June 16, 2022 4 min read

Innova has an incredibly diverse set of discs in the 9 speed category. Pretty much everyone has a 9 speed or two in their bag. It’s something that I don’t have to throw with all that much effort and it gets where it needs to go. Sometimes that’s exactly what I’m looking for.

A 9 speed disc is really designed for people who are throwing about 250 feet or more regularly. I think that’s a good portion of the disc golf population. Maybe 80+% of players are able to get that distance consistently. I know that Infinite Discs 2019 Survey says it’s greater than that, but remember the people answering that survey are highly invested in disc golf.

If you’re not throwing 250+ feet consistently, you can read my blog on getting more distance. Then get up to 9 speeds when it’s the right fit for your game.

I’m all about calling discs what they are. I’ve written a blog where I talk about the difference between discs that are approach discs and putters. Then there’s mids, then fairway drivers, then distance drivers. But there’s a big gap in distance drivers, technically 9 speeds and 14 speeds are both distance drivers. But there’s a real difference between something you’re using for max distance and a 9 speed. A 9 speed disc is more for utility than distance, at least for the advanced player.

There’s seven different Innova discs in the 9 speed category. If you think of the most overstable Innova disc you’re going to say… Firebird right? Now what’s the most understable Innova disc? The Roadrunner. Both 9 speeds.
What about the former distance world record disc? Valkyrie (820’).

What are the 9 speeds that Innova offers?

Firebird 9/3/0/4
Thunderbird 9/5/0/2
Savant 9/5/-1/2
Viking 9/4/-1/2
Valkyrie 9/4/-2/2
Sidewinder 9/5/-3/1
Roadrunner 9/5/-4/1

They’re in order from most stable to least stable. 9 Speeds really have both ends covered, and everything in between. If you were to look at the flight charts of all of these you’d see

It’s one of the speeds I gravitate towards when recommending discs for people who want to expand out of their starter pack. It’s not hard to find something to fill that hole you’re looking for.

Two of these discs are some of the Tour Series discs and in the bag of Innova’s top players. There’s the Nate Sexton Firebird (Buy here) (Learn more about it here), and the Big Jerm Thunderbird (Buy here) (Learn more about it here). These are go-to drivers and you’ll see them pulling these out all over the course. I like that they didn’t go with Destroyers or other high speed drivers that no one but top pros can throw. These are both great choices for your overstable needs.

The Savant and the Viking are great discs for working on your tight S curve shots at higher speeds. I like the stability that both discs offer while still turning enough to give you that stable finish. The big difference between the two of them is the glide, and how the Savant will fade longer because of it. These are both discs that I tell people to try out who want something that’s fairly straight. They will have a little turn but not nearly as much as the next three discs.

The Valkyrie, Sidewinder, and Roadrunner are all understable discs. The Valkyrie is the only one that stands a chance at coming back and flattening out/fading. I’ve seen them used plenty of times for folks who want something that curves right out of the hand. If you’re throwing it in a premium blend you can use it for shot shaping and it will come back. Or if you’re my buddy Greg, you can throw the most amazing forehand rollers with it.

The Sidewinder I slept on for far too long. It’s now my first recommendation for a player who wants to start learning a forehand. I use them for those shots that require a very light touch, but I still want distance and a little turn. On a backhand the Sidewinder is an excellent choice for turnover shots that hold my line the whole time. It’s not a bad roller either. The dome and rim are easy to grab either forehand or backhand.

The Roadrunner was made to roll. It’s the best backhand roller disc when you’re looking for distance. But as an air shot disc it also offers players the chance to develop a hyzer flip, which can be their max distance drive. This is a technical disc and takes some time to learn. I haven’t always found success with it, and opted for the Sidewinder. But my dad throws his around trees for shot shaping pretty regularly and still gets 200+ feet of distance on it.

There’s so much variety in the Innova 9 speeds. They have straight flyers, heavy fade, big glide, turnovers, rollers, and more! I think that if you’re looking for a disc to add to your bag you should consider something in the 9 speed category. It’s got just about everything you could need.

Is there any other speed category with quite the versatility of Innova’s 9? Let me know.

May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397


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