The Comprehensive Roller Thread

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The Comprehensive Roller Thread

Postby Timko » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:36 pm

I know we're all hung up on air shots, but we need a place to talk about the easiest way to reach the 400' barrier.

I'm just learning how to throw these, so I'd be interested in hearing what some other people have to say about them :).
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Re: The Comprehensive Roller Thread

Postby MotoDj » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:52 pm

like the lost numbers...

and for rollers, i've had my best rollers with a crush and a monarch

but i like my roadrunner, avengerss for ease of setting em down backhand (if i air em out first...)
firebird or pred for fh rollers are just ok... for me, but the crush is my goto, for straightness and distance the same

of course i only throw rollers everyonce in a while, dont really practice them either...
longest roller would be with an epic thumber... but i dont carry that anymore.. its just a gimmic disc that gets thrown for entertainment
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Re: The Comprehensive Roller Thread

Postby marmoset » Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:16 pm

From a previous thread:
Marmoset wrote:I have been practicing rollers a lot recently. I realized mostly basic stuff and one or two advanced things. Here is a short list of what I've found:

• snap, snap, snap! And more snap. You can't have too much of it if you are trying to learn rollers.
• its all about the landing angle and speed
• given the opportunity a disc will always want to finish towards the dome side of the disc
• overstable stuff (Predators, Banshees, Firebirds, etc.) stand up more slowly and turn slower
• they are also much trickier for backhand rollers because of the extreme release angles
• if you throw a well executed roller with a really overstable disc then it has more distance potential
• Bosses or other high speed discs with thin noses will roll much longer than thicker nosed discs like Banshees and Firebirds; less drag, I guess.
• Heavier is better, especially if you are trying to power through taller grass, wet grass, bumpy ground, or other un-ideal conditions.
• hitting the ground really hard (like after a sky roller lands for the first time) takes a lot off of the spin of the disc. You also run a higher risk of getting squirrel-ey and tearing off in the wrong direction. Once again, smooth is king. Set 'er down smooth and watch her go!
• wind bullies the disc more when it is rolling; more surface area for the wind to act on
• forehand rollers are easier for me to manipulate landing angles and landing zones but backhand rollers have a much greater distance potential for me; I don't have a viable regular FH shot so my flicking technique is lacking. You dedicated FHers probably like FH rollers better I'd guess

Lots of other stuff, too, but I've bored you enough by now.
Golf is a lot of walking, broken up by disappointment and bad arithmetic. ~Author Unknown
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Re: The Comprehensive Roller Thread

Postby marmoset » Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:19 pm

Also from another thread:
Marmoset wrote:Let me start out by saying that I am jealous of the old school guys; they look so smooooth and can finesse a disc in ways I had no idea was possible. The control they have is astounding... one of those ways is rollers. I'm fascinated by rollers partially because they mystify me. I have played at my home course for 8 years and NEVER seen anyone throw a roller (on purpose). I know next to nothing about rollers but I have been practicing them for a few weeks now. I have a bunch of questions... here are a few of them.

1. What situations would make you think, "Ooooh... roller!"

2. Are there instances where you would throw a roller on a 250' hole? I guess low ceilings would be one reason?

3. What would make you decide AGAINST a roller? Bumpy ground? Small logs? Wind?

4. How about uphill/downhill?

5. Do you carry a specific disc for rolling, like 1 of your 3 Firebirds is only for rolling? How about a specific mold for rolling?

6. Do you try to hit small landing zones or just try to get close? It seems to me that rollers by nature might be less consistent than airshots due to more variables...

Thanks for any input. I have figured some things out by myself but I would probably learn faster if I could understand how other people use them.


Blink's reply wrote:maaaaaaaaaaaan

Reasons to throw rollers (loosely prioritized):

0. Impressing people.
1. Pure distance. Especially with a left to right/tail wind.
2. Pin is surrounded by a large jail of trees, turning a disc vertical gives you quite a bit better chances of getting in.
3. Lots of OB, but a barrier on one side you can use to crash your roller into and stop.
4. Dry weather/thin grass (dirt even). Makes for a longer, less obstructed roll.
5. Unless the roller is by far the best shot, I won't try to force it over sizable rocks, sticks, or ruts.
5. During a really windy (40+) tourney conventional air shots were unreliable on hyzers, and uncontrollable on turnovers. I opted for a roller on most of the left to right holes and got way more distance.

I don't throw long rollers in a headwind or right to left.
I don't try to hit small landing zones so much as the correct angle. You'll end up much farther off your mark if you turn your disc too little or too much.

Also, for backhand rollers I've used DX Archangels, star and DX Teebirds, Leopards, Wraiths, and Sidewinders. Now I use the Roadrunner for the maximum turnover.

Forehand rollers I use Firebirds, or Roadrunners for long turnover flick rolls.

With all the discs I've used to roll, I would say more LSS discs are more likely to cut roll and finish right side up.


MDR300's reply wrote:
1. What situations would make you think, "Ooooh... roller!"


Whenever there is trouble on the left side, and there is a low ceiling. And it's too far for my forehand to reach.

2. Are there instances where you would throw a roller on a 250' hole? I guess low ceilings would be one reason?


I wouldn't, since I have a decent forehand. But I have seen Barry do it. (he rolled a putter)

3. What would make you decide AGAINST a roller? Bumpy ground? Small logs? Wind?


If it's windy, I usually won't throw a roller and if there is too much stuff on the ground.

4. How about uphill/downhill?


Rolling is a great way to get uphill distance. I don't throw rollers downhill and don't really see the need, but again have seen it done.

5. Do you carry a specific disc for rolling, like 1 of your 3 Firebirds is only for rolling? How about a specific mold for rolling?


I will roll everything in my bag, but I do carry one beat up DX Orc for cut rollers, and that's all it's good for. Well that and epic like thumbers.

I do prefer rolling Tee Rexes and Xcalibers for max D.

6. Do you try to hit small landing zones or just try to get close? It seems to me that rollers by nature might be less consistent than airshots due to more variables...



I just try to get it close. After you've practiced rollers for a while they will become as consistant as your airshots.
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Re: The Comprehensive Roller Thread

Postby Jsw » Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:25 pm

I throw a decent forehand roller with my Star FB. Its not so much for distance as it is to get through heavily wooded fairways.

I'm determined to develop a back-hand roller game this spring(3 feet of frozen snow on the ground here in MD).

I got a fresh DX Stingray to work with.
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Re: The Comprehensive Roller Thread

Postby Blake_T » Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:56 am

there's 2 primary types of backhand rollers and each type has a sub-type.

1. controlled rollers - these land at the same (or very similar) angle to the angle they were released at.
2. turnover rollers - these are thrown with the intention of changing angle in the air to land at a given angle (e.g. launched flat, land 80 degrees stood up).

1b. sky roller - these fly in an arcing motion through the air while maintaining a similar angle the entire flight. these tend to cover 100'+ in the air.

2b. distance roller - these will start off flying like a long drive but will turn until almost vertical and land. e.g. a disc will turn over and continue turning to the right... at the point where you would expect the disc to flex out the disc will increase its bank and land on edge.

all backhand rollers have the same style of follow-through.

the key to rolling for max d is to cover as much distance in the air as possible before it lands. with sky rollers this is usually in the range of ~70% of your max air shot. with distance turnover rollers it's more like ~85% of your max air shot. while it's possible to roll a long ways landing a disc within 50' of the teepad, discs slow down much faster on the ground than they do in the air and in the air there's fewer things that can go wrong to f it up (e.g. hitting a twig).

HSS dictates how easy it is to stand a roller up to vertical (less HSS = easier to stand up). LSS dictates how early a disc tails off towards the topside at the end (more LSS = later tail off).

a random tip: the slower a roller is moving when it hits vertical, the longer it will continue to roll straight.

another random tip: a RHBH roller is the next best substitute for a LHBH/RHFH hyzer.

another random tip: on controlled rollers, a high pull line (e.g. up at your head) will make it easier to hit your desired launch angle.
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Re: The Comprehensive Roller Thread

Postby Star Shark » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:15 am

Small bit of sky roller footage from the 2003 Brent Hambrick Memorial Final 9

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkZ0OmMhsuc
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Re: The Comprehensive Roller Thread

Postby cjskier » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:03 am

I prefer my Z XL for my roller shots. I usually take the rhbh, 100' arching roller.
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Re: The Comprehensive Roller Thread

Postby peppermack » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:40 am

someone want to explain how to throw a sky roller?
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Re: The Comprehensive Roller Thread

Postby Timko » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:42 am

I turn my body to an L shape with my back bent way back, and rotate along an axis that's more parallel to the ground (instead of perpendicular). This lets me crank a disc very high on an anhyzer. I throw a stable disc (like a PD) for this shot so it doesn't turn to the right after hitting the ground.
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Re: The Comprehensive Roller Thread

Postby peppermack » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:46 am

if there was not a foot of snow on the ground I would go out and give this a try.
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Re: The Comprehensive Roller Thread

Postby Blake_T » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:19 am

sky rollers use basically the same mechanics as a controlled roller. the primary difference is trajectory. a controlled roller is launched pretty much straight out (or slightly lower than that) whereas a sky roller will have more of an arc.

the more important fundamentals of this style is an arched back during the pull (leaning backwards like you're limboing) and a downward follow through (matching the angle you want the disc to land with).
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Re: The Comprehensive Roller Thread

Postby Pwingles » Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:18 am

any advice on how to accurately throw FH rollers both cut and distance, and disc preferences?
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Re: The Comprehensive Roller Thread

Postby Blake_T » Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:38 am

any advice on how to accurately throw FH rollers both cut and distance, and disc preferences?


1 hour in a field with your current discs will likely teach you almost everything you need to know about FH rollers and what discs to use.

i used to FH roll CE TL's.
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Re: The Comprehensive Roller Thread

Postby NoMoreTinCup » Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:14 pm

I can only comment on FH rollers, as I have tried BH like 3 times in my life. However, learning a forehand roller has probably saved me more strokes on some courses than I would care to admit. I started learning because one of my favorite courses (Elk Creek, Appomattox VA) is very wooded, and trouble lurks off most every tee. I forehand roll almost exclusively with Z Flicks, which have tremendous speed, and a very thin rim. I have thrown some truly amazing recovery shots from off the fairway. Here are a couple of notes I think might help.
1. Practice in a field, and start on flat ground if possible, this will help you with the motion involved with getting the disc on the ground correctly. Don't overdo it, throwing rollers can be hard on your elbow, not unlike overhand shots.
2. Landing angle is every bit as important as power. A correctly landed slow roller will go as far or farther as a poorly landed hard shot.
3. No matter where you are, try and remember that the first time the disc touches the ground, it is out of your control, so be careful where you put it. A very small deflection on first impact can send a roller to another zip code. I use FH rollers in the woods, and I can tell you, nothing feels worse than hitting a 1 inch sapling with a roller that should occupy about 1/2 inch of space.
4. While I have confidence in this shot, which helps a lot, I rarely use it off the tee, not unlike my overhand. Nice to have in the bag, but not what I throw for choice.
5. Have fun with it. Occasionally, during a fun round we might agree that your first shot off such and such hole has to be a roller. Doing this absurd activity will help you pick out lines and learn the versatility of this shot.
6. Roller pole hits are awesome. When this happens, you know you are A. ON, B. LUCKY, C. BOTH.
Hope this helps. Champ Firebirds are also good roller discs, as most overstable discs are. (Forehand)
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