mgilbert wrote:I thought a lighter disc might be easier to throw, so I bought a 125 gram Sidewinder DX. It is so light I can't get it out of my hand. If I do manage to throw it, it turns completely over and heads for the ground. Obviously, it is too light.
The relation ship between weight and stability isn't as straight as you'd expect. I have a 136 g Blizzard Boss that flies just as stable as every 175g Champ Boss I've tried (admittedly all have been dyed, which I understand aren't exactly the meathooks the regular ones can be). The shape of the disc is so much more important to the stability than the weight, but there is a tendency for lighter plastic to come out with a lower PLH than heavy plastic. However if a light disc has a higher PLH than a heavy one, the light one will be more stable/overstable. This is with a totally clean throw.
What lightness does however is it makes the disc more susceptible to form flaws. If you do something wrong during your throw the light disc will likely be much more affected by it than a heavier disc. Add to that the fact that suddenly switching to a very light disc can easily mess up your form because it just feels so different, and you have a good chance of light plastic flying worse, even when looking at the shape alone it should be as stable or even more overstable.
So it's entirely possible that the 125g Sidewinder is not at all "too light", just so much lighter than normal that it throws off your timing, and you'd need to learn how to throw that specific disc. Probably not a good solution, because the skill would be of limited use anyway.
By the way, what's your average distance on a good throw?
To put it quite harshly, overall it just sounds like the actual problem is that you have to learn how to throw better. A DX Sidewinder should turn even with 200-250' power on a clean throw, especially if it's been used for any amount of time. For now I recommend you focus on form practice (great videos on YouTube and great articles on this site, and even better discussion on the technique forums), and try to get along with discs that are naturally neutral or slightly understable. Most putters, mid ranges like the Discmania MD2, Discraft Comet, Buzzz, possibly Zombee, MVP's Tangent or Axis, Innova's Coyote or Mako, Latitude 64 Fuse, there are a whole bunch of mid-range discs that want to fly straight even when you don't throw them hard, so at least they shouldn't fade out on you too early. Putters and the Comet are especially fantastic discs for this, and the Comet in particular should finish about equally straight whether you throw 50' or 300'. On top of that it'll let you know when you throw it badly, because it won't mask any of your form flaws.
Anyway, discs that fly straight with any power would probably be the most helpful ones, considering they don't fade out too early when thrown softly (like overstable discs and drivers overall tend to do) and they don't suffer from some of the problems of understable discs (unpredictability with varying power). But form practice is key, the discs are just tools.
EDIT: Just read the second post. If you're currently stuck at those distances then it's probably wise to favor discs that were designed for shorter distances, you should get more consistent results easier with them. I wouldn't stray above anything speed 7, with possibly one or two exceptions. Your best bets are most likely going to be discs that have as much glide as possible (large diameters can help), and as little fade as possible as well. Those will help max out the benefits of any speed you can give them.