Almost all disc golf players use roller shots to get out of trouble, but only a few know that well-thrown rollers will travel 10-15% farther than aerial distance drives.
But how do you do it, and what are the best discs for rollers?
In this guide, we’ll show you the best discs and techniques for maximum distance rollers, and also help you understand which discs are the best for you based on your release velocity.
First: Watch Our Distance Roller Video Guide
Distance Roller Shot Technique
- Throw an understable disc straight toward the basket, using an anhyzer release.
- The disc will fly toward the right side of the fairway, turning all the way over and landing on its side.
- The disc will initially bend its roll back to the left before slowing at the end and hooking back toward the right.
The degree of bend from left to right while rolling will vary based on the angle at which the disc lands. The more the disc is leaning to the left when it makes contact with the ground, the more strongly it will pull left.
The ideal landing angle is 45 to 75 degrees.
With too low of an angle the disc will never straighten out, hooking in a continuous “C” and ultimately traveling back towards the thrower! If this is happening to you, either increase you anhyzer angle or use a more understable disc.
With too high of an angle (approaching vertical) the disc will not bend left during the early roll stage and instead simply roll off of the fairway to the right.
The Keys to a Good Roller Disc
There are two main features of maximum distance roller discs:
Feature 1: Understable Flight
Understability is needed to help the disc turn all the way over and land on its side at an optimal angle.
The specific required level of disc understability will depend on your release velocity. For players with very high release velocity, a moderately understable disc will provide a sufficient amount of turnover, but for players with moderate (or low) release velocity, a more understable disc will be needed to ensure a proper landing is achieved.
Feature 2: High Speed, Wide Rim
High Speed (wide rim) drivers are critical for maximum distance because their wide rims put a significant percentage of total weight around the perimeter of the disc.
Why does this matter? Perimeter weighting helps the disc hold more rotational inertia, and more rotational inertia equals more rolling distance.
Disc Weight: Does it Matter?
Many players assume that heavy discs make the best rollers, but data shows that while the distribution of weight (toward the perimeter) is critical, the total weight of the disc has little or no impact on actual performance.
If a player throws a heavy disc and a light disc at the same speed, the heavy disc will roll farther. However, when throwing for maximum distance, players’ release velocities with light discs are always faster than they are with heavy discs.
In fact, when calculating a rolling disc’s linear momentum the inverse relationship between disc weight and release velocity offset each other almost exactly.
Because of this, while having a high percentage of the disc’s weight around the perimeter does matter, the total disc weight does not impact roller distance when throwing for max distance.
Putting it all Together
Now that we know that the best disc options are high-speed, wide-rim, understable drivers, we have a problem: wide rim discs are typically overstable.
As a result, players will need to find the right balance between their need for understability (to get a good landing) and their desire for a wide-rim (to maximize distance).
Here are the two best options we have found:
The Best Roller Disc for Beginners and Intermediate Players
Analysis: Provides players throwing at moderate release velocities with the turnover needed to ensure a good landing, while also possessing a reasonably wide rim. If your typical aerial drive is under 300′, this disc is for you.
The Mamba paired with Star plastic provides the durability needed for rollers without the overstable impact Champion plastic brings.
The Best Roller Disc for Advanced Players
Description: Extremely High Speed, Moderately Understable
Optimal Weight: Varies (see below)
Optimal Plastic Type: Varies (see below)
Analysis: Excellent turnover at high velocities provides a solid landing angle, with a very wide rim (Speed 13) providing maximum rotational inertia. If your typical aerial drive is over 300′, this is the disc for you.
Using lightweight Blizzard plastic helps upper-intermediate players generate the speed needed to make it turn over, but for advanced players with higher release velocities (+350′ typical aerial drive distance) we recommend a heavier plastic like Champion or Star.
We Hope this Helped!
If you have any additional questions about roller discs, please don’t hesitate to ask using our Contact page! We are always happy to help our fellow players!