Unleashing the Potential: Why Beating in a Brand New Disc Golf Disc is a Good Idea
If you haven’t played, disc golf is a fun as heck sport that combines the precision of golf with the excitement of throwing flying discs. <tip from editor, DO NOT call them Frisbees> One of the challenges of disc golf is that your discs evolve and improve with use, requiring a breaking-in process to reach their full potential.
Why Beat In a Brand New Disc Golf Disc Scott? Are You Crazy?
Answering question 2, yes, yes I am crazy. As for question 1, when you buy a new disc, it typically possesses a shiny, smooth, and glossy surface. While this may look cool, it actually kinda hurts the disc’s flight characteristics. Beating in a disc serves two primary purposes:
Improved Grip: A new disc may be slick, making it harder to grip and control during your throws. By beating in the disc, you create micro-abrasions on the surface, resulting in better friction between your hand and the disc. This enhanced grip translates into improved accuracy and control.
Enhanced Flight Characteristics: A brand new disc is often overstable, meaning it has a tendency to fade early or resist turning. Beating in the disc causes it to become more understable over time, allowing for longer and smoother flights. This change is particularly beneficial for shots that require distance or a specific flight path. Also, most new players can really benefit from an understable disc, at least I am convinced of that.
How To Beat In a Disc Golf Disc
**note: this only applies to plastic discs. I’m a HUGE Vibram fan and the beat in for those is different. Just put those in the street and drive over them at 30 mph. No, I’m not kidding. That’s how two got broken and and are by far my best flyers**
Field Work: TL;dr: Use your discs so they aren’t brand new. Field work involves repeatedly throwing on an open field. Gives you a chance to work on your form and it gets the discs used. Start by throwing the disc with moderate power and gradually increase the intensity over time. Aim for a mix of straight throws, hyzer throws (right-hand backhand throws curving to the left), and anhyzer throws (right-hand backhand throws curving to the right). By varying the angles and speeds of your throws, you create wear on the disc’s surface, helping it break in faster.
Tree Hits: Another common method to beat in a disc is by throwing it at trees (preferably softwood trees). Tree hits naturally scuff the surface of the disc, wearing away the glossy exterior. It’s important to be mindful of the impact force to avoid denting or damaging the disc. Aim for glancing blows rather than full-on collisions. Corollary is bouncing them off of your driveway into the side of your house or garage.
Sandpaper Technique: TL;dr: It’s a recipe for disaster until you really get expert at it. For a more controlled approach, you can use sandpaper to manually scuff the disc’s surface. Begin with a fine-grit sandpaper (around 600 to 1000 grit) and gently rub it against the disc, moving in a circular motion. The goal is to create fine scratches and micro-abrasions, not to remove large chunks of plastic. Gradually progress to coarser grits until you achieve the desired level of wear. Seriously, I’ve never done it succesfully, but YMMV.
Clothes Dryer: By far, my prefered method for breaking discs in. Wrap your discs in towels and tie or tape them up so they don’t fall out. Run them on a dry cycle that has no heat, so just tumble dry. Toss in a couple tennis balls to help the process out.
Is beating in a brand-new disc golf disc an essential process that unlocks its full potential? Nope. Does it help you really get the disc where you want/need it to be? Yup.
By breaking in the disc, you improve its grip and enhance its flight characteristics, leading to better control, longer flights, and increased shot versatility. Whether through field work, tree hits, sandpaper techniques, or dryer tumbling, these methods offer different approaches to speeding up the breaking-in process. With patience and practice, you’ll find your disc becoming more reliable and effective with each throw. So, grab a new disc, head out to the course, and embark on the journey of unleashing its true potential!