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What Makes A Disc Overstable?

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If you’ve heard the term overstable and weren’t sure what it meant, this is the right place for you. If you know what overstable means but still want to know what makes a disc overstable, this is also the right place for you.

In this article, we are going to go over what overstable refers to in disc golf but we’re also going to go further and discuss what physical properties make a disc overstable, what does overstable mean, what is turn and what are overstable discs used for and other questions you might have around this topic.

what makes a disc overstable











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So let’s jump into the questions:

What Does Stability Mean?

Stability is a disc golf term used to describe the flight path of a disc, specifically the tendency of the disc to fly in a specific direction after it leaves a player’s hand.  So for a right-handed player throwing the disc using a backhand technique, if the disc tends to fly straight it would be considered a stable disc. If the disc tends to fly to the left, it is considered overstable. When the disc tends to fly to the right, it’s considered understable.

What Is Turn?

Turn is the rating system used to measure stability. When looking at most discs manufactured today, they usually have four numbers on the front of them. The third number in this rating system is the turn rating.

The turn rating system is a scale between 1 and – 5. Discs with a turn rating of 1 are considered overstable. Discs with a turn rating of 0 are considered stable. Finally, discs with a turn rating of -1 through -5 are considered understable.  

What Does Overstable Mean?

Like we discussed before, overstable refers to a disc that tends to fly to the right when thrown by a right-handed backhanded thrower. Discs that are overstable would have a turn rating of 1. When thrown at high speeds, overstable discs are less likely to turn over than stable and understable discs.  

What Physical Properties Make A Disc Overstable?

There are several disc properties that can affect the stability of a disc. For instance, higher speed discs with wide rims tend to be more overstable. Discs that are shaped like a dome tend to be less overstable or more understable. Discs with beaded edges tend to be more overstable. The plastic type used for the disc can also affect the stability of the disc which we will talk about in the next section.

Dave Dunipace the founder of Innova Champion Discs and the father of the modern disc says about overstability “A more reliable marker is the parting line height which is the separation line on the nose of the disc.” To go into what Dave said a little further, discs with a higher parting line will be more overstable and discs with a lower parting line will be more understable.

What Plastics Are More Overstable?

The plastic type your disc mold is in can affect the stability of the disc. If you have ever bought two of the same mold in two different plastics types, you may have noticed they fly differently. When it comes to Innova plastics, the Champion and Metal Flake plastic are the most overstable. Then comes Star, XT, DX, and Blizzard in that order.  

Something else to consider with disc plastic type and stability is the durability that the plastic provides. As discs are played with they began to ware and as they ware they tend to become more understable or less overstable. If the plastic type is more durable, it slows this process down and discs will maintain their initial flight characteristics longer.

What Are Overstable Discs Used For?

Overstable discs work great for spike hyzers and skip shots. They are recommended for more advanced players because those players tend to have a higher arm speed. The reason overstable disc work better for higher arm speeds players is they won’t turn over as easily. Similarly, overstable discs are more accurate when thrown in windy conditions. 

Closing Thoughts

To sum up what we just learned: overstable discs are less likely to turn over when thrown at higher speeds. They have a 1 turn rating. Many factors can affect the overall stability of the disc including the plastic type but Dave Dunipace states the most reliable factor is the parting line. Finally, overstable discs are recommended for advanced players and windy conditions.

Image Credit Flickr Creative Commons – Evan Lovely

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