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What is the Difference Between Overstable and Understable Discs?

When getting into the disc golf world, you'll find that generally your disc will not just fly


It's something we always want.

That perfect throw that comes out straight, continues straight, and then lands at the basket without leaving that straight lane it arrived by.

But disc golf discs, as you've found out from your first, second, or multiple times playing, rarely ever fly straight. And a lot of this has to do with a term you will hear frequently,


Stability is a characteristic of every disc and is determined by several things including but not limited to the disc's: rim size, depth, height, and weight.

Air passing under and over the rim of a disc help to give each disc it's flight characteristics, or "numbers" as they're often called.

A right handed thrower who throws backhand, will generally throw a flight pattern that will often finish to the left of it's end flight (fade) whereas a forehand generally finishes to the right (turn).

But why do discs do this?

The spin of the disc, in addition to the shape of the disc's rim and flight plate are acted upon by air resistance and gravity. If these factors cause the disc to finish to the left, for a right hand back hand throw, then this is considered Overstable. A finish to the right is therefore Understable.

Overstability is confidence that your disc will be able to maintain it's flight, without turning over to the right much at all in it's flight, and can typically cut through most wind directions placed upon the disc.

Simply put, overstable discs want to go left for right-handed, back hand throws.

Understability is confidence that the disc will be able to "turn over" and have more of a flight pattern to the right during its flight path before coming to rest.

It can also mean that the disc will start to fly to the right before gently fading back to the left ever so slightly before coming to rest.

Simply, understable discs want to go the right for right-handed, back hand throws.

Why is stability important in disc golf?

An Understable disc is sometimes overlooked as important for learning by new players who just buy a couple discs and start playing without any guidance. Understable discs tend to turn over and burn to the right very quickly by a player that might throw on a slight anhyzer line (disc tilted to the right for a right hand back hand).

To get the best usage of an understable disc, try throwing the disc on a slight hyzer (slightly tilted to the left) for drivers as this will maximize the flight pattern of the disc. Throwing understable discs into a tailwind is advantageous because a tailwind tries to make the characteristics of a disc slightly more overstable and want to fade out earlier.

These types of discs are also very useful for making longer right handed turns verses a forehand approach from a right handed player.

An understable disc thrown flat or slightly on anyzer with a little bit more of air under it will help to get those right turning shots that can be tricky to figure out early on in gameplay.

Some of the best ways to utilize overstable discs are as follows:

1. Hitting those left turn shots, especially the hard left doglegs that we often come across.

2. Throwing into headwinds is often intimidating, but one way to help preserve your score is by using a more overstable disc to make your flight characteristics slightly understable. This allows you to achieve a straighter throw for more distance than if you happened to throw something less overstable or understable that could get knocked off course quite quickly by a strong wind.

3. Throwing overstable discs on shorter touch shots or short forehands can help get you around immediate obstacles where you can have the disc thrown on a slight anhyzer and then watch it flip over and fade out in the desired direction.

These shots can be super helpful in taking your scrambling game to the next level!

To wrap things up,

Overstable discs are used to help navigate through windier conditions and have more desirable flight paths.

Understable discs have greater benefit in tailwinds, make for solid choices on backhand turnover shots, and can help achieve greater distances with hyzer flip-up throws.

Now that you have an idea of what the terms overstable and understable mean,

Here's are some popular disc options!

Overstable choices include:

Conversely, popular understable disc choices include:

You can pick up these discs and anything else you need for disc golf at by clicking on the banner below!

*Some links are affiliate links, you can read our full affiliate disclosures on our home page*

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