You may have noticed from watching professional disc golfers play the game that they have a few copies of the same mold of discs in their bag.
A lot of the time these are spares in case they lose their discs on the course, but if you’ve listened to interviews too you might have heard a professional talk about a seasoned disc that is just a bit more understandable after being broken in for a while.
This has got us wondering, can you break in or ‘beat in’ a disc quickly?
Below, we’ll go through a couple of different methods for beating in a disc, as well as discuss different types of plastics, and the legality of beating in a disc.
Types Of Plastic
Each manufacturer uses a different plastic to create their discs, and different types of plastics are broken in at different rates. Different plastics are also used on different kinds of discs, and these break in at different rates too.
Putter plastic and base plastic will break in extremely quickly, and you may notice a difference even after a couple of throws. Recycled plastic is also a fast-breaking plastic. However, premium plastics are made to last and will take quite a while to beat in.
Is It Legal To Use A Beat In Disc?
According to the PDGA rule book, a disc that has been broken is allowed. Any disc that has been modified to alter its intended flight path is illegal, but the PDGA does allow for wear and tear or the maintenance of discs via sanding to smooth scrapes or imperfections in the mold. However, discs that have been excessively sanded or painted with extremely thick paint are not allowed.
This guidance may seem vague, but because discs will sustain wear and tear and get beaten in just by the act of playing the game, the PDGA is flexible on this and allows for this.
The rules really penalize those attempting to modify their discs by adding or removing elements of the discs to make it perform better. This is not the same as beating in a disc.
Beating In Your Disc Method #1: Play An Intense Round Of Disc Golf
This first method is probably the most simple and the most organic, as it simply involves playing an intense round of Disc Golf with only the disc you wish to beat in and doing this as much as you can will yield results.
What’s particularly appealing about this method is how it allows you to get used to your new disc, and the transformation of your disc into an understable, reliable disc is pretty cool to watch.
Beating in Your Disc Method #2: Take It On A Field Trip
This method is similar to the first, except without the Disc Golf-playing part. This is called field work, and should be a part of your Disc Golf practice regime, but it can also be a great way to beat in a disc.
For example, throwing a few spike hyzers will cause the disc to land on its edge constantly which helps to break it in.
Beating in Your Disc Method #3: Take Your Disc To A Parking Lot
This is kind of like field work, but in a harsher environment. Taking your disc to a parking lot and skipping it over the asphalt repeatedly is a bit rough on your disc.
Your disc will look worn afterwards, and will be in need of some sanding. However, hurling your disc at a chain link fence or a brick wall will have a similar effect. Still, you do run the risk of damaging the aesthetic of your disc, which can be tough to watch if your disc looks so beautiful out of the packaging!
Beating in Your Disc Method #4: Hand Tuning
Tuning the disc simply means to bend the wing, and it can yield pretty impressive results. Bending the edges of a disc down makes it understable but bending them up will make it overstable.
Plus, hand tuning can be a pretty good hand and forearm workout!
Beating in Your Disc Method #5: The Dryer Method
One of the most infamous and controversial methods of beating in a disc, we’ll take you through how to use the dryer method to beat in your disc.
What You Will Need:
- Your disc.
- A clothes dryer.
- A towel.
- Optional equipment includes sandpaper, a tennis ball, and a knife.
- Wrap up your disc in the towel: First fold the long sides of the towel and then the short sides. This should keep the towel securely wrapped around your disc and prevent any damage to your disc or the dryer.
- Load up the dryer: Try to avoid using any heat, and set the dryer to Air Dry. If you can’t do this, make sure the temperature is as low as possible. You can now place the disc inside along with a tennis ball. The tennis ball will help to beat in your disc more by hitting it during the cycle.
- Sit and wait: You don’t have to sit while you wait of course. How about practicing some putting instead?
- Check your disc: Once the dryer has done its thing you can remove the disc and inspect it for damage. It shouldn’t look too much different to how it looked when you put it in the dryer.
- Sand the disc: This is optional, but during your first few throws with your newly beaten in disc your fingers may be victim to sharp flashing. While the flashing is part of the disc, you can still sand it by gently rubbing under the rim with 150-grit sandpaper.
- Cut the nub: This is again another optional step, but you can cut the center nub out. Be careful while doing this! It may affect the flight of the disc, and it is recommended to sand the disc afterward.
- Take it out for a field test: You can now take your disc out for a spin! We recommend taking another disc with you too, so you have something to compare your beaten in disc to.
And there you go! That’s how you artificially beat in a disc. It’s worth mentioning that with a disc made of premium plastic, you may have to repeat this process in order to see clear results.
Hopefully our simple methods to beat in a disc have shown you that you don’t need to wait for a disc to be broken in naturally, and that there are a couple of things you can do to speed the process along.
Still, while it’s natural to want a more understable or overstable disc straight away, the recommended method is to just let the disc break in by itself via normal wear and tear. However, by playing more games and favoring a disc this can get the disc broken in faster.
Artificially beating in a disc is also not illegal according to the PDGA, but excessive sanding or the removal of and addition of certain elements to the disc that significantly alters its flight path is.