The Definitive Latitude 64 Thread Primer
- - - - - -
I decided to take a minute to share my observations about variations among latitude molds. I can't stop myself from purchasing just about every latitude disc I get my hands on and as a result I’ve been privy to some interesting experiences with contrasts in characteristics from run to run of various Latitude molds. It can seriously be a bitch to buy a disc expecting one thing and ending up with something entirely different; it is for that purpose that I wrote this up. Here are my impressions, feel free to disagree:Halos:
There are two types of Halo’s that I’m seeing out there. There is the flat and typically very hard run and there is the soft with moderate dome run.
The flat and hard ones I’ve thrown by and large are slightly understable when thrown at their nominal speed. The soft and domey ones are significantly more stable by contrast when new. This effect wears off with time because of "flash" that is present at the base of the rim. You can speed up this process by lightly sanding the flash off of the disc. Personally I throw both because there really is very little difference among the runs once the flash is out of the equation.
All of my Gold Line Halo’s behave very similarly to how my Opto's perform. Gold Line does wear in faster than Opto does so you will notice a loss of stability faster with a GL Halo than you would an OL, so be aware. The only noticeable exception to this rule is GL Halo's that are roughly 166 or lower in weight. They are much less stable than their heavier counterparts. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as they can fly a loooooong way in the right conditions (tail winds for example). I have two heavily used 166g Halo's, one in GL and one in OL plastic, and the Opto Halo does not vary as much by weight as the Gold does.Blitz:
First run Blitz’s, a.k.a. the “slitz” were just a bit more over stable than current bubble lettered Blitz’s. Personally I prefer the newer ones as I have an easier time getting them out there. The first run batch is probably the one I would reach for in pretty hefty winds but I would feel confident throwing the most recent run into a headwind. What's nice about the Blitz, if you can get past the unique grip, is that although it is overstable it still pushes forward as it fades out. In my picture the blue Blitz with the bubble letters is the current run and the "Slitz" is the first run Blitz (that I modified because the disc was originally named the Slitz). Notice there is a little bit of a parting line height difference and a noticeable dome difference.Riot:
First run Riot’s were amazing, although many people bitched about the rounded rim, the flight on these babies was AWESOME. 2nd run Riot’s are not so amazing. You can tell which is which through parting line comparisons; newer not-so-awesome Riots have a significantly higher parting line than the originals.
Originals had a stable flight with moderate fade. Newer Riots have noticeably less stability at high speed, less glide, and fade out at the end of the flight very strongly. This has lead me to writing off the Riot mold as a driver of choice in my own bag. I’m hopeful the mold will revert with a 3rd run back to its former glory. This hasn't happened yet, or if it has I have not experienced it.Strikers:
Two words: Parting Line. Look for it, know it, make it work for you. There are three decisive variations of the Striker mold out there today. You have your 1st runs which are characterized by a very flat top and typically a "snowflake" pattern visible in the plastic. This run flies a lot like an eagle. With significant snap these Strikers will exhibit high speed turn and slowly but surely work their way out of it to a pretty hefty fade before grounding out. Then there's the freak batch that came out with a significantly higher parting line height and is more stable than a Firebird. This batch appears to have been very minimal as it is dificult to find many of them today. Finally we have the current mold of the Strikers, very domey, very stable, very nice. These guys fly very much like the 1st run flats but exibit a little bit more carry due to their much larger domes. I would almost go so far as to say that the regular domey run of Strikers are more stable than their flat first run cousins at high speed.
In the first picture we have the flat 1st run Striker on the left next to a current run Striker. In the second picture we have a SUPER overstable Striker on the left next to a current run Striker.
Remember, the higher the parting line the more overstable it’s going to fly for you. The only other thing to look out for is dome, the more domey the Stiker the longer it’s going to glide for you.
Gold Line Strikers fly a lot like 1st run opto’s but fairly quickly beat into a very straight stable to understable fairway driver with less fade than they originally had. There are flat and slightly domey iterations of the Gold Line’s but I see minor differences between them. The flatter Gold Lines have an edge in stability over the domey's. In the picture below you can see that the red flat Striker has a little bit higher of a parting line than the domey silver one. This would be the reason for the slightly more stable flight.Tridents and XXX’s:
Tridents and XXX's are another contender in the bout for biggest increase in flight plate dome from one run to another. 1st run's are characterized by very flat flight plates and they more or less fly as described by Latitude. Tridents are great at flying straight ahead and then cutting SHARPLY towards the direction they fade out in. They are the best disc I have come across for making shots shaped like an "L". Tridents with a huge dome are a totally different beast though, they are probably one of the most overstable discs I've ever encountered. I didn't include any pictures for these because they are such a unique slot in my bag that I don't own all that many of them. I don't own a super domey version of either the XXX or the Trident so I can't give a visual example but trust me, it's immediately apparent when you see them.Visions:
See Striker. If any other mold, other than the Striker, has seen HUGE variation it’s the Vision. Again, parting line height is the indicator here. The higher the parting line the more stable the Vision is going to be. Stable Visions can be really fun discs to throw as they glide very well and flex well. Early runs were the most UNDERstable and later runs showed a HUGE increase in stability. The latest runs I’ve thrown are much closer to their original extremely understable flight path.
The higher the parting line, the more stable the flight.
All Gold Line’s I’ve handled tend to fall somewhere between the super flippy 1st runs and the stable mid runs. Gold Line Visions are very nice discs in my opinion; they are a good balance of the variation found in the opto’s. That said, they're still Visions and with some torque they will flip... A lot.Cores:
1st run Opto Cores were flatter and they felt awesome. They flew like a Buzzz with a little less high speed stability. Later runs of the Core have shown a small dome, that covers a diameter of about 4”, popping up in the center of the disc. Numerous people claim that this adversely affected the flight path of the Core by making it significantly less stable compared to what it was. In effect, this run of Core's with the smaller central domes fly in an "S" pattern as opposed to a straighter line. For those who like logic problems, I would say the 1st run Core is to the 2nd run Core what the Teebird is to the Eagle. This leads to the most recent iteration I've discovered. If you can find for yourself a newer Core that is roughly 177g or more, with a more gradual dome to it, you will have found what I consider the best of the crop of Cores. The dome on these Cores starts at the edge of the rim, rather than the raised 4” diameter dome found in the center of the 2nd run Cores, resulting in a very domey disc but in a good way (like a San Marino Roc). These latest gradually rising domed Cores are by far my favorite right now. 1st runs feel awesome in the hand but they tend to break in to a longer understable mid, these heavy domey ones have nearly a perfect level of stability that allows you to really launch them without turning them over. They're very straight and finish with a good forward fighting fade, and thanks to the dome they stay in the air quite a while.
1st run next to mid-run with 4" dome followed by image of 1st run next to 177g+ current run
1st run Gold Line Cores were also very flat and as such flew stable to understable, breaking into quite an understable mid. In contrast, newer runs of Gold Line Cores have that strange small 4” diameter dome in the center of them but they fly slightly overstable, a big difference compared to 1st runs.
If you look closely you can see where the 4-5" dome initiates as indicated by a sort of dark circle
Cores perplex me now that we have the addition of the Fuse to the Latitude midrange line up. They fly similar enough to have a lot of overlap but the Core is a little longer and faster than a Fuse. If a more stable but not too over stable mid range is in fact in the pipes, that might reduce the function of the Core in my bag. These heavy gradual domed ones fly fantastic though, so it will be tough to say.Spikes:
The last disc of their line up that I'll tackle is the Spike. It's gone through three generations and each is easily identifiable. The first runs have a centralized stamp and are a little on the soft side. Then the Zero Line "HARD" version was unveiled but quickly discontinued. The "HARD" runs were stamped as such and you can see it on the lower left Spike although it is hard to make out. The current run is the blue Spike in the picture and as you can see it shares the stamp style of the HARD run but the plastic is a happy medium between the stiffness of the originals and the HARD runs. I honestly could never tell any difference in flight.
The final informative piece I'll include at this time is a flight chart I concocted of how the current run Latitude molds fly for me. This little graph is based off of a FLAT release, with a power level that is sufficient to throw a Halo or Flow 400' in no wind. Under those conditions this is how they fly for me: