Beginner help w/ drivers

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Beginner help w/ drivers

Postby Banzai » Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:42 pm

Hi all. I played my first game in August of 2007 and have since been addicted. I play about 3-5 rounds per week and work a lot on my form. I've learned tons from this forum and Blake's articles. I just lost my main distance driver / understable driver, 166g Star SL. So, now I need some advice.

Here's my current set-up.

1. Stable Control Drivers

171g DX Teebird [new]
169g DX Teebird [worn]

2. Distance Drivers / 3. Understable Drivers

???

4. Moderately Overstable Drivers / 5. Overstable Drivers

166g DX Firebird [beat]
175g Champion Firebird [new]

6. Mids

175g DX Roc [new]
166g DX Roc [worn]
168g DX Stingray [rollers]

7. Putters

172g JK Aviar X
175g Pro Rhyno


As far as power goes, I'm consistently getting my Teebirds out to 300'-325' and I usually threw my SL about 350' on a wide open S-curve line on flat ground (have thrown 400' with tailwind / downhill). I play at Wickham which has 6 holes over 500' (three of which are 600'+) and a few more in the 400+ range.

I don't want to get another SL. I'm thinking of either:
(a) bumping up to a Pro Wraith / Star Wraith combo -- to fill the distance driver and mod. overstable slots;
(b) or bumping down to a DX Valkyrie -- to fill the distance driver and understable driver slots.

I'm assuming a Star Wraith will be pretty overstable for someone with my D, and the Pro Wraith might be enough to eek out a bit more D for those long holes. But I also need a long-range roller disc, and would love to learn some high apex Hyzer-flip lines with a Valk.

Would putting both molds in my bag have too much overlap? Any discs I'm not mentioning that you recommend?

Any help would be awesome.
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Re: Beginner help w/ drivers

Postby garublador » Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:40 am

banzai7 wrote:(b) or bumping down to a DX Valkyrie -- to fill the distance driver and understable driver slots.
I'd vote for this. Even if it doesn't permanantly stick, the Valk is a great introduction to distance drivers.

I know you didn't ask, but I'd also vote for adding a stable control driver that is easier to work than the Teebird. I haven't found an easier way to learn line shaping than spending a lot of time learning a DX Gazelle, D Cyclone or DX Eagle-X. Plus, when they get beat up they make excellent understable drivers, too.
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Postby Banzai » Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:44 am

Thanks for the advice. I may pick up a DX Valk at around 168-170g.

I'm having tons of luck with my DX Teebirds, so I hesitate to swtich. My 169g is now worn to dead straight, and they seem to fly great for me in tight situations. It'll also hold a decent anny line for me.

I've been playing a lot of 2-disc rounds (w/ a Roc and my Aviar) and learning to shape all sorts of lines with that. (I'm getting my Rocs out to almost as far as my Teebirds).

If I do go with the DX Valk as a distance / understable, do I need something else to fill the Mod. Overstable slot? My new Teebird is doing the big hyzer duties, and my beat DX Firebird is not even as close to being as overstable as the max weight Champ. one.
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Postby Banzai » Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:54 am

I just checked out the ratings on the Eagle, Gazelle, and Cyclone.

The Eagle and Cyclone look almost identical to each other. I can sort of see why the Eagle/Cyclone would be a good intro to higher speed distance drivers -- the HSS of -1 and the big LSS seems similar to some of the faster drivers on the market (e.g. Wraith). Question: why would these be good for a control driver with so much right-to-left play?

The Gazelle looks just like a Teebird only a touch slower. Question: what does the Gazelle help you learn that the Teebird doesn't?
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Postby Grayson » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:04 am

The Eagle and the D Cyclone are kinda similar, but not quite the same disc. The Eagle is faster, more stable (both hss and lss). That is if were talking about the Eagle X. Remember that Joe's Flight Chart takes an average of all the plastics and runs of the discs, so with discs that come in so many variations over plastics and molds, the numbers on the charts are gonna be kind of a middle ground of what the average Eagle or Cyclone will be regardless of plastic.
For Example: a new Champion Eagle-X will act a lot more stable than a new DX Eagle-L. A D Cyclone is rated 0 on Discraft's chart, but a Z Cyclone is rated +1.5. The Z Cyclone is a little more stable and almost acts like a longer range wasp for me.

I would suggest the D Cyclone or the DX Gazelle for learning line shaping. The are slow enough that you can manipulate their lines right out of the box. You can throw these on anny, hyzer or straight lines and they will stay true. You'll be surprised how far you can actually throw these things. The DX Gazelle is a good learning disc compared to the DX Teebird because you can really focus on the lines just a little better than the glidier and faster teebird.
Plus once you break these discs in, they'll just be longer and longer and longer for you. It feels nice when your throwing past people's crappy Destroyer and Wraith drives with a Cyclone or Gazelle, which happens quite frequently for me. Spend a couple months maxing out these discs, and then picking up the higher speed drivers will make it all worth it. You'll realize when you could be throwing these discs with more height, or on a better line, and your timing will be so much more in tune.

The D Cyclone and the Eagle do not have a lot of right to left play unless you make them. -1 HSS is really not that much. This won't be as dramatic as a higher speed driver that has negative HSS because it's slower and will be flying how it's supposed to: at its crusing speed for most of the flight. whenever I'm in a rut for longer than a week, I always take out the high speed drivers and stick with my cyclones and XLs for a few rounds, then work back in my high speed drivers one at a time.
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Postby mark12b » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:59 am

a little high-speed turn is nice because it makes the disc easier to flip up to flat or past flat. this gives a lot more options for line shaping than a disc that's more hss.
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Postby Aaron_D » Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:39 pm

I'm getting my Rocs out to almost as far as my Teebirds

rad! I was doing this for a while too. It is related to getting nose down. If you are getting 300ish with rocs you will likely get a MAJOR bump in D when you start getting nose down with the teebird. Do some searches on nose down threads. I love high crushes with rocs!

If you are having success with dx teebirds I would count that a pretty major success as far as form in concerned.

If you step down to valks (which I think you should do) I recommend hand picking them and looking for a nice medium dome, and nice sharp lip with no weird bulges. Some dx valks are just sick stable and break in so slow and nice, but you have to know what to look for. Or you could order the 1st runs from disc golf values which are all good and only cost a few dollars more considering shipping etc.

The dx teebird valk combo is classic and a great one to learn on that will really
teach you a lot.

If I do go with the DX Valk as a distance / understable, do I need something else to fill the Mod. Overstable slot?


I would say 2--one beat and fresh--dx firebirds at 170+ would be great mod overstable and very overstable slot. You might want to get a champ firebird too just to have a very very very overstable disc that will last through your grandchildren's lifetimes.

If you are throwing rocs over 300' you will probably see some overlap with them and gazelles although the gazelle will be longer and faster than the roc they will be fairly close on similar height throws and the dx teebird will be both longer and faster than the gazelle it will be considerably longer and faster than the roc. It is definitely worth testing out some gazelles, cyclones, and maybe eagle-x's, cheetahs, gazelles and XL's, but like has been said the teebird is less forgiving and will force you to have a stronger, smoother throw. So if you are having success with your putters, rocs, and teebirds, (I suspect you will be throwing farther with teebirds shortly since you are throwing over 300 with rocs) I say it is a good sign.
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Postby Banzai » Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:48 pm

Okay, so here's what I'm thinking.

I usually play 2-disc rounds (Roc/Aviar) during the week and really focus on my form. Then on the weekends, I'll take the whole bag out and play with my buddies.

So I'll pick up a DX Gazelle (weight???) and a DX Valk 168-170g (med. dome & no buldges -- thanks Aaron_D for the tip). For the next couple months, during my weekday 2-disc rounds I'll bring out the Gazelle instead of the Roc to work on shaping lines. On the weekends, I'll keep playing the Teebirds and work on getting them more nose down.

Sound like a good idea? Or not?

Here's a question: will throwing Gazelles help with the nose-down stuff too? Or are they going to be *too* nose-angle forgiving?

I read that Gazelles are decent in the wind. Is that true? Because even my new 175g Roc will get thrown around pretty good on a windy day.

Again, thanks for the advice.
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Postby Aaron_D » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:41 pm

gazelles are good in windy conditions up to a point. I would get a heavy one. The valk will teach you a ton about nose angle. The gazelle is not nose angle sensitive.
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Postby mark12b » Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:53 am

for line shaping with the gazelle i found 170-172 to work well... and yeah for wind-fighting max-weight would be better.
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Postby garublador » Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:19 am

banzai7 wrote:I just checked out the ratings on the Eagle, Gazelle, and Cyclone.

The Eagle and Cyclone look almost identical to each other. I can sort of see why the Eagle/Cyclone would be a good intro to higher speed distance drivers -- the HSS of -1 and the big LSS seems similar to some of the faster drivers on the market (e.g. Wraith). Question: why would these be good for a control driver with so much right-to-left play?

The Gazelle looks just like a Teebird only a touch slower. Question: what does the Gazelle help you learn that the Teebird doesn't?
I'm sorry, I was without computer for a while. I started something and then never really followed up.

It's been covered really well by everyone else, but the idea behind throwing a Gazelle, Eagle-X or Cyclone is that they're much easier to throw on lines other than straight (hyzer, anhyzer and all sorts of roll curves and 'S' curves). I like actually carrying two stable control drivers, both the Teebird and something workable like the discs everyone has been recommending. It is overlap, but it's worth it for how straight and long the Teebird is.

The -1 on HSS may seem like the discs are understsable, but that's more of how they break in rather than how they fly. The Cyclone, Gazelle and Eagle-X (other discs do this as well, it's just that those are the three easiest discs with which to line shape) all start off farily HSS even in D/DX. In some field work this weekend I threw a new Gazelle over 360' (measured on a football field) several times with zero turn. In the case of discs that have stabalizers (notches, beads, etc.) a low negative number in the HSS spot usually means the disc will hold a turn if needed, but will still be controlable. They'll respond well to intentional OAT (either roll over for more turn or roll under for less), and still fade the same as a clean throw.

Long story short, it sounds like you have a good plan going. I wouldn't always limit yourself to the Aviars and Rocs for field practice, though. It sounds like you're to the point where throwing some more nose angle sensitive discs in addition to your Rocs and Aviars will be benefitial. The training assignments Blake wrote that have week numbers associated with them will all be good to try.

In case you want some random thoughs on other questions you've posted...

I like most of my drivers to be in the 170-172g range, but I've had success with heavier Gazelles. I haven't liked heavier Teebirds nearly as much as the lighter ones.

Discs like the Gazelle, Teebird and Roc respond really well to wrist roll-under into headwinds as far as stability is concerned, but don't penetrate all that well. I pretty much count on them acting like one disc slot down if there's much more than a 10 mph headwind (e.g. a Roc in the wind will fly as far as an Aviar in the calm). The moderately overstable and very overstable driver slots are there for when you need driver type distance in a headwind because of how much better they penetrate into the wind. That's why you normally see faster discs recommended for those spots.
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Postby Banzai » Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:51 am

Sounds great.

My brother has a seasoned 168g DX Valk that I'm going to trade for, and I'm going to pick up a new one at a similar weight this week. Also a gazelle in slightly less than max weight.

garbulador wrote:They'll respond well to intentional OAT (either roll over for more turn or roll under for less), and still fade the same as a clean throw.


I looked at Blake's training assignment #1, and I'm also going to try to learn some of the lines listed here:

http://www.discgolfreview.com/resources ... lationship

Intentional wrist roll looks like another tool I need to learn. There's a hole at Wickham (#9) which needs a "roll curve" -- hard right turn at the end of the flight. I usually just try to hyzer-flip my Stingray, but it turns too early. And a sidearm hyzer usually fades too late. Perhaps wrist roll will help.

Aaron_D wrote:It is related to getting nose down. If you are getting 300ish with rocs you will likely get a MAJOR bump in D when you start getting nose down with the teebird. Do some searches on nose down threads.


At Aaron_D's suggestion I checked out some of the nose angle stuff. I realized pretty quick that I was doing this:
Image

Instead of this:
Image

I think I *am* throwing wrist-down, but with the grip I was using the disc was still a bit nose up.

I went out yesterday and switched up my grip. The problem is that now I'm shanking my seasoned Teebird way out right. (I did hit two trees with it pretty early on in the round, so maybe it's just warped?) I wasn't noticing it with the other discs so much, but they are much more stable.

Is this normal? Could it be that the nose-up angle was masking some OAT?

Anyway, I didn't have the results I was hoping for, but it never happens in one day.

I suppose "Bag Critique" isn't exactly the place for these questions ...
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Postby Aaron_D » Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:52 pm

The problem is that now I'm shanking my seasoned Teebird way out right.


Try loosening up on the grip. Only grip enough to keep the disc from slipping out before the hit.

Grip changes almost always take time to adjust and OAT is not uncommon when changing grips/disc orientation. Stick with it. Remember that equally as important as grip is weight forward as far as nose angle is concerned.


Keeping the wrist down throughout the hit / wrist uncoiling is tricky, but slow down and try and get your slower drivers out past 300-330 on a nice smooth throw really focusing on all these things (not easy) before you start trying to crush it (which leads to oat and griplocks).
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Postby Banzai » Tue Jul 29, 2008 1:33 pm

The issue with shanking my teebirds was fixed pretty quickly. It was just a grip transition thing. I'm now quite comfortable with the new grip, and it has helped with the nose-down stuff. My new problem is that sometimes I'm burning the grass because I'm too low and nose-down. I'm still a bit inconsistent, but working on it.

I've come to love the DX Valk. I stole my Dad's 168g that is beat up. I can snap this flat and get it to roll about 250' away. Love it. I just found a beat 173g Ice-Bowl Stamped DX Valk too [no name or number]. I also hand-picked a brand new 171g DX Valk at Aaron_D's suggestion. And the thing is exactly what he said -- sick stable. It's got very little dome, sharp edge and smooth concave rim with no oddities. (I tell you what, some of them are pretty deformed looking!) I've been throwing it farther than my SL was ever going. Today, I made it to a treeline that is around 400' from the tee on flat ground (Hole #8 at Wickham). Thrown flat, it turns over to the right ever so slightly for big D. Thrown slightly hyzer it'll turn flat and go far. I gotta be careful though. It's more stable than I think, and I can get caught expecting it to flip and it'll hold the hyzer line forever. I've also noticed that nose-up, it sucks. Rises so fast and then crashes left. But that'll teach me good habits.
:P
My brother bought me a Pro Wraith for a gift (I was just his best man). It's not what I expected. It penetrates fast, but I can't turn it over. And it doesn't go nearly as far as the new Valk for me. So, it's staying out of the bag. I may pull it out for fun here and there, but it's just can't throw it hard enough yet.

I haven't had much of a chance to mess around with the Gazelles yet, but I will do so soon. Right now, I'm trying to learn the Valk. So here's my new bag -- thanks for all the help.

1. Stable Control
169g DX Teebird [worn]
171g DX Teebird [new]
174g DX Gazelle [new]

2. Distance
171g DX Valk [new]
168g Pro Wraith [new]

3. Understable
168g DX Valk [beat]
173g DX Valk [beat]

4. Mod. Overstable
166g DX Firebird [beat]

5. Very Overstable
175 Champ. Firebird [new]

6. Mids
166g DX Roc [worn]
175g DX Roc [seasoned]
169g DX Stingray [until the Rocs beat in more]

7. Putters
175g Pro Rhyno -- for windy days and dangerous upshots
175g KC Aviar -- all putting duties
172g JK Aviar -- jump putts, drives.
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