there were a lot of questions asked...
i will try to answer them in one flowing post. if i don't answer it, ask again in a future post
my philosophy is based upon a variety of reasons stemming from disc design as well as fundamentals and most importantly, treating disc golf like a sport rather than just a game. i do realize some people just naturally "get it," but most don't. also, my posts are targeted at the games of developing players. top pros can already do everything with anything so it doesn't matter what they throw.
when someone buys a "beginner golf package" for ball golf, it usually consists of something along the lines of: 5-wood, 5-iron, 7-iron, putter for a very small package, and maybe a 5-wood, 3-iron, 5-iron, 7-iron, 9-iron, putter for a bigger package. what tends to happen in disc golf is the equivalent of handing someone a big bertha and a putter and telling them to go play well.
while people might figure it out.... as a person finally gets comfortable with the big bertha, they start wanting a bigger bertha rather than figuring out how to hit the big bertha farther.
i'm not old school, but i feel old school much of the time (i started in 2000). when the beast and wildcat came out, they were considered overstable (just as the cyclone, eagle, etc. were considered overstable when i got started). it's not that the discs are inherently flippier (assuming the molds haven't changed), but people's techniques have adjusted to compensate for the stability. i don't really consider this a good thing, as 90% of holes are short of the "big bertha" ideal range. you don't see golfers choking up on a big bertha to hit a 160 yard shot, it makes no sense to throw something well below it's ideal range.
speed and gyroscopics are the main things that have changed with discs. when i throw a cyclone, gazelle, eagle, etc. they do not turn unless i make them turn. let's say your first main driver was a max weight z crush and you developed a technique that throws the crush 350' straight. chances are you will flip a gazelle, cyclone, eagle, etc. nearly every time. not only that, but you'll likely unintentionally flip every disc that is less stable and a good chunk of discs simply because they are slow (polaris, cheetah, valk, beast, wildcat, eagle, xl, xs, jls, xpress, x2, orion, orc, flash, viking, etc.).
not only that... but it is also likely that the same player probably will not (intentionally) have the majority of the shots in the bag that require off axis torque over: max distance roller (lands > 300' away), roll curve, touch anhyzer, air bounce/reverse air bounce, anhyzer stall, etc. similarly, a good chunk of these players will not be able to throw a hyzer line that holds the same hyzer angle the entire flight.
let's zoom back in time and assume 2 buddies start playing together and play a lot. jimbo starts out with a 175g champ orc. billbob starts out with a lightning #2 flyer. this is a perfect world and discs replace themselves unless people want them aged.
end of week 1:
jimbo is throwing 225' and is all over the place.
billbob is throwing 180' and dead straight.
end of week 6:
jimbo is throwing his champ orc 260' and is all over the place.
billbob is throwing a dx gazelle 240' dead straight.
end of month 6:
jimbo is throwing is 310' and is getting more control but a champ orc is now too flippy and so he is throwing a 175g star wraith.
billbob is throwing a dx gazelle 280' dead straight.
end of month 12:
jimbo is throwing 360' with his star wraith straight half the time, turns it over badly the other half.
billbob is throwing a dx teebird 340' dead straight.
end of month 18 (their scores are relatively equal):
jimbo is throwing 400' but the star wraith is now too flippy so he is throwing a 175g teerex.
billbob is throwing a dx teebird 375' dead straight.
175g star teerex (straight drives over 300')
175g champ firebird (hyzers and drives 250-325')
176g d drone (125-250')
175g champ rhyno (50-150')
headwinds are a nightmare for him, he turns over every midrange flippier than a max weight z wasp, and he cannot throw a putter over 150' without rolling it. every non-firebird shot is an s-curve. throws everything as hard as he can because his accuracy goes buh bye if he takes off power.
170g dx teebird (straight drives 300-360')
171g pro wraith (straight drives over 360')
172g star wraith (overstable drives)
180g dx roc (beat, straight drives 240-300')
175g kc aviar (under 260')
can throw any disc. has an array of shots that happen when he wants them to happen. throws all of his shots 75% power. has pinpoint control over disc flight.
end of year 5:
take a guess as to who is a better player?
as for disc design:
faster, wider rimmed drivers mask torque, as does low friction plastic. they also require more power to throw and more nose down as well. with a disc like an orc or wraith that has tremendous amounts of fade if not turned over, people are forced to turn them. whether this happens naturally due to power or due to torque depends on the player. what i can say is that lower powered players will have to torque them to make them turn.
for someone learning to throw, they won't see technique flaws and/or will develop flaws to compensate for the disc. also, because these discs require more nose down and a lot of power, they will throw these discs very low and probably not develop a means of throwing them high and nose down.
learning with a slow disc in standard plastic will show flaws, but it also shows flight manipulation by making small adjustments. e.g. you will SEE what a slight wrist roll over does vs. a non-wrist roll shot in an applicable sense: why would you choose to do it? (there are many uses).
secondly, height. sure, someone can learn to throw a wraith 400' with a 12' high apex... but with a 12' high apex a roc peaks at around 270' after the skip/slide. a 330' roc shot needs at least 20' apex. throwing high is very different than throwing low
a 500' wraith shot requires an apex of at least ~40'. i've only witnessed two throws over 500' on flat land that apexed definitely below 40' (and i've seen hundreds of 500' throws).
so not only is height necessary for max D, but it also opens up new worlds by allowing you to throw over the top as well as a complete array of knife hyzers and sky rollers.
as for rim design... something has always caught my eye.
1a) a teebird flies stable for throws 250-600'
2a) a firebird flies stable/overstable for throws 1-700'
3a) a predator flies stable/overstable for throws 1-600'
4a) a roc flies stable for throws 150-350'+
5a) an x2 flies stable for throws 280-600'
1b) a wraith flies stable/overstable for throws ~1-410' and understable beyond that
2b) a flick flies stable/overstable for throws 1-480' and will flip beyond that (but still finish overstable)
3b) an orc flies overstable for throws under 250', stable for throws ~290-325', and high speed understable beyond 350'
i have pretty much mapped out a lot of the factors that make things happen this way. only a handful of discs designed after the firebird (2000) have the characteristics of true stability at any speed. predator, talon, starfire-x, etc. to name a few. in the 1990's, the discs designed that DID NOT have stabilizers: polaris ls, xl, sabre, leopard, polaris lf, sabre, jls, teebird-l. it's odd that the percentages have flipped. the number of drivers nowadays designed with stabilizers is approximately equal to the number of drivers designed in an entire decade that did not have them.
now... for overstable drivers, it is important to gauge fade incorporating high speed stability into the equation. a wraith will actually have more geographical fade than a firebird when thrown with equal height assuming neither disc turns over. when a disc fades from a turn, it is (usually) more nose down and will fade less (the trajectory will also dictate this).
there are two kinds of overstable as well, overstable by design, and overstable by gyroscopics. the way to tell the difference is to throw two shots flat and 20' high without turning the disc over, one with a disc like a wraith, starfire-l, flash etc. and another with something definitely overstable like a firebird, banshee, x-clone, etc.
the disc that is gyroscopic overstable will hold the same angle as it fades and cover a LOT of fade distance as it stays in the air.
the disc that is overstable by design will INCREASE in hyzer angle towards vertical as it falls off and actually carry less far to the left as it will accelerate towards the ground.
i guess the big thing is:
YOU CAN ALWAYS DISC UP AFTER YOU HAVE THE TECHNIQUE TO THROW ANYTHING BUT PEOPLE THAT LEARN ALREADY DISC'D UP CANNOT ALWAYS DISC DOWN.