Flight Numbers in Disc Golf... What are Speed, Glide, Turn, and Fade?

Flight Numbers in Disc Golf... What are Speed, Glide, Turn, and Fade?

Disc golf flight numbers are a system used to describe the flight characteristics of a disc golf disc. These numbers provide valuable information to players, helping them understand how a disc will perform in terms of speed, glide, turn, and fade. Disc golf flight numbers typically consist of four values: speed, glide, turn, and fade, presented in a format like this: [Speed, Glide, Turn, Fade].

  1. Speed (First Number): This number indicates the disc's speed potential, which affects the distance it can cover. Speed ratings typically range from 1 to 14, with lower numbers representing slower discs and higher numbers representing faster ones. A lower-speed disc is generally easier to control, while higher-speed discs require more arm speed and skill to achieve maximum distance.

  2. Glide (Second Number): The glide rating (typically between 1 and 7) represents the disc's ability to maintain lift and stay aloft during flight. Discs with a higher glide number tend to stay in the air longer, allowing for more distance and easier controlled landings. A higher glide can also make a disc more forgiving, especially for beginners.

  3. Turn (Third Number): Turn is the tendency of a disc to turn over or bank to the right (for right-handed-backhand (RHBH) throws) during the initial part of the flight. A disc with a +1 rating is most resistant to turning over, while a -5 rating will turn the most. Discs rated -3 to -5 make good roller discs. Discs with less turn are more accurate in the wind. Discs with more turn are easier to throw for beginners. Turn ratings can help players choose a disc that suits their throwing style and desired flight path.

  4. Fade (Fourth Number): Low Speed Fade is the discs tendency to hook left (for RHBH throws) at the end of the flight. Fade is rated from 0 to 5. A disc rated 0 will finish straightest, while a disc rated 5 will hook hard at the end of the flight. High fade discs are usually used for Spike and Skip shots.

These flight numbers provide players with a quick reference to understand how a particular disc should perform in the field. They are essential for choosing the right disc for a specific shot, and they help players fine-tune their game by selecting discs that match their skill level and throwing style.

It's important to note that not all disc manufacturers use the same flight number system, and there can be variations and inconsistencies between different brands. Additionally, a player's throwing technique and environmental conditions can also influence a disc's flight, so these numbers should be used as a general guideline rather than an absolute predictor of a disc's performance. Players often experiment with different discs and become familiar with how each one behaves through practice and experience.

At Fade Disc Golf we can help equip you with the latest and greatest gear for your next disc golf adventure!

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