Every disc golf disc has certain flight characteristics that can affect the way it flys after it’s thrown. But, what can make a disc “stable”, and can a disc be made more or less stable?
Some discs are made to be stable, overstable, and understable. They each have a use and purpose when it comes to throwing a disc. But it’s important to understand disc stability and how it can help your game.
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Here is What Can Make a Disc More or Less Stable
A disc can be manufactured to be stable, overstable, and understable depending on its physical properties. Discs with wide rims will be more overstable, while discs with a dome shape tend to be understable. Any disc can be made less stable with regular use, but a disc cannot become more stable over time.
What is Disc Stability Mean?
Disc stability refers to the flight path of the disc after it’s thrown by a player. The stability of a disc is important because you’ll want to know how the disc will fly before throwing it.
This can help to decide which disc to use based on your current lie and shot selection.
All discs are grouped into three main categories when it comes to stability, they are overstable, understable, and stable. Each disc will perform a certain way in the air when thrown.
How to Tell if a Disc is Overstable, Understable, or Stable
If you’re unsure, you can easily tell if a disc is overstable, understable, or stable. For a backhand righthand thrower (RHBH), each disc will fly differently when thrown the same way. If you’re throwing forehand, it will be the opposite
- Overstable: An overstable disc will fade to the left at the end of its flight path when thrown RHBH.
- Understable: An understable disc will turn to the right at the end of its flight path when thrown RHBH.
- Stable: A stable disc will generally fly straight without noticable fade or turn.
How to Make a Disc Less Stable
Disc golf players often talk about “beating in” or “breaking in” a disc. Every player who has some experience will have a few discs they use that they’re comfortable with.
They know exactly how they’ll fly and perform when thrown. But, how do you break (or beat in) a disc and why is it good?
A disc can be beaten over time through normal wear and tear from play, or you can try to speed up the process using these tips and tricks.
Most players will start with a very overstable disc and break it in so it is less overstable and more stable to understable. You’ll have more accuracy and control over a disc that you’re confident will fly exactly as intended.
By breaking in a disc, you are essentially making it less stable all the time. A disc that starts overstable can be eventually made less stable until it has a more understable flight path.
How to Make a Disc More Stable
There is no way to make a disc more stable. You aren’t able to make an understable disc more stable. All discs will eventually become less stable through the wear and tear of normal play.
If you need a more stable disc, the only option is to use an overstable disc or any disc that is more stable than what you’re currently using.
How Do You Know If a Disc is Stable?
The best way to tell how stable a disc is or isn’t is to throw it and see what flight path it takes. For an RHBH thrower, an overstable disc will start straight and slowly fade to the left as the disc loses speed.
A neutral or stable disc will more or less keep a straight line when thrown. An understable disc will start straight, but start to turn to the right when thrown RHBH.
Each disc will usually indicate whether it’s overstable, stable, or understable but this is an easy way to tell if you have unknown discs.
What is a Good Stable Disc?
It’s a good idea to have a few trusty stable discs in your disc golf bag for when they’re needed.
For example, Innova makes some great stable discs for driving and using as fairway drivers. Here are a few to try if you want a good stable disc:
When Should You Throw a Stable Disc?
A disc that is neither overstable nor understable is neutral or just “stable”. If you have a lie that is a straight shot you’re choice might be to use a stable disc that will fly on a straight line when thrown correctly.
A dead straight shot is harder than you might think and many players have trouble with this type of shot.
For example, if you find yourself in a thickly wooded area, you might be left with a small tunnel to throw through that will require a very straight flight path. A stable disc is best for this situation.
A stable disc will hold its flight path no matter what angle it’s released from.
Experienced players will release a stable disc at different angles like hyzer and anhyzer to create a specific shot to adhere to different course conditions they encounter.
Final Thoughts | What Makes a Disc More or Less Stable
You’ll require more or less stable discs in your bag, and for use in different situations.
As you gain more skill and experience, you’ll learn to throw overstable, understable, and stable discs at different release angles that can open up your shot selection, and make you a better player.
It’s important to remember that every disc will eventually end up less and less stable as it hits the grounds, baskets, trees, and other objects. A beat in disc will always become less stable.
It’s not possible to reverse this process and make a disc more stable. For instance, you can’t make an understable disc into an overstable disc. However, the reverse is true.