Speed ratings and what determines them?

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Speed ratings and what determines them?

Postby ForeverBlue232 » Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:28 am

I've noticed that for all the Innova drivers I have, the speed rating seems directly related to the width of the wing/rim. It seems that the 8's are a hair wider than the 7's, the 10's are a hair wider than the 9's, etc. And all my Innova drivers of a certain speed rating have the same rim width, even if on the PDGA spec sheet they are listed as being slightly different. My Destroyer is the same width as my XCals, even though the PDGA list has the XCal with a 2.3 wing and the Destroyer with a 2.2 wing. So is the speed rating mostly a function of the rim width? How much does the shape of the wing factor in? What else factors in? If a disc of a different brand than Innova has the same rim width as an Innova driver would they essentially have the same unofficial speed rating, or is it way more complex than that? I know that none of this really matters that much but I've been curious about it for a while. I figure if anyone would have a good answer, it would be someone on here. If my rim width theory was actually true then I would call a Halo a speed 12 even though you guys make it sound faster than that, and I'd call the Nuke a 14 since it's a little wider than my 13 discs. Then again, I may just be an idiot. :)
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Re: Speed ratings and what determines them?

Postby dgdave » Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:35 am

I think speed is more of a "How longs does it hold initial release speed?" Than an actual how fast it is.
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Re: Speed ratings and what determines them?

Postby marmoset » Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:46 am

In general, Innova rates the disc's speed by the rim width.
A Leopard has a rim width of 1.6cm and it is rated speed 6.
A Teebird has a rim width of 1.7cm and it is rated speed 7.
A Valkyrie has a rim width of 1.9cm and it is rated speed 9.
A Beast has a rim width of 2.0cm and it is rated speed 10.
A Destroyer has a rim width of 2.2cm and it is rated speed 12.

Do we see a pattern here?
The speed isn't a foolproof way to determine the rim width of a disc but it will get you really close.
The rim width isn't a foolproof way to determine the speed of a disc but it will get you really close.
Like you said, the XCal is measured as 2.3cm but it is rated at speed 12. The Boss is 2.5cm but rated speed 13. This system really breaks down when it comes to putters and mids but it is pretty accurate for drivers.

There is too much correlation for it to be incidental.
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Re: Speed ratings and what determines them?

Postby Working Stiff » Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:45 pm

marmoset wrote:In general, Innova rates the disc's speed by the rim width.
A Leopard has a rim width of 1.6cm and it is rated speed 6.
A Teebird has a rim width of 1.7cm and it is rated speed 7.
A Valkyrie has a rim width of 1.9cm and it is rated speed 9.
A Beast has a rim width of 2.0cm and it is rated speed 10.
A Destroyer has a rim width of 2.2cm and it is rated speed 12.

Do we see a pattern here?
The speed isn't a foolproof way to determine the rim width of a disc but it will get you really close.
The rim width isn't a foolproof way to determine the speed of a disc but it will get you really close.
Like you said, the XCal is measured as 2.3cm but it is rated at speed 12. The Boss is 2.5cm but rated speed 13. This system really breaks down when it comes to putters and mids but it is pretty accurate for drivers.

There is too much correlation for it to be incidental.
This.

It's marketing, not science. They knew everyone thought "faster is better," so they slapped another .1 cm on the rim and called it a speed faster. They would still be doing it if the max wing rule had not been passed. Speed in a driver is just a number that tells you how big the wing is.

The Mid speed is even simpler. A big diameter mid is speed 4. A small diameter mid is speed 5. Simple as that.
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Re: Speed ratings and what determines them?

Postby Beable » Mon Dec 28, 2009 6:06 pm

That's really interesting. I had thought the "speed" of the disc was both 1) a measure of how much power was required to get the advertised flight path and 2) how fast it went.
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Re: Speed ratings and what determines them?

Postby adamschneider » Mon Dec 28, 2009 6:38 pm

Beable wrote:That's really interesting. I had thought the "speed" of the disc was both 1) a measure of how much power was required to get the advertised flight path and 2) how fast it went.

Much more the former than the latter.
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Re: Speed ratings and what determines them?

Postby Aaron_D » Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:20 pm

I always think of fast discs as discs that fly ballistically with more emphasis on launch speed. And of course they have a higher cruise speed.
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Re: Speed ratings and what determines them?

Postby Danforth » Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:31 pm

Aaron_D wrote:I always think of fast discs as discs that fly ballistically with more emphasis on launch speed. And of course they have a higher cruise speed.



Then that has nothing to do with the Innova system. :\
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Re: Speed ratings and what determines them?

Postby Pat » Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:38 pm

Danforth wrote:
Aaron_D wrote:I always think of fast discs as discs that fly ballistically with more emphasis on launch speed. And of course they have a higher cruise speed.



Then that has nothing to do with the Innova system. :\


Innovas system is comparitive to one another. If you have the arm for it, a speed 11 is going to fly further than a speed 9.
A speed 8 has more potential to fly further than a speed 7
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Re: Speed ratings and what determines them?

Postby Danforth » Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:35 am

Pat wrote:
Danforth wrote:
Aaron_D wrote:I always think of fast discs as discs that fly ballistically with more emphasis on launch speed. And of course they have a higher cruise speed.



Then that has nothing to do with the Innova system. :\


Innovas system is comparitive to one another. If you have the arm for it, a speed 11 is going to fly further than a speed 9.
A speed 8 has more potential to fly further than a speed 7



That certianly explains why the Valkyrie still holds the distance record, and the #2 spot still belongs to a TeeBird. :roll:
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Re: Speed ratings and what determines them?

Postby JimW » Tue Dec 29, 2009 5:31 pm

Danforth wrote:That certianly explains why the Valkyrie still holds the distance record, and the #2 spot still belongs to a TeeBird. :roll:


There's a lot more to distance record type shots than just the speed the disc can reach, it's really not comparable at all to what you see on the course. On normal golf lines the fastest drivers will outdistance the slower ones though you'll see people say on here sometimes that their Teebird/Valk/PD/Orc/OLF/whatever can get out as far as their warp speed drivers but it takes a lot more left-right room and/or height to do so.
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Re: Speed ratings and what determines them?

Postby JHern » Tue Dec 29, 2009 7:01 pm

adamschneider wrote:
Beable wrote:That's really interesting. I had thought the "speed" of the disc was both 1) a measure of how much power was required to get the advertised flight path and 2) how fast it went.

Much more the former than the latter.

That's right. High speed in this case means low drag, or less resistance to the disc's movement through the air. The numbers they give on the ratings charts are just made up, and totally unconnected to real measurements.

Why does a high speed/low drag disc need more power to make it fly along a proper trajectory? The reason is actually pretty simple...

...A high speed disc cuts through the air more efficiently and it is harder for the air to "grab" it. This means it is more difficult for the air to slow it down, but it also means that it is more difficult for the air to make it turn or do anything other than fade out...cutting drag also means cutting turn at a given speed. I.e., the disc's ability to turn or hold a line depends on its ability to interact with the air. If the disc has low drag, then you have to throw it faster in order for the disc to "feel" the air. At a high enough speed (which is different for every mold) the air can "grab" the disc and make it turn or perform whatever kind of aerobatics the thrower desires.

I think this is why the term "speed" was adopted to describe this characteristic of a disc. High speed means you have to throw it faster to get the typical flight characteristics to come out of the disc.
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Re: Speed ratings and what determines them?

Postby Blake_T » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:58 pm

I think this is why the term "speed" was adopted to describe this characteristic of a disc. High speed means you have to throw it faster to get the typical flight characteristics to come out of the disc.


correct. the numerical ratings are fairly arbitrary and rely more on relativity than on absolute values...

however, when it comes to actual speed ratings, there is a rough correspondence between the speed rating and the disc's idealized flight speed range (which isn't necessarily cruising speed when discs are designed to over or understable) for both innova's speed ratings and what i used for the power requirement on joe's flight chart.

these are approximations but likely accurate within 1-5mph depending upon nose angle and disc weight (notice that the scale shift isn't constant):
speed 6 = ~22mph lower bound idealized flight speed
speed 7 = ~27mph lower bound idealized flight speed
speed 8 = ~32mph lower bound idealized flight speed
speed 9 = ~35mph lower bound idealized flight speed
speed 10 = ~40mph lower bound idealized flight speed
speed 11 = ~45mph lower bound idealized flight speed
speed 12 = ~52mph lower bound idealized flight speed
speed 13 = ~61mph lower bound idealized flight speed

joe's power ratings:
pwr 3 = ~20mph lower bound idealized flight speed
pwr 4 = ~30mph lower bound idealized flight speed
pwr 5 = ~40mph lower bound idealized flight speed
pwr 6 = ~50mph lower bound idealized flight speed
pwr 7 (not yet in use) = ~60mph lower bound idealized flight speed

the reason i use "idealized" flight speed and not cruising speed range is because cruising speed range determines the speeds needed for the disc to fly straight... but not all discs are meant to fly straight. a disc like a maximizer has a cruising speed range of like 15-20mph but an idealized flight speed of more like 25mph+. a disc like a viper has a cruising speed range of like 45-70mph but its idealized flight speed range is more like 30-50mph since it is supposed to fly overstable.

all in all, disc "speed" is a fairly misleading characteristic as its greatest effect is the distance potential at low height.
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Re: Speed ratings and what determines them?

Postby JHern » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:02 am

Blake_T wrote:joe's power ratings:
pwr 3 = ~20mph lower bound idealized flight speed
pwr 4 = ~30mph lower bound idealized flight speed
pwr 5 = ~40mph lower bound idealized flight speed
pwr 6 = ~50mph lower bound idealized flight speed
pwr 7 (not yet in use) = ~60mph lower bound idealized flight speed


I prefer Joe's system defined this way, since it is based more on real quantities. In general it is the best thing out there, especially when one works to better understand how it is defined.

Also, as Blake mentioned, there are many speeds one can think about...
-Designed flight speed
-Cruise speed at which disc maintains altitude (aeronautical definition, but depends a lot on nose angle)
-Speed at which disc holds the line (i.e., no turn/fade, also depends on nose angle)
-Etc....

When describing/reviewing a disc, we should all try to be more specific about what we're talking about when we say "speed."
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Re: Speed ratings and what determines them?

Postby Steady 26542 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:28 pm

Great chart! Now I want to get a speed gun to know what speed discs I SHOULD be throwing... :mrgreen:

Would you say that someone that throws an OLF with just enough power for the disc to reach its idealized flight speed should be looking at speed 10 discs or less?
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