We’ve all held discs in the store and wanted to know how they were going to fly before we bought them. My recommendation has always been to borrow your buddies disc, and to be a good friend and let them try your discs too. They’ve been throwing that Mako3 for a whole year and they’re going to know what it does. So you can learn from them or show them why they should be bagging a Sidewinder.
But maybe you don’t have a buddy who throws a certain disc that you’d like to try, what are you going to do then? Just buy it and hope that it works out? There’s always YouTubers who throw the disc to review it for you, but you don’t know their skill level. And watching top pros debut a new disc is different. Unless you’re throwing as smooth and with the same power, you’re not throwing a Malta like they do. Here’s Drew Gibson throwing a beautiful shot with a Malta for a 340 foot park job. I’ve met Drew and he’s a wicked nice dude, but his throw is in the top .00013% of disc golfers. That’s right he’s the 13th ranked player in the world out of about 100,000. Watching Drew throw a disc is *usually* more entertainment than educational.
My dad used to talk about testing discs before you buy them. He never understood why disc golf courses wouldn’t have a bin of discs for players to try. When he was growing up he would try out a tennis racket for a couple of dollars, then all the money he put towards testing the racket would go to his purchase of that racket. That’s how he got his first tennis racket, sold to him by Mark ‘The Blade’ Belanger the SS for the Baltimore Orioles in the 60’s-80’s.
Disc golf has experimented with returning new, unmarked and unwanted discs in the past. Here’s the thing though, we don’t sell used discs at SDG. We donate the lost & founds at the end of the year (after trying to return them). So having folks try discs and return discs they don’t like after a few throws (like Dynamic Discs used to offer) doesn’t work all that well either. Their system required you to pay up front, not ink the disc, and to not hit any trees. You’d buy a disc to try and be worried about it the whole time.
So how would we fix these issues?
We’re expanding our little known demo program at Sabattus Disc Golf. We have had a small selection of discs that people were allowed to borrow to test free of charge. You give us your name, number, and tell us what course you're going to play on. Then we let you borrow a disc to try. People rarely asked me about borrowing discs, and we didn’t have many molds to try. I’ll admit we could have done a better job of advertising it. So it’s here in a blog.
Now we’re going to offer 31 Innova molds for players to try! I picked most of them out and we’ve got them ready to throw. Here’s a list of discs you can try for free at SDG. I’ve got the flight numbers up for you to see and linked them to make it easy if you want to click and learn more about it.
Why have we selected all Innova discs, and in the champion plastic?
Innova has always made great discs, and it’s most of what we have in our shop. With how the supply chain is at the moment Innova has proven to be able to give us discs consistently. As other companies are able to send us more discs we may expand our selection in the future.
We’ve selected the most heavy duty plastic because these discs are going to be (hopefully) thrown a bunch by you folks. Since they’re going to be foreign to you, you’re going to hit trees and ding them (that’s fine). Champion plastic holds up very well to trees and rocks and metal. I’ve made sure not to grab max weight discs when I can, but champ plastic is still the heaviest so they’ll be 160+ for the most part.
What happens if I lose a demo disc?
It may happen and that will be unfortunate but predictable. I always tell folks to try out new discs on a wide open hole first so you can see what the flight path really is. I really like hole 4 of our Hawk course. The cost of a lost demo or rental disc is $6.50, it helps to cover some of the cost of a lost disc for us so we can replace it and people can still try it.
So I can just show up and ask you for one to try?
We want this to be as easy as possible.Show up, let me know which one you want to try. Give us your name, number to reach you, and the course you’re playing. I won’t be reserving them, it’s a first come first serve basis. If the disc you’d like to try is out that day, try a different one.
Can I take out more than one at once?
At this time we’d like to leave it to one disc per person per round. If it’s not a popular feature at Sabattus and it’s not busy in the future we may allow you to take out two or more at a time.
Please please please take advantage of this. I have spent literally hundreds of dollars (if not more) in my life testing out discs that I didn’t end up liking. This is a chance for you guys to get to try for free what I mean when I say that maybe you don’t want a 12 speed driver right now. That a Caiman is a great approach disc, and that the 3 glide rating on the Aviar and the Firebird are totally different. This is how to find discs you’re going to want without hurting your wallet.
May (y)our discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397
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