PD3. April 2020. You need quite a bit of arm to get this thing to work. I think this might have been designed with the elite player in mind. If you think of Team Discmania you think of Eagle and Simon both power throwers. It was a limited release so my thinking is that it’s really not made for everyone but I’m happy for the people who can use it to have an even more overstable driver. I’d say 95% of players (myself included) would struggle with this disc.
Discmania Origin. July 2020. I got this in the mystery box on Black Friday so I haven’t had a lot of time to test this disc but I do like how different it is to some of their other mids. It’s a little flippier than an Innova Mako3, more stable than a Discraft Meteor but it’s got really nice glide and it’s easy to grip the rim. I’d say that a player who wants a straight 200 foot shot disc would enjoy this a lot. It’s definitely a disc that a player with lower arm speeds is going to enjoy.
Discmania Majesty. Approved the day it was sold Nov 27, 2020. This was also a part of the mystery box. It’s a high speed very large rim driver. Maybe it’s the cold weather or maybe because I don’t throw a lot of 13 speed discs, but this one didn’t work all that well for me. It has a turn rating of -2 but to me this disc barely fought the hyzer at all. I think they’re looking to compete with the Shryke and Hades but missed the mark. I’ll give this disc another shot in the spring.
Discmania Tilt. Dec 26 2020, also approved the day it was sold. This is probably one of the weirder discs out there. I like a good OS disc as much as the next disc golfer but there’s a limit to how OS a disc should be. I’d throw it once or twice if a friend had one in the bag, but I think I’ll stick to a firebird if I need something overstable that I can throw.
I bag a few Discmania discs; P2, MD3, and PD2 are discs that I regularly rely on. So I’m definitely a fan of this company. Plus Dana Vicich is always very polite when he answers my questions, so their customer service helps form my opinion. Discmania is a newer company and by my count has 46 discs that are PDGA approved in their lineup. The discs they came out with this year fill some holes. I like the Tactic, Essence, and Origin, they’re excellent discs that every player could use. The tilt felt gimmicky, but maybe I’m wrong and someone will find a way to bring back super overstable discs so that everyone has to bag a couple.
Discraft Fierce. January 30, 2020. When Paige Pierce switched from Dynamic Discs to Discrat we knew that 5X was going to get her own signature disc. It’s a super straight flying putter that’s got a much lower profile. I highly recommend if you have trouble with deep rim putters that you look at this flatter disc which works with smaller hands.
Discraft Hades. March 5 2020. What a disc. If you’re a fan of getting max distance this is a great disc to try out. The Hades is one of the discs that Discraft needed to make. It has Paul’s name on it and fits the Mediterranean theme along with the Luna, Malta, Zeus, and Anax. I find that it’s got a lot of turn and glide, it’s similar to a Shryke from Innova in its flight path. But I think it’s got a little more speed in it and can go just a bit further. I like that I see people able to get it to flip who are throwing 300 feet, so don’t be scared by the 12 speed rating. I’m usually pretty skeptical of players who throw less than 350 feet using a high speed driver but I’ve seen this in action working for people.
Discraft only released 2 discs in 2020 but they were both huge successes. It helps that both of the discs were endorsed by their top two players, sure, but what really helps is that the discs are great. And they look incredible. I’m not much of an artist, but I appreciate art and some of their stock stamp discs have swirls that give me goosebumps. Discraft is slaying the swirl game. One other thing I should point out is that I like every disc that Discraft has released since February of 2018. They don’t release as many as other companies, but when they do, it’s great! Discraft has been getting discs approved by the PDGA since 1979, even longer than Innova. In that time they’ve had 107 molds made up for disc golfers.
Well that’s my 2020 Disc in Review. It was a great year for the companies that we carry here at Sabattus Disc Golf. Innova focused on the stable putter game and customized it’s huge offering, Discmania filled holes in their lineup and brought new plastics out, and Discraft made nothing but great discs. I hope that you get a chance to try all of these amazing molds and let me know what you think. Are there any discs that you’d like to see come out? Give me the flight numbers and plastics that would be perfect for your game.
May your discs miss all the trees, Andrew Streeter #70397
I’m a sports management student at USM and for the most part I don’t like pay-to-play sports. I’d argue that they’re detrimental to the growth of the sport, target rich people, and ruin the fun nature of sports.
We’ve gotten to the point where we need caddies in professional disc golf.
That’s a bold statement Streeter. Why do you think that?
Well let’s start with the fact that disc golf seems to be unique at the moment. Ball golf has caddies and swing coaches at the professional level. As well as their own masseuses, and nutritionists. The swing coach works with a golfer off the course, and a caddy takes care of them while they’re on the course.
Disc golf doesn’t have a rule about which disc you can throw at any point on the course. You can putt with a driver and drive with a putter if you want. As long as it’s PDGA approved you can throw anything you want from anywhere on the course. This is one of my favorite things about the sport. Someone will throw a high speed driver, others, a putter off the tee. The variability of people’s skills is fun to watch.