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While Right-Hand Forehand (RHFH) and Left-Hand backhand (LFBH) are closely associated due to their similar flight patterns, they are not the same throw and require completely different discs for optimal performance.

So which discs are the best for forehand/sidearm throwers?

In this guide, we will explain specifically how the differences affect disc flight, and how to use that knowledge to choose the best discs for maximum distance.

Watch this amazing sidearm shot by 4x PDGA Champion Paul McBeth, using an Innova Destroyer, Star Plastic:

The Key Difference Between Forehand and Backhand 

Maximizing distance in disc golf requires high release velocity to generate both forward motion and lift, as well as high rotational inertia to maintain stable flight for as long as possible.

While many players find they generate more release velocity when throwing forehand, testing has demonstrated that a forehand release produces (on average) 25% less spin than a backhand motion with similar release velocity.

This relative lack of spin causes two problems:

  1. Reduced total flight time due to loss of stable flight
  2. Off-axis torque, or “wobble,” which reduces flight distance through both wasted motion and reduced aerodynamic performance.

“Wait, I throw a forehand drive farther than a backhand drive. How does that work?”

Simple — if a player can generate enough additional release velocity using a forehand motion (compared to their backhand throw), the disc will still fly father, even if the total time in flight is less.  Example:

Figure 1

Figure 1 above represents a 70mph forehand drive vs. a 65mph backhand drive.  Even though the backhand’s stability kept it airborne for a full second longer, the forehand drive still traveled 12.6 feet farther due to its higher flight velocity. Now….what if we could keep the forehand drive in flight for the full 8 seconds?

Increasing Flight Time to Increase Distance

To maximize forehand flight distance, we must extend the duration of its stable flight time, and to extend its stable flight time we must increase its rotational inertia.  Here’s where science lends a hand.

Rotational inertia can be increased three ways:

  1. Increase the rate of spin (rotations per minute)
  2. Increase the diameter of the disc
  3. Increase the percentage of total weight located near the disc’s perimeter

Because #1 is limited by the forehand throwing motion, and almost all drivers fall within a very slim diameter range (#2), the solution to increasing rotational inertia is #3, using a disc with most of the weight concentrated around the perimeter, i.e., high Speed, wide-rim drivers.

The perimeter weighting of high-Speed drivers will also serve to reduce or even eliminate flutter from off-axis torque.

Increasing Torque Resistance to Reduce Flutter

Overstable discs are aerodynamically designed to resist the torque that creates understable flight.  This torque resistance also serves to quickly stabilize in-flight flutter caused by off-axis torque.

If the flutter a player is experiencing is moderate to severe, using a heavier gram-weight disc will also help reduce flutter.  While we typically recommend lighter discs for maximum distance, the benefits of reducing/eliminating flutter should exceed any potential distance decreases from the additional weight.

Specific Recommendations

Putting it all together, here are two specific recommendations, based on your level of play:

Best For Beginner / Intermediate Players


Manufacturer: Innova
Optimal Weight: 170-175g
Optimal Plastic: Champion

The Firebird’s low profile (1.4cm high) and high mold parting line combine to create highly torque-resistant, overstable flight.  The 1.9cm rim will provide good rotational inertia without being so wide that it is difficult for Intermediate players to use.

Champion plastic is very torque resistant and also produces additional high-speed stability. The 165-175g weighting provides excellent torque resistance, perfect for beginners and intermediates.

See the Firebird’s full Flight Ratings Analysis and Reviews

Rated 5.00 out of 5
$16.99 $13.45

Best for Intermediate / Advanced Players


Manufacturer: Discraft
Optimal Weight: 167-172g
Optimal Plastic: Z-Line

Maximum stability and a wider rim (2.1cm) produce optimal torque resistance for forehand throws, but with the aerodynamics and carry to also provide superior flight distance when thrown with power.

Performance is further enhanced when paired with Z-Line plastic (Discraft’s most rigid plastic), giving the Flick superior torque resistance for maximum flight consistency.

See the Flick’s full Flight Ratings Analysis and Reviews


Rated 5.00 out of 5
$15.99 $13.95

Best for Advanced / Professional Players


Manufacturer: MVP Disc Sports
Optimal Plastic:
Recommended Weight Class: 

MVP’s “Gyro” overmold technology takes gyroscopic stabilization and off-axis torque prevention to a level that’s simply not achievable with standard disc technology.

By using a high molecular weight material in the overmolded rim, MVP is able to shift a significant percentage of the disc’s total weight to the rim for maximum stabilization.

Additionally, MVP’s gyro effect delays Fade, resulting in longer, straighter finishes for even more distance.

If you still haven’t tried an overmold disc, it’s time to start. 

See the Nitro’s Full Flight Ratings Analysis and Reviews

We Hope This Helped!

If you have any additional questions, please let us know using our contact page.

We are always happy to help members of our community!


Rated 5.00 out of 5
$16.99 $13.45
Rated 5.00 out of 5
$18.99 $15.95
Rated 5.00 out of 5
$18.50 $15.99
Rated 5.00 out of 5
$15.99 $13.95
Rated 5.00 out of 5
$15.99 $13.95


9 thoughts on “The Best Forehand (Sidearm) Disc Golf Discs

  1. Jim John Marks says:

    Is there a known technique for releasing a forehand throw with a slightly anhyzer wrist angle to “offset” to some extent the tendency of highly overstable discs (such as the two recommended here) to fade out early compared to a slightly less stable disc (which might suffer flutter or not have enough rim weight)? The resulting slight S line of an anhyzer release should keep the disc airborne longer, yes? Or is there an additional downside (reduced release velocity?) which offsets this advantage?

    • Bart Bird says:

      Jim John – Good Question!

      Most Forehand throwers generate enough release velocity to handle overstable discs, but yes, if you do find that a specific disc is too overstable for you to get an optimal flight pattern, a slight anhyzer release will help the disc turn over (flip) during the high-speed portion of flight, thereby extending total flight-time.

  2. Andy says:

    Axiom and MVP discs claim to have higher rotational inertia by design. Does their science hold up? If it does would their discs be better for forehand throwing?

    • Bart Bird says:

      Andy – MVP uses a higher density material around the rim (shifting the weight to the perimeter), which should increase rotational inertia. What we have not yet determined, however, is the how this design performs in terms of torque-resistance. We are doing more analysis along these lines now and will let you know what we find!

    • Bart Bird says:

      Troy – you have three options: (1) moving up to a Speed 13 (Boss), (2) choosing a Speed 12 that is more overstable than the Destroyer (Xcalibur), or (3) increasing Speed and Stability (Ape). The Boss and Ape are both available in Blizzard, but the lightest Xcalibur available is in Star plastic at +170g — MUCH heavier than the Blizzard plastic you are using.

  3. Casey Holmes says:

    Wonder if you could take 2 lightweight blizzard champion discs, such as Destroyers that are both 138 grams for example, and add around 40 grams or so of mass to each disc using watch batteries or something uniform that’d be carefully placed with 3M double-sided sticky tape so that the discs stay radially balanced, but have one of the discs get weighted toward the outside and the other toward the center to try to make some comparison of the exact same disc profiles with the exact same total masses, with just different mass distributions. . . So then each disc could get analyzed with both forehand and backhand throws.

    Maybe even make a pair of mass inserts that each fit up into the bottom of any disc, onto the bottom of the flight plate, with all the perfect mass spacing already locked in, allowing the ability to quickly make 2 different mass distribution versions of a pair of any lightweight-to-begin-with discs to compare. Seems like it could really objectify a lot of BH vs FH disc data/theory, if it’d work of course.

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