New Disc Golf Discs 2016

If you’re always looking for new disc golf discs that will give you a competitive edge, this article is for you.

With 24 new disc golf discs approved by the PDGA since November 2015, we’ve taken our usual analytic approach to determine if any of them truly deserve a place in your bag.  In this article we’ll cover:

  • The four reasons companies introduce new discs
  • PDGA disc approval process
  • New Technology for 2016
  • Our analysis of 2016’s 24 new discs

New Discs and the PDGA

Based on my experience in consumer product development and marketing, there are four primary reasons Disc manufacturers launch “new” products:

  1. To introduce new technology (rare)
  2. To fill an existing “hole” in their product line
  3. To reproduce a popular competitor’s disc
  4. To sell discs via hype and marketing, because “new” products sell well

FACT: All of the major disc manufacturers know exactly how to make a disc that flies further than anything currently on the market.  However, to ensure competitive parity, player safety, and (strangely enough) tree safety, the PDGA has placed multiple restrictions on disc design.  For example, to be approved by the PDGA discs must fall within the size and shape guidelines shown here:

Click to Enlarge

Unfortunately these restrictions make revolutionary innovations incredibly difficult, and as a result the majority of new technology introduced offers minimal or no actual benefit.

The New Tech Offering for 2016: Andro 1

Manufacturer: Ozone Discs

Top understand the potential benefits of the Andro 1, one must first understand three concepts:

  1. Top PDGA players all carry 2-6 duplicates of each their favorite discs.
  2. Disc golf discs become increasingly understable with use, as the rim shape changes from impacts with trees, poles, etc.
  3. Disc stability is strongly affected by the percentage of its total weight near the perimeter (VIDEO)
Disc - Star Destroyer
Innova Star Destroyer
Get One For Your Bag

If you look in the bags of the Top PDGA pros, virtually all of them carry “duplicate” discs. For example, current PDGA Champion Paul McBeth carries 6 Innova Destroyers.  Why?  As with most sports, consistency is the true key to success, and the easiest way to ensure you drive with repeatable consistency is to stick with the same disc mold.  By carrying multiple Destroyers (each with a different level of wear), McBeth can get the flight pattern he needs for each specific fairway without having to change the mold he is using.

This strategy for consistency is where the Andro’s new technology comes into play, as players can purchase multiple new Andro’s with identical molds but with each designed to have a different stability level.

Graphic of Ozone's patent-pending ring inserts.
Graphic of Ozone’s patent-pending ring inserts.

How? Here’s the manufacturer’s claim:

“One of our goals for 2015 was to bring a brand new take on a disc golf disc. A disc where one mold can produce discs that have multiple shot shapes. Same plastic, same run, same mold but slightly different flight characteristics. This is achieved through a patent pending idea of altering the density of solid and foam inserts that are added to the disc post injection molding.”  Ozone Discs

The science here is undeniably sound.  A high-density center insert ring paired with a lower-density perimeter insert will decrease stability while the opposite will produce a more overstable flight pattern.

Should you buy one?  Our recommendation for players is to purchase one Andro-1.  If you like the way it feels and flies, then (and only then) you can expand your arsenal to 2-3 Andro’s with different flight characteristics.  There is obviously no point to having multiple versions of a disc that does not fit your throwing style, but if you do like how it flies this technology could significantly improve your game.

UPDATE: Ozone is reporting that the Andro has temporarily been pulled from shelves to increase the adhesion of the inserts.  We’ll keep you updated on their progress!

Complete List of New Discs for 2016

MANUFACTURER / DISTRIBUTORDISC MODELRim Thickness (cm)Rim Config.Category*Notes*
AquaFlight DiscsOsprey2.328SpecialtyFloats
AquaFlight DiscsPelican1.729.5SpecialtyFloats
Black Zombie Disc GolfChainsaw166.5Initial Launch
DiscraftRoach (Ace Race 2015)1.158.75Update
Dynamic DiscsWarrant1.446.5Extension
Element DiscsIridium0.966ExtensionHigh KG Flex
Innova-Champion DiscsColossus2.529.75Competitive Match"14 Speed"; Similar to Nuke SS
Innova-Champion DiscsCommander1.442Extension
Innova-Champion DiscsXT V-Aviar155.75Extension
KastaplastReko161.25ExtensionDoes not use drag reduction rim system
Las Aves Disc GolfWo-Hoo1.537.25Extension
Latitude 64Culverin231.25Extension
Latitude 64Cutlass2.228.75Extension
Latitude 64Compass1.342.75New
Latitude 64Gauntlet1.161.75Competitive MatchBeaded Rim Putter
Latitude 64Bite0.780.25SpecialtyDog Disc
Ozone DiscsAndro 11.526Initial LaunchNew Technology
Prodigy DiscA21.441.75Extension"Approch Discs"
Prodigy DiscA31.450.25Extension"Approch Discs"
Prodigy DiscA11.441.75Extension"Approch Discs"
Reptilian Disc GolfPtero1.833.25Extension
Vibram Disc GolfOnyx1.830.75Extension
Vibram Disc GolfVamp1.934.75Extension

* These are the observations/opinions of only

Thanks for reading!  If you have any questions, please let us know using our Contact page, or if you’ve tried the Andro please share your experiences in the Comments below!

6 thoughts on “2016’s Best New Discs

  1. Barry Fischer says:

    I have really enjoyed reading your articles. I have been playing for a long time – PDGA # 706. (There is a story as to why my number is so high – smile – I wasn’t a ‘joiner’ in the early days.) I am an ex engineer and am truly fascinated and enjoy throwing discs by MVP/Axiom. I like the ‘idea’ of carrying one discs in various stages of wear for shaping lines. Also, one disc in different weights to help shape lines. I used to be a teacher – actually still am a teacher just don’t teach – in a classroom – any longer. You are saying – writing – many thoughts I have had for years. Keep up the good work. If you every want to chat email me a telephone number and I will call.

  2. Bart Bird says:

    Thanks Barry! We consider positive feedback from engineers and professional educators to be very high praise!

    • Bart Bird says:

      Jim – Larger disc manufacturers typically get discs approved well in advance of their public “launch” to allow them to scale-up inventory, prepare marketing collateral, and pre-position discs at retail outlets.
      I don’t have any detail on the planned release date, but I’ll try to keep an eye on it!

      • Jim John Marks says:

        Gotcha, it was just a bit confusing since the Vamp _is_ on their site already.

        I was sad to discover my beloved Trak has been retired. I’ll have to pick up a Valley and see what I think.

  3. Scott says:

    When will you be updating your 2016 list of new discs? Discraft introduced both the Undertaker and Thrasher drivers this year. And please don’t forget about the Mini Buzzz mini marker, which I’ve enjoyed throwing as much as any other disc in 2016. (So it’s not a legal golf disc — sue me. It’s still a blast!)

    You’re doing great work here. Keep it up!

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