Playing at different elevations....

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Playing at different elevations....

Postby Thatdirtykid » Tue Nov 14, 2006 2:14 pm

So I finally got a chance to play below 5000 feet this weekend.
Emporia KS 1207' above sea level.
My findings are now below:

Discs stability: Discs fly less stable at a lower elevation, it is that simple. I pretty much disced up a couple notches in stability (wear) and I didnt flip too much.

Along w/ Stability is discs carry much further. I could throw my drives lower with less power and they would carry longer. Not only drives, but approaches and even putts. I had to adapt a straighter putt because my lob putts would glide alittle more and carry high hitting the top of the basket, or flying by.

Nose angles: discs seemed to be less sensitive to nose angles, I believe due to the less stable flight characteristics. I had imagined they would be more sensitive because the air is thicker and would lift a nose up throw more, but it didnt seem to work that way. Nose up floaty approaches seemd to be more effective as they carried further, and didnt fade out much.

Penetration lines: styles of throws that rely on penetration more than glide, such as thumbers, knife hyzers and that such fly significantly shorter due to the added wind resistance. This got me into more trouble than anything else on the course.


Tips for playing at a lower elevation from higher. Throw slightly more stable (or heavier) versions of the same discs you throw. Back off the power. Any time I tried to throw more than 80% on any line other than a knife hyzer, I couldnt control the flip (accually lost my driver w/ most sedimental value, x pred beat right w/ an ace on it) Throwing w/ the height I would throw in denver at 75% I was achieving the same distacne as I would at 95% at elevation. Its alittle easier to bomb, but alittle harder to control.
after playing for a day (of course the day of the event) I think I had a decent handle on the KS air, playing the next day I was throwing as well as I think I would have in denver. Give yourself that extra day, and use it. Oh and make rollers your bitches if you have the chance, they will carry alittle more left to right before touching down, but they are easy as hell to throw :-D.
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Postby Solty » Tue Nov 14, 2006 2:24 pm

great personal synopsis....real world tangents from +5000 ft to below 1000 ft are significant
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Postby Thatdirtykid » Tue Nov 14, 2006 3:49 pm

lol, i like the new sig mike.

The first throws at low elevation almost seemed like I was throwing into a headwind, it was kinda wild. Adding more hyzer helped in alot of situations, but the differences in penetration and glide are more significant than the differences were in stability.

Now I want to play in Aspen, or another mountian course, then fly to cali and play at sea level to really see the difference. (although throwing straight down the side of a black diamond ski slope is different than anything in the world. throwing a hyzerflip straight down, to watch it hyzer, contiune gaining speed until its going to fast and flips)
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Postby twmccoy » Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:13 pm

I was throwing in Vegas a month ago and found that my pro wraith and champ orc were flipping wildly when thrown hard. My star Teerex was the only disc I could rip 100% and not flip. Distance didn't seem any different, but stability sure was. I think Vegas is about 2500'.
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Postby Craig » Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:45 pm

Do your disc recommendations for beginners change for lower elevations? The reason I ask is that I am pretty much at sea level, and everything is way less stable than the descriptions I hear in these forums. An Orc, for instance, isn't really too much disc for someone with 280' of distance at sea level, because it flies so understable.

Also, did you get a chance to compare max D at both elevations? I can't help but think that your max would be shorter with more drag. What about max D with a putter or mid versus a high speed driver?

I think you'll have to go back to KS to test this out for us.
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Postby Weebl » Wed Nov 15, 2006 12:11 am

You're all welcome to California, at least by me in central California. I'd be glad to show you around, maybe even make a trip to a few high elevation California courses so I get to play in your territory :P
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Postby Thatdirtykid » Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:42 am

I think discs I would reccomend for beginners wouldnt change. Talking disc to guys who have only played at sea level their thoughts about disc stability have always been similar to mine. I dont reccomend champ plastic for beginners, and think something slower would still be better for learning good form.
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Postby garublador » Wed Nov 15, 2006 7:32 am

Craig wrote: An Orc, for instance, isn't really too much disc for someone with 280' of distance at sea level, because it flies so understable.


I wouldn't say that's an issue with elevation. I'd say it's probably an issue with form. I play at ~820' above sea level and throw ~350' and I have trouble flipping a Champ Orc.
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Postby Craig » Wed Nov 15, 2006 12:02 pm

garublador wrote:
Craig wrote: An Orc, for instance, isn't really too much disc for someone with 280' of distance at sea level, because it flies so understable.


I wouldn't say that's an issue with elevation. I'd say it's probably an issue with form. I play at ~820' above sea level and throw ~350' and I have trouble flipping a Champ Orc.


No problem with a DX or Pro, though, especially with a little wear.
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Postby jiwaburst » Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:05 pm

reverse experience:

I live in California and am acclimated here. I used to live in Colorado and played a lot of Ultimate there. It was amazing to me how much farther the ultimate lids would fly at elevation, especially hammer throws. Ten years later I am back in California and have learned disc golf here.

When I went to Albequerque and then to Colorado this summer, I was having some major issues adjusting. I couldn't get much distance at elevation until I changed my throw. Once I realized that I could really let go and huck it without fear of overtorquing it, my throws at elevation got much easier. So, beat slower discs go really straight without much fear of losing them at elevation. High speed drivers could be torqued with a decent amount of air to get huge pulls.

tdk mentioned how overhand throws fly differently (farther) at elevation. This is true, but also the turn on an overhand is quite different. My first tourney hole at elevation was perfect for a tommy, so I threw one and knew I let it go perfectly... except it never turned, just went straight ahead and far. A 300' overhand at sea level is a massive hurl, at 5800' it was pretty easy.
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Postby mothrows » Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:18 pm

I had the same experience when I went from kansas to colorado.
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Postby Thatdirtykid » Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:19 pm

yeah thumbers definately get alot more left to right at lower elevation, but that was an easier adjustment to make than going from being able to throw thumbers 300 to struggling to throw em 250.
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Postby Thatdirtykid » Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:50 am

Something else to add, is discs are easier to manipulate at lower elevations. For instance when throwing a hyzer flip in CO you throw your disc w/ hyzer and it travels out straight, flips up, turns alittle, and fades. At lower elevations my hyzerflips would travel out left on a hyzerline, flip up, turn and fade, the disc taking a true 3 turns.
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