When purchasing a golf disc the type of plastic is an important factor to consider. Some plastics are expensive while others are cheaper, but the differences only begin there. Different plastics offer different durabilities, flight characteristics, and grips. Golfers need to be aware of the general characteristics of each type of plastic.
“Standard plastics” include Innova’s DX plastic and Discraft’s Pro-D plastic. Discs made of these materials are the least expensive and wear down the fastest. Much like a pitcher who scuffs a baseball with sandpaper, the more imperfections in the material, the more control the thrower will have. Standard plastics therefore, are the easiest to control. They wear down very quickly and generally become understable with age. “Beat in” discs made of standard plastic make great roller and anhyzer discs.
The next line of plastics such as Innova’s Pro line or Discraft‘s Elite-X discs are much more durable but generally offer a less consistent grip, especially when wet. They are slightly more expensive, but will last longer than their cheaper counterparts.
“Premium plastics” are the most durable of all discs. Innova calls their premium plastic “Champion”. Discraft calls theirs “Elite-Z”. In either case, you can easily spot these plastics because they are made in translucent colors. Premium plastic discs tend to remain overstable for longer periods of time. While these will maintain their original flight characteristics longer, they are also more difficult to control and generally don’t fly quite as far as standard discs.
The best of both worlds are Innova’s Star plastic and Discraft’s ESP plastic. These are very expensive (about $17 each) but they have excellent grips due to their “gummier” texture. These discs will maintain their flight characteristics for many years and remain overstable longer than any other plastic type. Discraft even offers their ESP plastic in a flexible “FLX” form.