BUYING GUIDE | THROW & CATCH
Ultimate Frisbee is played together, as is playing throw and catch frisbee in the park.
For both of these activities catching the disc is of importance. Therefore in choosing the right frisbee two things are important: 100% stability and a shape that you can easily catch.
For throwing only, a disc needs to be rigid enough to be able to cope with the centrifugal forces on release. For catching, a somewhat softer and more flexible disc is easier. Balancing rigidity and flexibility is therefore the key to choosing the disc that suits you.
Every approved game-disc for Ultimate has great quality of balance, weight and feel. At Frisbeeshop, we aim to only sell the best. Therefore all our Ultimate discs are UPA and WFDF approved.
The reasons for choosing a different frisbee than an official ultimate disc can be many, for instance when you also want to use the disc for playing Disc Golf . The fact that you want to play with a single disc with the whole family could be another reason, or the fact that you are visually or physically impaired. If you need help choosing, send us an e-mail, we’ll be glad to be of assistance.
Depending on age and physical development, we generally advise to consider the issues in the following table (age is our main guideline, because physical development strongly differs from person to person):
General best choice
175 grams ultimate disc or frostie
Approved by WFDF / UPA
Base your choice on youngest
Because of catching mainly
140 gram junior ultimate disc
Approved by WFDF / UPA
6 – 10
Soft & flexible
4 – 7
Soft, flexible & small
8 – 12
110 grams Daredevil Disc
Ideal weight / balance for this age*
Alternative: DDC disc
Lightweight (but vulnerable)
Alternative: GUTS disc
Can handle a beating
Frostie winter disc 175 grams
Approved and softer to the touch
140 gram junior ultimate disc
Somewhat lighter weight
DDC of Sofflite
Light & flexible
*: Expected release 2021
Use of Materials
The material used in fabrication mainly determines the properties of a good Frisbee (shape and weight off course are second and third).
All Frisbees we sell are made of 100% polyethyleen (PE). The good thing about PE is that it does not give sharp edges and can be re-modelled when damaged. A frisbee made from PE will last you 5 to 15 years, depending on how you treat it. Because it lasts so long, you do not need to buy a new disc every year. And when it does eventually break, the material can be recycled.
Out of principle, frisbeeshop does not sell PVC discs, cheap toy frisbees, premium give-aways, foam frisbees or frisbees made of fabric and glue: our view is that these negatively impact the view people have of our wonderful sports. On top of that, such items also use lots of raw materials, therefore need more transport and create excessive waste by lasting less long. As for foam and PVC frisbees, they just not fly very well, not even in the hands of a professional. When confronted with a free frisbee, just say ‘No’, just don’t be a part of this practice.
You will learn to catch by doing it; practice is your best friend and it is usually best to learn catching by using two hands (the pancake catch). Catching becomes harder when a frisbee is either too heavy or too hard. Speed is also an important factor: begin slowly and try throwing faster when you get the hang of it.
At the age between 5 and 8, the hand-eye coordination is still developing. Because of the chance of accidents and the fact that it needs to be fun all the time, we advise to use lighter weight frisbees with softer plastic around this age.
Please be aware that Disc Golf discs are not designed for catching. Of course you can try, but the smaller size combined with the heavy weight and sharp edges of Disc Golf frisbees (especially the drivers) can make catching painful. If you do try, take a disc with a slow speed, deep rim and a glide of 5 or 6.
Throwing techniques with a frisbee
A frisbee flies because it spins. Spin originates in your fingers and wrist. Move fluently and flexibly, focus on the snap of your wrist just before the release. From there, make it up as you go along and be creative. If you can make it spin, you can make it fly!
You learn mostly by not being scared of making mistakes and practicing as often as you can. Find a frisbee club, where there are people that can teach you.
Seeing a frisbee fly feels like magic. With a little practice you can steer a disc perfectly to the target you’re aiming for. Even the route is takes can be altered in detail. The most widely known throwing technique is the backhand. The grip of the backhand is accessible, but its movement and especially the aim is fairly complex.
The hammer and forehand are way less complex, but their grip feels a bit weird in the beginning. Amongst other throwing techniques are the overhead, scoober (or scuba), thumber, overhand, pushpass and upside down.
How do you take care of your frisbee?
The material used to make a professional frisbee contains thermoplasts that gradually leave the plastic. Because of this, the frisbee becomes harder when it ages. The two main driving forces behind this stiffening process are UV light and changes in temperature. Frisbees you rediscover in the garden shed after lying there for 40 years usually crumble on contact. Leaving frisbees on the parcel shelf in the back of your car is the best example of what not to do.
Store your discs in the dark, preferably in a place that is somewhat cooler than room temperature. More important than the absolute temperature are the changes in temperature. So it is better to store at constant room temperature with no changes than it is at cooler temperature with changes. A nail on the inside of a door in the hallway is a good spot to hang your frisbees, or stash them somewhere on a high shelf.
Ideally, avoid using your disc when playing on pavement. On impact the frisbee wears fast and it creates sharp edges. Preferably play on gras or on the beach.
A frisbee can bend. When this happens you can easily bend it back in shape again, if you are using a professional WFDF approved game-disc for Ultimate that is.
Want to know more about the playing rules of Ultimate Frisbee? Click here