Spot the Maniac – Instagram Contest!

The second part of #discmaniatour 2014 kicks off! The tour starts from Madison, Wisconsin on Friday 8/22/2014 with our  Tour Captain, 2009 World Champion Avery Jenkins. Our road warriors have been equipped with the latest Discmania goodies & a motorhome called the Maniac. To celebrate the start of the tour, we are offering our fans a chance to win sweet Discmania goodies. The rules are simple:

1. Spot the #discmaniatour motor home (pictured above) on tour
2. Snap a picture of the motor home
3. Post your picture to instagram with the hashtag #discmaniatour
4. Every week we pick one lucky winner to receive a surprise prize

So you may want to have your smartphone ready on locations we stop by at. The Maniac will be present on all of the upcoming Deep in the Game clinics in the Northern States of US and in Canada this summer. It will also be around biggest competitions in the area.

Also, give us a follow on instagram, if you haven’t already!

See you on tour!

Guess what I’m doing.

Yeah, you guessed right. The backhand. I told you I was obsessive. The good news is that I have figured a few things out and I think they make sense. Now if I can just explain it and more importantly do it right myself.

First, I'm going to start with a fine meal of crow. I had blogged that I was pretty unhappy with the suggestion for beginners to learn to drive from a stand still. You can read my min-rant here if you like. I should have probably been a bit more thoughtful on this point. I was wrong.

After countless hours or rebuilding my form, I think that a very important key to fixing form is timing. Timing is a very big part of the magic. It's very hard to learn timing because so much is happening in about a tenth of a second. I won't get into all the things just yet, but I will say that learning timing without the x-step seems to be much easier. It's hard enough to avoid common form issues (rounding, over opening, strong arming) when you're moving slow, and almost impossible to fix them when you're moving faster.

Now what exactly is a stand still? Feet planted in cement? No. And unfortunately, that's what I thought it meant: plant both feet on the ground like a statue and try to generate some linear forward motion. A stand still drive means no x-step, but you'll want to lift your plant foot off the ground during the back-swing and drive off the ball of your back foot. It will help get things moving forward.

Crow eaten. It tasted like chicken.

Next, I'm done calling it a reach-back. It's now a back-swing. Reaching back, bending at the waist and getting my weight too far over my back foot took some serious work to undo. So it's a back-swing and there's no REACHING.

Okay, so let's talk for a second about the core mechanism that we're using to throw a backhand. What accelerates the disc? I thought for the better part of a year that it was just a big back-swing and you try to get your hand going really fast. Fast hands = fast disc, or so I assumed. It makes sense, especially when you watch the pros who can throw a country mile and they are definitely moving really fast.

That's wrong.

There's a mechanism in the backhand that can do nearly all the real work of accelerating the disc:

It's pulling around the front of the disc, from hand on the outside of the disc (when it's in front of your right pec)  to the other side of the disc (when your arm is fully extended forward), where the disc will rip from your grip.

Check out where Will holds the disc to... That's about the 5:00 position!
That little bit of magic is absurdly powerful and it means that you don't have to throw the disc hard. What you do, at the simplest level, is hold onto the disc long enough to take advantage of this double pendulum (your arm) that's about to swing open with the weight of your body generating your forward momentum. The longer you hold on, the faster that thing rockets out.

"But the pros are throwing the disc really hard and really fast from the back of their back-swing!"

Yes, AND, they are very good. They can come into correct positions with a ton of hand speed and stay in the exact right spots, either because they've practiced everyday for the better part of their lives or because they are just lucky to have absurd genetics. But mostly it's practice.

Either way, they're still using this mechanism of pulling around the disc to accelerate it. The big secret to this thing is that you have to keep your hand on the outside of the disc as late as possible. Why? Because the more distance that your hand has to travel around the front of the disc, the faster it will go to get to the release point and because from this position you can leverage the holy poop out of the disc.

The longer the distance your hand is forced to travel to the release point, the faster it will have to accelerate to get there and the more severe of an angle you can lever the outside edge.

Who cares if you bring 50mph of hand speed into your chest if you lose half of that distance around the disc and only accelerate to 60mph? Come into your chest with 20 mph of hand speed and accelerate to 100mph because you're using the magic.

When you lose that distance,  your hand doesn't need to accelerate as much to travel a shorter distance to the release point.

If you leave the hand on the outside of the disc, you'll pull your hand around the disc at ridiculous speeds. Easily fast enough to throw a putter 200' without using hips or a back-swing. That's how much work this thing does.
Dragging the disc by the nose.
Above is an example from a r/discgolf request that I helped with recently. I pointed out that "where your hand is in that screen cap, there's no way to accelerate your hand to the hit from there. If you leave it on the outside, as you get closer to the hit point, your hand will have to accelerate greatly to cover that distance to get around the disc."

I'm not picking on this nice fella, I just see this issue all the time in form requests. I saw it in my own form, that's for sure. It is very easy to do incorrectly but happily it's not that hard to fix. The key for me is to practice guiding the disc in my back-swing towards my right arm pit on a straight line until the disc is in front of my right pec, hand still on the outside, elbow driving forward.  To practice this, you will need a very technical piece of hardware: a wall.

Can you make that happen?! Good.

Guide that disc into the right pec while standing close enough to a wall that you can see if you're guiding it in a straight line. Another nice thing this drill does, is show you if you're over-opening and how you need to stand oriented to your release point, to pull the disc on a straight line.

The throwing arm shoulder has a very nasty habit of pulling your hand forward on the disc. Because your arm is bent at the elbow, while the disc is pulled into your chest, if you turn your shoulders to face a bit forward, your hand moves forward. Try it and watch in dismay as it happens. If your shoulders are starting to turn towards the target before the disc is extended out front, then you're over-opening.

This is a big part of what timing is all about. It's getting your body into the right places at the right time.

The right place for your hand is on the outside of the disc, in front of your right pec while your shoulders are making a line at your target, and your elbow pointing out front. From that point, the momentum of your arm moving forward is going to take care of the rest, so long as you hold on to the disc. Looking perpendicular to the line you're throwing on helps quite a bit to fix over-opening. After you release the disc, your shoulders will be coming through, and that'll pull your head forward.

So when exactly do you get to start throwing harder?

You do not throw hard with your arm.

You will start to generate more forward momentum with your hips. Drive harder from your back foot into your plant. Back swing keeps the disc on a straight line into the right pec. You will focus on a clean rip that levers out between your thumb and index-knuckle. You will stay like a loose whip that glides through these important angles and transfers all that momentum into pulling your hand around that disc. You will stay upright and braced against the plant foot. You will delay the back-swing a bit later, so that the whole system has to happen a bit faster.

The same mechanism is still in action, so you have to protect that important space around the front of the disc, because if you lose that space, you lose the magic.

I know this seems counter intuitive, but watch Simon Lizotte drive:

Hand on the outside.
Elbow out front.
Shoulders closed.
Braced hard against the plant foot.
I try to watch this footage critically and find those magic spots. The best of the top pros all have some unique qualities, but the commonality is what we're after.

Hand on the outside.
Elbow WAY out front.
Shoulders closed
Braced hard against the plant foot.
Paul McBeth protecting the magic. (Full video)

Extending that elbow out front, while keeping your hand on the outside, shoulders aimed down the line is what we're shooting for. Take everything else out until you can protect those core functions. You'll be shocked at what kind of accuracy and distance you can get with just those things. Adding in x-steps and little more "heat" into the system is fine, so long as you are still protecting the magic.

Good luck friends, and happy throwing and hopefully I can move on from the last 10 weeks of retooling and learning how to be comfortable with my new technique. It's showing big improvements in my game, but not without some growing pains. Throwing hyzer and ranging is tough right now. I've been having to take some off of shots that I am now throwing long and I'm throwing mids on shots that had previously been drivers, so there's going to be some rough patches.

But that's disc golf!

Portland – the Host City of the Pro Worlds 2014

Portland AKA “The City of Roses”, “Stump Town”, and many other nicknames has been blessed with being chosen to host the 2014 PDGA Pro Disc Golf World Championships. This city has some of the most beautiful landmarks and terrain to be found anywhere in the world. With these features, the 2014 Pro Worlds  is one that will not be forgotten any time soon by all of those who were in attendance.

The Pro Worlds are being played at five course locations:

Along with these five courses there are 35+ courses that are within driving distance of Portland, which is more than enough selection to keep things interesting and making sure your game on its toes. That being said, Portland is most certainly one of the up and coming Disc Golf cities across the world and the great clubs and organizations don’t have any intention of letting off the gas pedal any time soon.

With these five Pro Worlds courses there are three of them which are fairly new: Trojan Park (2006), Blue Lake Regional Park (2012), and McCormick Park (2013).

Trojan Park could be one of the most majestic courses that we have seen and it seems to be just showing it’s flowers for the first time now as it’s starting to get more play and getting worked in more. The course is one of the further courses from Portland, it took us about an hour to travel to but once we arrived we see why they chose to select this course for the tournament. Yes, there were a few things that needed adjusting but there has never been a course that is perfect from start to finish. The photo opportunities on this course seemed to be endless, every time you turned around there was a new view that needed to be captured. We think this course could be one of those epic courses that people will be traveling from all over to try to take on, and with more play more lines will appear and more shots will inspire young disc golfers to imagine shots they never shot before.

Simon driving at the Trojan Park.

Simon driving at the Trojan Park.

Blue Lake Regional Park. This park is surprisingly good looking for only being 2 years old. Everything is clean cut and seems to be chiseled of stone. That statement rings true unless you leave the fairways. Off the fairways is a jungle of tall grass and blackberry bushes which is sure to eat wandering discs. But back to the good stuff, the fairways and trees that are in bounds seems to be perfectly trimmed and manicured to give you the best possible chance to play this course clean and not get the unlucky one lone branch knock downs. All of the tees pads are very close to level with the ground,, the tee signs are clear and easy to read and the eye catching Innova DisCatchers are a target you will be sure to be able to find when looking down the fairway.

One of the newest courses in the Portland area is McCormick Park. Which could be the trickiest of all of the Worlds courses to manage. This course will be one of those courses the people will come to so they can master their accuracy and gain the confidence of being able to manipulate and control their disc at all times. This course will eventually bloom into a local favorite and become an escape from the busy roar of the city. It will truly take a World Champion to manage this course and come out on top.

Pier Park is one of those courses that if you’re in the area, you have to at least go check it out at least once. This old park doesn’t have the length that the other courses in the area has but what it lacks in length it makes it up with the most unique views and fun lines to play, it is a must to play for sure.

The last 2 courses are located at Milo McIver. These courses are considered 2009 World Champion and Team Discmania Player Avery Jenkins’ favorite courses of all time. With the long lines and variety of all types of shots found on this course makes it close to one of those magical places that you could play all day and look forward to coming back to the next day.

All of these courses test each and every one of these competitors. There is a little mix of everything. Whoever is crowned the 2014 World Champion, will be tried and tested for sure.

Portland also is home to two of the most widely know non disc producing brands in Disc Golf. These two brands are Keen and Huk Lab. Keen has been one of the biggest catalysts for Disc Golf in Portland. They are one of the main sponsors to help with the development of Blue Lake Disc Golf course and always seem to have their fingers in something to help with the growth of Disc Golf as a whole. The other brand is Huk Lab and we’re pretty sure you know at least one person with a Huk Lab tri-fly disc. Huk Lab has one of the most impressive Disc Golf teams assembled across the globe and the unique style of the clothing and gear is sure to grab many future players’ attention. With these two power houses found in the city there is no doubt that Disc Golf is sure to grow here.

Avery checking sweet shirts at Huk Lab.

Avery checking sweet shirts at Huk Lab.

Discmania discs at Huk Lab.

Discmania discs at Huk Lab.

Simon says: you gotta visit Portland!

Simon says: you gotta visit Portland!

All in all, if you’re an avid disc golfer looking to try to take on the most challenging courses or someone looking to take a vacation to a disc golf location, Portland should be on your radar for destinations to visit!

Discmania G-line stock releases

While most of the Disc Golf world has their eyes peeled on the PDGA Pro World Championship action in Oregon this week, we are rolling out some highly anticipated new plastic. The initial reaction to our first run G-line releases was great and we are confident that our first 2 stock release models in G-line will find their way to the bags of numerous players around the world.

About the new G-line plastic

Aside from being probably our prettiest plastic blend to date with metallic shimmer in the plastic making each disc look unique, the G-line also just might also be the grippiest plastic blend in the market. The G-line is developed from Innova’s popular GStar material and much like the GStar is a flexier and grippier blend of Innova’s Star plastic, the G-line could be described as a flexier and grippier blend of our popular S-line material.

While the G-line material is noticeably softer than our other plastics, our initial testing has shown that despite it’s soft grip, very few players would consider the G-line plastic too floppy for their use. Another great benefit of this plastic is also the great grip it provides even in very cold weather. Despite being a spot on pick for summertime play, the G-line is also probably the best choice of plastic for cold winter rounds.

Stay true to your line with the G-line PD

The first stock release in our new G-line material was no other than the PD (Also known as Freak), a truly essential model in our line up. Originally released around the time of Disc Golf European Masters in Sweden, the G-PD has already received some praising reviews from the field. Comparing to the S-line PD, which is the closest comparison in our current line-up, the G-PD is very similar but yet so different. While both discs can handle a lot of power and headwind, the probability to see a a very slight high speed turn is a touch more more likely with the G-line version. In addition to this, the G-line PD also features a touch milder fade than the S-PD, concluding in a straighter finish. With these two features combined, the end result is a very dependable PD, that likes to fly a touch further than PD’s in our other higher end plastics.

G-line FD – a versatile workhorse for all skill levels

While the PD is also truly a very versatile disc, you need a certain amount of power to use it the way it supposed to be used. For our 2nd G-line release we wanted to choose a model than can be useful to just about anybody, no matter what skill level or arm speed. And what option could possibly be better than the FD (Also known as Jackal)? While no official records are available for the total amount of each disc model sold in Europe, we think it’s safe to say that the FD in it’s different variations is the most sold driver in Europe over the last couple of years and there is a huge amount of players in the US too that have found the FD to be their fairway driver of choice. To us this is no surprise – it’s probably the easiest disc to throw truly straight in its speed range and it performs different angles very well. Comparing to the closest available comparison, the S-line FD, the G-FD is very slightly more prone to high speed turn while the finish is very neutral, virtually no fade at all when thrown correctly. The G-line material also allows a great glide, that can carry the G-FD much further than most fairway drivers out there.

Our long time collaborator, The Hat Guy aka Antti Vuento, teamed up with Avery Jenkins to produce this sweet review video of the G-FD, offering the perspectives about the disc by a power-armed Pro player and a regular Joe:

Our discs should have a place in your local store!

Both the G-PD and G-FD have already seen their official release dates and should be arriving to our retailers in the coming days. If, for some reason, your local disc shop does not carry our product line yet, help us out and ask them to stock up! We strongly believe that you should be able to buy our discs from your favourite disc outlet and in many cases, customers requests are the way to get the retailers to get interested in new products.


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