Sidewinder or Roadrunner for beginner?

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Sidewinder or Roadrunner for beginner?

Postby jrc3 » Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:08 pm

I've been playing for about two months, and based on this site's advice I have been using a 169 Dx Leopard, a 168 Dx Shark, a 168 Dx Stingray, and a 179 #2 Upshot as my core discs. I can get pretty good action on the Shark and the Stingray, and have accidentally turned them both over ("come back, come back . . . it's not coming back") a few times. I can throw the Leopard straight about 250' , but have only seen it start to turn over in a strong headwind. I also have a 170 Teebird that I can not throw straight, or very far. Based on these results, I think I'm in the lower end of power level 3 on Blake's "Universal Flight Chart."

I want to get more distance, and I am practicing and working on my technique as much as I can, but I am wondering if I can "buy some distance" in the short term with a Sidewinder or a Roadrunner. I am hesitant to disc up from the Leopard due to my experience with the Teebird, but I am tempted by the "beginner's distance driver" description on Innova's website, and by the power level 3 rating for the Sidewinder on Blake's chart. Is one of these discs appropriate for me, and if so which one? Or should I just stick with what I have and work on technique?

Any advice from Blake or others would be appreciated. Also, thanks for this site, Blake, it's been a great resource for me as I get started in this sport.
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Postby Blake_T » Tue Nov 08, 2005 7:20 am

if you want to develop a fundamentally sound throw, stay away from champion plastic for now.

while imo there are better discs to learn with than a leopard, the leopard is a much better choice than the sidewinder or roadrunner.

at 250' your leopard probably shoudln't turn at all.

if you are unable to throw the teebird at all, it sounds like a nose angle problem.

imo, start working the teebird and see if you can get it to fly well or try something else that is nice and slow, e.g. dx cheetah, dx gazelle, polaris ls/voyager, d cyclone, d xl.
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Postby Solty » Tue Nov 08, 2005 8:54 am

dropping yer disc weight can also help increase distance. Opt for some 150 class discs. i throw heavier weights now however i noticed a change when i picked up a 150 beast, stingray, and valk when i first started back in March. As i can still throw the discs, they turn over way to easy for me now. The lighter discs helped me work on my form and technique that my old drives of 250 are now going near the the 400ft mark consistently. Keep your head up and practice, practice, practice. It works!

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Postby jrc3 » Tue Nov 08, 2005 11:26 am

Mikesolt, thanks for the input and encouragement, I am determined to keep practicing. I started with a 175 Leopard then dropped down to the 169, maybe I will check out a 150 class.

Blake, thanks also for the input. I have a few questions about what you said, if you don't mind:

"there are better discs to learn with than a leopard"
I assume you are referring to the Cheetah, Gazelle, Cyclone etc that you list later in your reply. Not disputing at all, just trying to learn, but why are those discs better than the Leopard for learning?

"at 250' your leopard probably shoudln't turn at all."
Just to clarify, it doesn't really. That was once, practicing in a soccer field, into a strong headwind. On a good tee shot it goes straight, then predictably left.

"if you are unable to throw the teebird at all, it sounds like a nose angle problem."
I agree that nose angle is likely a large part of the problem. I have experimented with moving my thumb closer to the rim, and I think this has helped get a more consistent line drive from the Leopard, but the Teebird still gets away from me, up and then left. Any suggestions?

Also, what do you think of going to a 150 class disc, as Mikesolt suggests? I don't mind buying different discs to experiment with, as long as it's based on sound advice.
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Postby Blake_T » Tue Nov 08, 2005 1:50 pm

i prefer the discs i listed for learning since they have a predictable fade. the leopard really has very little fade tendency if any (especially when broken in) and it tends to mask nose angle problems as well as teaches players to throw straight at targets when the majority of the time it is much more predictable to play the fade. it also lacks the versatility of those other discs in that they can be used for hyzers, straight shots, and anhyzers, whereas the leopard is only really suitable for straight or turning shots.

if your leopard is finishing left, then i would say you are definitely not getting enough nose down.

as for grip, read my grip article. if that doesn't help, work with trying to throw low line drives (under 15' of height) and finishing your throw strong at the end.

as for 150 class, i have mixed feelings on this. they will definitely show any "noise" in your throw, but they often make players hesitate to move to them.

i find that most discs are difficult for newer players moreso out of speed than out of stability. a common transition nowadays is to throw discs lighter rather than just throw easier to control discs.

a lot of it comes down to you. if you are below average strength, 150 class may be the way to go. if you are of average or more strength, then you are probably best off working with plastic in the mid 160's until you can get it straightened out.

what you will find is that there is a very limited number of discs/molds available below 167g or so. i know a lot of 250' throwers that throw like 157-162g champion orcs and vikings. i would much rather see them throwing 165g dx gazelles as they will truly prepare them for the time when orcs and vikings are applicable discs.

btw, the leopard is fine for beginning, i just feel there are other discs that will more closely approximate the majority of the discs out there rather than only a few anomolies.
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Postby jrc3 » Tue Nov 08, 2005 9:05 pm

Wow, thanks for the reply, Blake; that's a lot to digest.

I understand where your coming from now about the Leopard vs Cheetah, Gazelle, etc. I wouldn't of thought of it like that. I guess I just look at the flight ratings and think that if a disc seems understable, it might be something I can get results with now.

I will take your advice: I'll be going by a Play It Again tomorrow that has a pretty good selection, and I'll look for a Cheetah or Gazelle (or one of the others from your list, I'm not averse to other brands) in the 165 range. I'll still probably use the Leopard for rounds for right now, but once I get somewhat comfortable with the new disc on the soccer field, I'll try to work it into my golf game. I'll also keep practicing with the Teebird, too.

I'm like a kid in a candy store when I'm at Play It Again, though. I'm sure I'll come home with something to expirement with that may not be exactly what you would recommend!

Thanks again for the info, I'll post up later when I get some results.
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Postby Blake_T » Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:09 am

cool, keep me updated.

we do have some DGA D Cyclones and D XL's (flathead cyclone and superdrive XL) we are clearing out at $4.50 each if you mention my pdga.com message board post about it. a cheap way to sample some stuff.

imo, anything with a 2 fade or greater is going to be sufficient to get accustomed to predictability.
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Postby jrc3 » Wed Nov 23, 2005 6:02 pm

Hi Blake and others, just wanted to update this thread.

After our last exchange I went out and bought a 167g dx Gazelle and a "167-169g" d XL.

I worked the Gazelle into my golf rounds right away. I can see now what you mean about the predictability of this disc, and also about the specialized nature of the Leopard. I now throw the Leopard only on drives that absolutely call for it (dead straight tunnel shots, gradual rights) and use the Gazelle for everything else; I have found that my drives are now split about 60/40, Gazelle vs Leopard. Distance wise, it feels like the Gazelle is a little longer than the Leopard, and the confidence I am beginning to feel with both of them is definately increasing my success rate overall on drives. I got off a couple with the Gazelle during a round today that I estimated to be 275'.

My experience with the XL has been more limited. I practiced with it in a field on a very windy day, and I have thrown a couple practice drives with it during rounds. So far it feels to me about midway between the Gazelle and the Teebird; I can't quite get it to go straight yet, but I don't think that day is far off. The XL is in the on-deck circle, waiting to go in when I get some more practice with it, and my technique is just a little more advanced.

Anyway, thanks for the advice, Blake, it was right on. It took buying the discs and throwing them to really see where you were coming from, but my game has improved, and I feel like I am laying the foundation for greater gains in the future.
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Postby Blake_T » Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:14 pm

cool. glad to hear things are working.

it's a tough one to finally make the jump towards drivers that finish if you learned with a leopard or stratus, etc.

this will really dictate your flavor of drivers in the long run. a lot of discs nowadays are unpredictable in comparison to many of the older, slower drivers which often make the D increase negligable.

your next step up from the gazelle will probably be the eagle and from then it's kind of wide open.
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Postby alerik » Fri Dec 02, 2005 3:26 am

Listen to these guys. I started throwing higher speed discs before I was ready and had to step off of them to increase D and Accuracy. I started to learn to throw staight and hard with a 169 C. Leaopard.

After a while I started to throw DX Gazelles, Ravens, and Cheetas. Once I learned to throw these with power and accuracy, the higher end divers fell into place.

For a while I had a DX Whippet, Gazelle, Cheeta, and a C. Leopard. It would shock several of my friends to find out that I could throw these discs just as far if not father than their C. Orcs, Beasts, Valks, etc.

Learn technique first with slower end discs then explode with accuracy with the higher end stuff.
If I can't beat you now, I will practice until I can.
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