What is the best brand of disc golf disc? We have all asked ourselves this question, it doesn’t matter if you’re new to the game, advanced, or a professional player. If you are struggling right now trying to find the right disc for you, it can help to know which brands offer the best disc golf discs.
There are many great disc golf brands out there, but it is widely accepted that Discraft, Innova, Dynamic Discs, Discmania, and Prodigy are amongst the best brands.
Why are these brands the best brands?
These brands make some of the best discs and equipment for a number of reasons. One reason is simply that some of them have been around for a really long time. Innova for instance has been a leader in the disc golf world for a very long time and they’ve been in business since 1983. In recent years, relatively new companies like Dynamic Discs and Prodigy have shown that they have great gear as well. You can see some of the top brands and when they were founded in the chart below.
Another influencing factor which definitely determines the popularity of a brand is which pro players they’ve signed. In disc golf, like in many sports, the major brands will sign pro players and sponsor them. This provides exposure for those brands and compensation for the players.
Most amateurs look to the pros to see what they’re throwing and naturally want to emulate them. This is especially true for players that win championships. One great example of this is that Innova was a top seller when Paul McBeth was signed on with their company. As soon as he switched to Discraft, and especially when he won his 5th championship under their banner, Discraft sales soared.
By the Stats
Let us start with the current PDGA statistics at the time I am writing this article. Currently, between the current top 10 men and women in disc golf, seven are sponsored by Innova, five are sponsored by Discraft, four are sponsored by Prodigy, and then Discmania, Latitude 64, Westside Discs and MVP each sponsor one.
Top Male Players & Their Sponsors (2020)
|Nikko Locastro||Westside Discs|
Top Female Players & Their Sponsors (2020)
|Kristin Tattar||Latitude 64|
Now, due to a few pro players getting signed to different brands over the years, I also researched PDGA World Championship winners from 2010 to 2019 and what brands they used at the time that they won. Between the men and women champions, nine championships were won with Innova equipment, four with Discraft, three with Prodigy, three with Dynamic Discs, and one with Discmania.
|Year||Male Champion||Sponsor||Female Champion||Sponsor|
|2010||Eric McCabe||Dynamic Discs||Sarah Stanhope||Innova|
|2011||Nate Doss||Discraft||Paige Pierce||Discraft|
|2012||Paul McBeth||Innova||Sarah Hokom||Legacy|
|2013||Paul McBeth||Innova||Paige Pierce||Prodigy|
|2014||Paul McBeth||Innova||Catrina Allen||Prodigy|
|2015||Paul McBeth||Innova||Paige Pierce||Prodigy|
|2016||Richard Wysocki||Latitude 64||Valarie Jenkins||Innova|
|2017||Richard Wysocki||Latitude 64||Paige Pierce||Dynamic Discs|
|2018||Gregg Barsby||Innova||Paige Shue (Bjerkaas)||Dynamic Discs|
|2019||Paul McBeth||Discraft||Paige Pierce||Discraft|
It is worth mentioning that two players, one male and one female, each won five championships in that time frame, making up half of the data. Paul McBeth and Paige Pierce are both currently ranked as top male and female PDGA players, are both currently sponsored by Discraft, and have each won five championships that were included in my research.
They did not win with just one brand though. Of McBeth’s championship wins, four were won using Innova equipment and one was won using Discraft. Of Pierce’s championship wins, two were won using Prodigy equipment, two were won using Dynamic Disc, and one was won using Discraft. This just goes to show that a player’s success is ultimately up to the player’s skill level and not the disc itself.
What to look for when choosing a disc golf Brand
First, what are some of the reasons why a consumer would choose a brand or manufacturer? The answer is not as simple as you would think. There are many different factors that are involved when choosing a disc golf brand to purchase and use.
The major deciding factor to most players is how the disc feels. How does that manufacturer’s plastic or material feel in your hands? Is it tacky, gummy, hard, stiff, or does it fold into a taco? Is it comfortable for your particular grip? Everyone has different grip and hand size; thus, the feel will ultimately feel completely different to every single person.
Let’s discuss the second major reason for a specific manufacturer, and that is Cost. Each brand has a price range they typically stay in so what brand you want to purchase from really depends on your budget.
Each brand has different types of plastic types and not all of their disc styles come in every plastic type so that affects the cost. Some brands have a higher end or better-quality plastic and that’s going to come with a higher price than their lower quality plastic.
There’s also special tour series discs and limited edition runs. All of these factors plus the quality of plastic of the manufacturer and availability of the disc can affect cost. In general disc golf is highly affordable sport for new players and veteran players alike, depending on the manufacturer or brand you choose it could only cost $50 to get started, that’s with a driver, mid, and a putter.
Next is flight numbers . The flight numbers of a disc are more than likely the number one reason a consumer chooses a disc. Basically, the flight numbers can custom tailor that disc depending on skill level and form, to create a flight path necessary for your game.
I have researched most major brands for months and some of them lean heavily toward either over stability or under stability. Most major brands do not cater to a well-rounded disc lineup. This is the largest problem in my opinion, because you can’t purchase all of the discs required for your specific game if the manufacturer does not have them for purchase, ultimately leaving you with one reasonable choice, to have a mixed bag.
Having a mixed bag means having a bag with different discs from several manufacturers to suit their custom disc golf game. And quite frankly there’s no reason to be brand loyal really, it doesn’t matter unless you’re being sponsored by a brand or you’re like me and are very picky about how different plastics feel.
The overall design of the disc is important. Is it swirly, flat, dome shaped, or shiny? Do their stamps have stars in them? Will this color be easy to find deep in the woods? The overall design of a disc can also be a determining factor of a disc landing in your bag.
The different types of plastics and run of the disc can determine the look of a disc. If it’s a limited run, limited edition, or a tour series can all affect the overall look of a disc. There are also customed dyed discs which can be very persuasive to certain consumers. The look of a manufacturer’s discs can also be a branding identity, they may have a specific theme of naming discs or stamps, these will also have an impact on consumer loyalty.
Now, let’s discuss popularity. Its not a secret in the disc golf world that manufacturers sponsor players with their product. Manufacturers will give pro players, depending on their contract details, tour series discs with their name and/or logo or stamp. This helps support the pro player and the manufacturer through disc sales and brand awareness.
The more popular the pro player is, the more discs they will sell. Depending on the pro player and the disc mold that the tour series is put on, the popularity of a disc can vastly affect the run of that disc and the price, two key factors for players when deciding if a disc or manufacturer is right for you.
The popularity and/or skill level of the pro player can also weigh on the consumer if they’re going to purchase a disc. If you constantly see a pro throw some awesome shots with a specific disc, its easy to think that that disc could work for you too and you won’t be the only one that had that same exact thought and the next thing you know, that disc is getting hard to find.
And that leads me to accessibility, this is also a huge problem in the sport right now. Due to the growth of the sport, pandemic, and cheap entry into the sport, demand is greater than ever.
If you ever tried to purchase your favorite mold and the only place to buy it is on the secondary market where prices are vastly inflated, this could change if you decide to buy or not. Depending on the size of the manufacturer or if they are produced by an outside manufacturer, this could also affect the availability and turnaround of creating discs for the end user. The popularity of a given mold or disc will drastically affect the availability of a manufacturers disc as well.
Brand awareness, essentially this is how the manufacturer makes their presence known in the disc golf community. Varying from sponsored players, the discs themselves, tournament sponsors, charitable events, YouTube and or other television content, and of course their online presence and ads via social media. These are just a few ways a brand or manufacturer can increase brand awareness.
If you’re not aware that a brand exists you can purchase their product, let alone claim there the best disc golf disc out there. A company must be well known or at least known enough to sell product. And with the help of the internet and the rising popularity if the sport, more and more manufacturers are starting to create discs.
Where to Buy?
The bottom line is that you don’t have to stick to one brand, but there are brands that tend to be top in the game. Those are some of the brands we mentioned in this article: Discraft, Innova, Dynamic Discs, Prodigy and Discmania. If you go with one of those brands, you can’t go wrong.
If you don’t have a local store that sells discs, or if your local store doesn’t have a great selection, a great place to buy discs online is Infinite Discs. They have a vast selection of discs and other gear and they’re really competitively priced. They even post a picture of every single disc they sell, so you can pick the exact color and mold you want, in the weight that you want it in. You can get over to their website by clicking this link.
So, like I said in the beginning, the answer is not simple. What is the best disc golf disc? The answer is purely subjective for all the reasons mentioned and many more. A person can feel tied to a brand simply from a logo, or swirls in the plastic. It could be the best disc golf disc because they’ve gotten a hundred aces with their discs, it could also be they’ve thrown 500 ft. with those discs, so why change?
I could come up with a thousand and one different reasons why a person could think a brand or manufacturer is the greatest one, but ultimately it is purely up to the consumer and everyone is different. Different skill levels, different tastes and opinions, different climates and regions. All of which can change the opinion in the end user in why their disc golf brand is the greatest in the world.
Truly it’s the consumer, they will ultimately tell the manufacturer if their business model works effectively or not, through sales. If the manufacturer’s products are flying off the shelves, why they’re always selling out, I would dare to say that they’re successful.
But what really makes a disc the best, is the person throwing it. Can you unlock that disc’s full potential? The disc could simply resonate with you on a personal level through branding, color, name, or simply the touring professionals name on your disc. There are many reasons why a disc manufacturer is the best.
But to be the greatest is purely subjective, in the eyes of the beholder or thrower in this case. The best disc golf brand or manufacturer will be different for everyone, but ultimately, we will all have one or many manufacturers or brands that will help the sport grow and evolve.