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What Do the Numbers on a Disc Golf Disc Mean?

Generally, when you pick up most stock disc golf discs, you'll find a series of 4 numbers printed on them.


What do these numbers stand for?


Simply enough, these numbers represent that specific disc's flight ratings, or characteristics. In order, these ratings are:

  1. Speed

  2. Glide

  3. Turn, and

  4. Fade


Okay, but,


What are disc golf disc ratings?


Let's take a look at each of the ratings and break down what they are and their significance.


Speed

Speed is typically the first number seen on a disc.


While this can be associated with how fast the disc should fly to get more distance, what it really means is "arm speed." Speed here refers to the amount of arm speed necessary to get that specific disc to perform the way it was designed.


Speed ratings range from 1-14, with 14 being the highest amount of arm speed necessary for optimum performance of that disc. Slower speed discs are often easier to throw for most people whereas experienced players should be utilizing faster speeds.


If a person throws too slow, the disc will perform more overstable - fading out sooner in flight.


Adversely, if a player's arm speed is greater than the speed rating, the disc will likely turn over in flight and pan or dive to the right for a right hand, back-hand player (RHBH).


Glide

The second number is in reference to the amount of glide that disc is rated for.


Glide is determined by the dome or lack of a dome on the disc. Discs with more dome on the top of the flight plate generally have more glide to them thanks to those physics lessons some people enjoy learning about.


Flat topped discs will be able to cut through stronger headwinds, but won't glide as well for maximum distance. Glide ratings range from 1-7 with 7 being the most amount of time a disc is likely to stay in the air during flight.

Turn

This rating is severely underutilized by beginner players when they are trying to learn how to throw. Many people, myself included, want to try to learn right away how to use fast speed drivers with stable to overstable flight patters to account for mistakes in form and technique.


Turn is the likeliness of the disc to turn over (to the right) during it's flight.


This should be the number rating MOST beneficial to newer players, along with slow speeds as understable discs help to teach newer players how to control release angles and get more distance in their drives.


Turn ratings range from 1 to -5, with 1 being less likely to turn over and -5 being the most understable, and most likely to turn over..


Fade

Fade is the amount of "hook" that a disc is likely to have at the end of it's flight pattern. Some discs are meant to be great for doglegs and navigating around objects while others require a straighter approach to the basket or landing zone.


Fade ratings are 0-5 with 0 being straighter flight finishes and 5 having a maximum amount of left-hand hooking before coming to rest (RHBH).



What are the other numbers under the disc that are sometimes written in pen or on a sticker with a "g" after them?


These numbers refer to the weight of the disc measured in grams.


Some companies write the weight on the bottom of the flight plate in the center, others attach a sticker, and some even emboss the plastic with the weight number for instance "175g."


And that's all there is to the numbers on a disc!


Have any questions? Be sure to leave us a comment or send us a message, we'd love to help!



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