Midrange discs are absolute workhorses in my bag when I’m playing a wooded course. I can throw them 75 or 300 feet and everywhere in between. That’s why I always have at least 5 mids (of varying stability) in my bag when I’m playing. They’re great for slow shots in the woods where I need lots of glide and they’re easy to throw soft. They’re all backhand friendly, and some of the mids I throw are torque resistant for my forehand upshots.
An understable mid shot (turnover) and a forehand are not the same thing. The major difference is speed and the angle at which the disc lands. Forehand shots spin counterclockwise for a right handed player. When any disc slows down the outer wing starts to dip. When a forehand disc hits the ground and the outer wing hits first it wants to skip. When a backhand turnover shot slows down the outer wing levels out and you get more of a flat landing. If you’re looking to better understand ground play I have a whole blog on it you can check out, Level Up Your Game With Groundplay.
The discs I want to talk about today are good for players of all skill levels. Now, a lot of folks say that about a lot of discs. What I mean is these discs are understable, low speed, and are excellent choices for learning on. A good turnover shot is essential to throw in disc golf if you want lower scores.
When I do beginner disc golf lessons I almost always talk about what speed works best for players. A good midrange game is a solid foundation for the average amateur player. If you’re shooting around par this blog is absolutely a good choice for you to examine your bag and see if you’re missing this slot.
Starting with 3 speed, 4 speed, and 5 speed discs give players a chance to learn to control a disc. Having them pick a high glide and low stability disc is important because if a disc just goes left over and over players will learn to compensate with bad habits. Understable discs can flip over too much when you miss your line, they might be thrown too high and hyzer out, there are all sorts of mistakes you will make with understable mids. That’s what makes them fantastic learning discs. The better you get with these discs, the better you’ll get with all your discs.
Let’s start with a 3 speed disc. Something that requires almost no effort to turn. Yes, technically it’s a putter/approach disc but no one should use this disc solely as a putter.
The Innova Star Mirage. We also offer it in DX plastic if you prefer.
The Mirage has a very small rim. This disc can be thrown by kids who are just starting out, or players who don’t have a forehand and want the disc to finish on the opposite side.
The reason I love the Mirage is the low effort it takes to flip over. I’ve used plenty of understable midrange discs, but it takes very little power or spin to get the Innova Mirage to turn over. Since coming out in 2016, I think this disc has had very little fanfare. You’ll love just how much left to right this disc puts out in a short amount of time.
Look at the discs side by side. The red disc is an Aviar for comparison, the purple one is the Mirage. When you grip this disc that has a smallish rim you feel like you can really crank on it. For folks with smaller hands this is an excellent choice. Ladies and kids should really give the Mirage a shot in the understable mid slot. There is a small bead, but it’s not noticeable when I throw the Mirage. This is a domey disc, so it will float down to the ground. It’s got a lot of glide packed into that 3 speed, you should feel confident inside 200 feet with the Mirage.
The 4 speed I want to look at today is the Innova Cobra. It’s an understable disc that’s slightly faster than the Mirage. I like the Cobra for hyzer flips and weird shot shaped forehands. A real joy of the Cobra is the glide. I will always recommend this disc to folks who want a mid that goes far. It reminds me a lot of the Prodigy M4, a slightly understable disc that glides and glides. The Cobra is a flat top disc, you won’t have much dome at all when you’re looking at it compared to many other midranges.
I’ve got it next to the orange Mirage and the green Paradox. As you can see, the Cobra is the flattest of all three. It’s very easy for anyone’s hand size because of the flat top and no dome. Cobra’s feel compact.
The Cobra is going to have a slow turn to it and initially some flip to anhyzer and ride out the fade early. But after a few tree hits it becomes an excellent touch shot disc in the woods. Since you’re not throwing the Cobra as hard as you can, it’s fine to have it in the DX plastic. You want something with a little extra grip as well. This disc became one of my utility discs very early on in my playing career.
The players who are going to benefit most from the Cobra are ones who struggle throwing the Roc or Shark. These are two common beginner recommendations that are both stable. If you’re finding those discs dump over on you, get a Cobra.
The 5 speed I want to look at today is the Paradox from Axiom Discs. It’s a very flippy midrange disc that I struggled with initially. It was too flippy for me if I was looking to throw it 200 feet.
While it is a 5 speed, and the fastest mid I’m going to write about today, it’s the flippiest by far. I recommend this to folks who really want something that goes right the whole way.
The Paradox has the most rounded top and lowest parting line of the 3 discs I’m writing about today. It reminds me a lot of a smaller Ultimate disc, but somehow even more flippy.
The Paradox is also excellent for learning angle control. I can’t think of another disc that has the understability at low speeds. If you’re looking to expand your shot selection by throwing hyzer flips then this is an excellent learning disc. One hole at Sabattus where I see this disc thrown a lot is Hole 18 of our Hawk course. It’s a big turnover where you want to throw something high and that finishes a 90 degree dogleg right. The Paradox gets a lot of people a look at birdie on this hole. I throw it for distance, and the disc does all the work and turns most of the flight. It’s really going to help out even when you need to throw a turnover uphill like many wooded courses require.
There are lots of reasons to include understable mids in your bag.
- You want to hyzer flip for a pinched off shot but don’t have 300 feet to work with. This is where I’d recommend something like the Cobra. You can release it on a hyzer and let it flip up to flat before riding out on a little hyzer. The Cobra is going to open a lot of new shot shapes up for you.
- Big turnovers. If you need something that holds the anhyzer line the whole time I think the Paradox is right for you. I give it a little bit of nose up when I release it because I want this disc to have time to work to the right. If you’re trying to get around a corner and you don’t have a forehand, this is a great choice.
- Slow forehands are difficult shots. A good touch forehand tunnel shot at 185-225 feet is elusive. Take out your Mirage and throw a nice flat drive. You’ll get that slow turn that doesn’t burn over into the ground. And it won’t hyzer out too early, you should be able to step onto the tee confident about your shot.
Understable midranges are great. I know that the hype around mids tends to be about discs like the Roc, Buzzz, and Mako3. And I like those straight flyers too, but sometimes you just need to rely on your skills and your touch. Making an understable mid a part of your bag is going to help you in the long run and lead to a lot of very cool shots.
Here are the three discs that I recommend you give a shot.
- Mirage - Perfect for slow turnovers inside 200 feet.
- Cobra - Angle control hyzer flips, longer mid distance, slow turn.
- Paradox - All turn with distance. Give it height and it will hold the turn.
If you are looking for understable midranges these are the three I would try out first. It’s likely that you’ll need 1 or 2 of them in your bag, especially for wooded courses.
Snag your friends to try their discs if they’ll let you, if not at Sabattus Disc Golf we try really hard to keep our prices on discs low, so check out any of them on our site sabattusdiscgolf.com. I hope that you find something for those touchy upshots and times you’re in disc golf jail. Leave a comment below if you have any questions and I’ll get to them.
May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397