Stability is tricky. The way discs fly is overly complicated, but can be broken down into four simple flight ratings that make up each and every disc. Today, we’re gonna be going over everything to do with stability so that you can get a good understanding of it (and hopefully improve your disc golf game).
After some much needed thought on the subject, it was clear to me that a complete and thorough guide was needed on the subject of stability. Now there are a couple of short resources out there, but here today we are going to be talking about stability in its entirety.
The goal of this post is to teach you about what stability is, what the difference is between overstable, stable, and understable discs, and to finish up with some tips on how to master stability.
So I want you to think about a few things before you dive into this post:
- What is your experience with stability?
- How do you think stability can make you a better disc golfer?
- Lastly, stability is one of the key factors for determining disc flight. Are you playing with the right discs for your skill level? Don’t worry if you’re not, because we’ll go over this in detail.
What is stability in disc golf?
Stability is a disc’s tendency to turn over to the right, fly straight, or fade to the left, during the beginning of flight (For rhbh throws). Discs, when released, will fly according to how stable, understable, or overstable they are.
Stable: discs will usually fly straight when released flat.
Understable: discs will turn over to the right when released flat.
Overstable: discs will usually fade more to the left at the beginning of flight when released flat.
Stability is simply how a disc immediately flies after it is released from the throwers hand straight and flat. The level of stability in a disc will determine if it is going to turn to the right right away, fly straight through the whole flight, or fade to the left early on in the disc’s flight.
And this is determined by each individual disc. The cool thing is that every single disc has a unique set of personality characteristics called flight ratings. That means each and every disc is unique. Each disc flies based on speed, glide, turn, and fade. See more about flight ratings here. The stability of a disc is affected by the 3rd flight rating, or the high-speed turn of a disc.
High speed turn is a flight characteristic of a disc to turn to the right (for RHBH thrower) during the fastest part of its flight (the early flight.) The degree to which a disc resists high speed turn determines the disc’s stability. Discs that have a lot of high speed turn are understable. Discs that have a moderate amount of high speed turn are stable, and discs that resist turning right even at high speeds are overstable.
The turn of a disc is based on a sliding scale with numbers from 1 to -5. A disc with a 1 to 0 turn rating is overstable. A -1 to -2 rating is a stable to slightly understable disc. And a -3 to -5 rating is an understable disc. The disc in the picture about is slightly understable. This is a decent disc for beginners that you can get the Dragon here on InfiniteDiscs.com.
What’s the difference between overstable and understable in disc golf?
With a rhbh thrower, overstable discs tend to turn more to the left at the beginning of flight. Whereas understable discs turn over more to the right at the beginning of flight. When first thrown, overstable turns more left and understable turns more right.
Understable discs are exactly what you need as a beginner. These discs are designed to not need as much speed behind them and turn over much more to the right when first thrown. As long as the disc is understable, has high glide, has low speed, and has low fade, it’s good for a beginner. Also, if you’re new to the game, understable discs are easier to control. This will allow you to be more accurate and get maximum distance from your shots early on.
Intermediate to advanced players can also use these understable discs in a variety of ways including specialty shots (like rollers).
Best understable discs for beginners
The Innova Leopard is definitely one of the best beginner fairway drivers. It literally comes in Innova’s beginner disc golf pack. Check out the Leopard here on InfiniteDiscs.com or you can get it in this beginner pack on Amazon.
I also love the Latitude 64 River fairway driver. This driver is very smooth with flight ratings built for the beginner disc golfer. Check it out here (link to InfiniteDiscs.com).
As for mid-range discs, check out the Discraft Buzzz. It’s just about the most popular mid-range disc on the market and is great for truly learning the game. Check current prices here on InfiniteDiscs.com.
You can also check out our huge post, “The 37 Best Disc Golf Discs for Beginners (You Need These),” here on the site for more recommendations.
Now overstable discs are those that are not really meant for beginners. These discs, normally in the driver category because of the design of the disc, require a lot of speed in order to fly straight during flight. That means you need to have a lot of arm strength and power behind your throw. Overstable discs usually fade into the opposite direction of the disc’s spin. So for a rhbh thrower, the disc will spin right and turn to the left. But these discs are usually the most predictable for better players, which is why pros love them so much.
These discs work well in a variety of situations including: serious headwind, skip shots, and for when you need a disc that finishes hard left.
Best overstable discs for intermediate/advanced players
The Innova Champion Boss is definitely one of the best overstable discs for your bag. Being that it is the current world distance record champion, you can count on this disc for monster drives. Check it out here on InfiniteDiscs.com.
The Innova Gator is a very overstable disc that is relatively new to the disc golf scene. The Gator is a bulky mid-range that is great for shots you want to park right next to the basket. Check it out here on InfiniteDiscs.com.
The Dynamic Discs Sheriff is hands down my favorite disc. And I’ve made that known all over this site. But I love it because of how stable it is. From the first time I threw it, I knew I liked it. It was just such a straight flying disc. You can grab one here on InfiniteDiscs.com.
Innova’s Atlas is a really great disc. Even though it’s somewhat overstable, it still flies ridiculously straight like a stable disc. I love the feel of the double mold and how adaptable this disc is. Grab one here at InfiniteDiscs.com.
This is how stability can make you a better disc golfer
Compared to the two opposite ends of the spectrum, overstable and understable, stable discs are right in the middle. They’re usually very balanced, straight flying discs that are great for intermediate players on up. As a beginner, I would still stay away because these discs are still too overstable and require too much speed in order to fly straight.
We know that stability is a tough subject to understand, so we tried to simplify it in this post because it can help your game tremendously. How? Well, understanding stability can help you with a couple of things including:
1. Disc selection on the variety of different holes and shots: you will be faced with dogleg left and right shots, obstacle shots, shots over water or around it, and a variety of other crazy situations to boot. So understanding which discs to use in each situation is crucial. You may need that really understable disc to throw a roller through thick trees. Or a very overstable disc to hyzer hard left around a bunch of obstacles in your path.
2. A lot of golfers don’t understand stability completely: stability is a lot more complex than people realize. Even as I was writing this post, I was fact-checking and editing in small things that even I didn’t know about with stability. The concept is complex, but don’t let it go over your head. Stability is simple. Learn the fundamentals of stability and build from there.
The best stable disc for your bag
Dynamic Discs Sheriff – Distance Driver (13, 5, -1, 2)
Best for: intermediate, advanced players
Oh, man, I LOVE the Sheriff. I’ve recommended this disc in almost every discs post that I possibly could have because of how straight it flies and how great it feels in the hand. The Sheriff is a fantastic distance driver great for those transitioning into intermediate play. Advanced players can really use this disc for distance, as it’s meant to fly far as f*ck. This disc is truly the distance multi-tool in my bag. Grab one here on InfiniteDiscs.com.
Grab one here on InfiniteDiscs.com.
For some more recommendations on stable discs, check out our post, “13 Best Stable Distance Drivers.”
5 tips to master stability
1. Master turn and fade: hopefully you’ve begun to understand turn and stability as you’ve gone through this post. But you need to take it a step further in order to improve and master stability. Learn how low-speed fade can affect disc flight.
2. Throw the right discs for your skill level: we’ve talked a little bit about discs and skill level in this post, but we stress this important concept all over our site. Make sure that you are throwing discs that pair with the skill level you are currently at. Understable discs are mainly for beginner players, stable discs are for intermediate players, and overstable discs are for really good players. Simple, right?
3. Why not learn a little bit more about disc flight?: knowing the physics of disc flight can be helpful and can give you a small advantage on the course. Check out or post, “How Does a Disc Golf Disc Fly Through the Air?”
4. Learn about Hyzer and Anhyzer: understanding how the disc flies according to release angle can really affect your disc golf game. Learning this allows you to use stability and angle together to be able to throw any shot on the course. Check out our post, “What’s the Difference Between a Hyzer and an Anhyzer?”
5. Practice: this is probably one of the most taken for granted tips for getting better at anything in the world of disc golf. But I still post it as a tip all the time. Want to get better at driving? Go practice. Want to putt better? Go practice. And if you want to master stability and how discs fly, go practice. This tip is simple and easy, too.
If you’ve gotten this far, you must really want to learn everything about disc golf. If you’re interested in more frequently asked questions, you can check out the resources below or hit up our FAQ page here.
You can also check out our awesome related content.
You can also grab a copy of our book, “The Disc Golf Player’s Manual,” here on the site. It’s packed full of extremely practical tips and tricks to help you immediately start improving on the course!