Best Disc Golf Distance Drivers for 2023
In a recent blog we took a look at the top disc golf discs in each category (Distance Drivers, Control Drivers, Mid Ranges, and Putt and Approach). In this blog we wanted to focus on the Distance Drivers and take a deeper dive into the most popular molds in that category. We’ll look at the top 50 molds, some of the manufacturers on the list, and the best over- and understable drivers.
The top 50 list is based on the sales at Infinite Discs for 2022. They show which discs are in the most demand for the year. Here is the list of the top 50, and what percentage they sold of all distance drivers.
Top of The Class
Nearly one out of every four distance drivers sold in 2022 were either an Emperor, Wraith, Destroyer, or Pharaoh. That’s a pretty impressive domination of the market! After the top four, the numbers drop off sharply, and then continue a slow decline in percent of sales.
Thoughts Space Athletics was the first manufacturer to break the Infinite/Innova streak, and the top ten, by finishing 8th and 9th. Those two molds represent 4.4% of all distance drivers. TSA had a couple other molds that made it into the top 15. In fact, there were quite a few brands that had multiple molds in the Top 50 List. Here are the numbers:
Best Distance Drivers by Month
It’s always fun to see how the sales trends come and go. At the beginning of 2022 we were still affected by pandemic supply chain issues and so many popular distance drivers were unavailable or only available at limited quantities. In this living chart you can see the sales trends of the best distance drivers by month and can see the rapid accelerations of popular new releases.
Long-time manufacturer Innova came out on top with over one-fifth of the top 50 molds. Five brands only had one mold. But that is one more than Prodigy and Legacy had. Lone Star and Dino Discs are two newer brands, but they each had a couple molds in the top 50. Now let’s see what percentage of distance driver sales were held by the top 50 molds:
Innova molds sold nearly one in every four distance driver discs in 2022. Infinite sold nearly one in five molds. Over half of all discs in this category came from Innova, Infinite, or Discraft! Innova and Discraft are well-established names in the disc golf world. And Infinite is, or course, our own brand. Although not quite up to the top three levels of sales, there are several newer brands that have made huge gains in the market in recent years. We will talk more about those brands in a future blog.
Now let’s take a deeper look at the Top 50 and break it down into stabilities. We will find out the top 10 overstable molds, and the top 10 understable molds. See how many of these YOU throw.
Top Overstable Distance Drivers
Overstable (and Very Overstable) discs will be defined as molds that have a flight rating Fade of more than 2. The Turn can vary, but is usually 0 to -1. Molds with those flight numbers are favorable among skilled players because they can be thrown very hard, not flip too much, and still have a reliable finish. Here are the Top 10 overstable discs:
Top 10 Overstable Distance Drivers of 2022:
- Infinite Discs Emperor
- Innova Wraith
- Innova Destroyer
- TSA Animus
- TSA Synapse
- TSA Omen
- Innova Orc
- Infinite Discs Czar
- Discraft Nuke
- Discraft Zeus
The top 10 Overstable list is divided among four brands. Innova and TSA have three molds each on the list. Infinite and Discraft have two molds each. The first and second molds account for more sales than the last seven combined.
Overstable Discs Approval Dates
I pulled up the PDGA approval date for the Top 10 Overstable distance drivers and there is quite a range of dates. Here is the list:
|Infinite Discs Emperor||Feb-19|
|Thought Space Athletics Animus||Jun-20|
|Thought Space Athletics Synapse||Jan-22|
|Thought Space Athletics Omen||Mar-22|
|Infinite Discs Czar||Oct-22|
The oldest three were approved in 2004, 2005, and 2007. The most recently approved molds just got the PDGA nod last year! The Czar was just a couple of months ago as of this writing. That is an impressive start in a very crowded field of discs.
Top Understable Distance Drivers
Now let’s check out the understable distance drivers. This sub-category includes molds that have at least -2 Turn. That is typically a good number for beginners or more advanced players who want to shape their shot a little more.
Top understable disc golf drivers of 2022:
- Innova Mamba
- Infinite Discs Maya
- Discraft Avenger SS
- Discraft Scorch
- Axiom Virus
- MVP Inertia
- Dino Discs Pterodactylus
- Lone Star Disc Tumbleweed
- Dino Discs Tyrannosaurus Rex
- Innova Katana
Understable Discs Approval Dates
The Mamba and the Maya were the clear leaders for understable distance drivers. Those had double the sales of the third-place Avenger SS, and nearly as many total sales as the remaining molds in the top 10. Let’s take a look at the PDGA approval dates for the top 10 understable molds:
|Understable Driver||PDGA Approved Date|
|Discraft Avenger SS||Feb-08|
|Infinite Discs Maya||Jun-20|
|Lone Star Disc Tumbleweed||Mar-22|
|Dino Discs Pterodactylus||Not Approved|
|Dino Discs Tyrannosaurus Rex||Not Approved|
The top two oldest molds are the Avenger SS and the Katana. And once again, there is a mold that sold enough to make the top ten, yet was approved less than a year ago. The Tumbleweed was approved in March of 2022. Nether of the Dino Discs have been approved by the PDGA. They are lightweight discs that are designed for beginners. (Learn more about Dino Discs HERE).
Next Up: Control Drivers
That does it for our look at the Top 50 Distance Drivers. Next up we’ll take a look at the Top 50 Control Drivers.
What are the Best Distance Drivers for You?
What will be the best distance drivers of 2023? Will they be new discs, or the same traditional classics. A new distance driver the Innova Charger was just announced that will likely make next years top list.
What is your favorite distance driver? What is the disc you have thrown the farthest? What distance drivers do you think will be the best selling in 2023? Comment below to help others find the best disc golf drivers for their game.
My favorite driver is #1756 MVP Wave. However, my farthest throw was with a streamline trace that was super flippy. I think the Emperor will top the charts again but interested to see how the Simon impact will change this list.
I’m sure that now Lizotte is with MVP, sales of those and Axiom will increase. Innova is a legacy brand, very impressive. And not just the brand name, either, but their disc designs are for the ages, it seems, since dg-era continue to like to throw them. Been throwing the Wraith for around 3 decades.
I really like my blizzard champion Vulcan. It’s perfect for my noodle arm.
MVP will see increased sales this year.. Crave is amazing!
Very interesting list. Surprised some of the stuff that didn’t make it
Cant go wrong with destroyers. Some people think because all of their flight numbers are the same they all fly the same but that couldn’t be further from the truth. You can get every shot shape from the destroyer!!!
My go to is a Big Z Nuke
None of mine got ranked and it’s odd because it’s not popular mold but still a damn good disc. The orbit sword from westside is an amazing distance driver. I’ve tried a handful on this list and none of them stayed in bag long enough. The wraith is to beefy and not worth buying if you don’t have power. The infinite molds pose the same problem. Mvp as long as they are lighter weight like the inertia than you will get some good distance with minimal power. Hades is flippy but good. The force is just to overstable and that’s just to name a few. I’m just saying the popular molds aren’t necessarily the best they just sell well based on the players who promote them. But not everyone has the same skill levels so not every disc is for everyone. I think pros need to showcase other molds made by the companies they represent and give honest opinions on them and not just the discs they personally get money from.
Pharaoh is my go to distance driver.
I throw mostly sidearms off the tee and am loving the new Loft BOHRIUM which has flight numbers 14/6/-1/3. It’s the fastest driver I’ve ever thrown, so prefer wide fairways with it.
On my first drive with it I skip-aced a 320 ft hole dogleg right.
I love shot shaping you can get with a renegade. I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve enjoyed that disc! I’m thinking the charger is going to be a very popular addition to the innova line.
My favorite distance drivers are the mamba and skhryke. I need something a little understable to go with my slow arm speed.
I don’t have the fastest arm, but I found a Pro Destroyer in a used bin and it is just right for me. I recently threw my farthest throw of 471 ft with it, where my normal is more like 350ft (yes, there was a slight tailwind, but still). I just executed the angle and full body engagement perfectly and it just kept going. I bet an MVP disc or two sneak up closer to the top this year with extra publicity from Simon
I recently tried the Westside Sword and it has become my farthest flying driver with the Streamline Jet sometimes matching it. One thing to keep in mind is that these sales figures are affected by availability of the disc. I think the Grace would have scored higher if it wasn’t so hard to get. The Grace and Sword fly quite similar. I have also gotten some great distance with the Virus.
I’m a big fan of the Wraith, but I think whatever MVP disc Simon settles on for a distance driver is going to make a big move up the charts for 2023.
Love my Doomsday Discs Distopia. In my bag in three different plastics. Replaced my Beast and Orc. Some do not consider a 10 speed as a distance driver but that is at my upper limit for arm speed.
I agree that Simon has a huge impact on disc sales, but it doesn’t seem like Discmania was topping the charts this year. The only distance driver in the top 50 from discmania was the PD and it only accounted for about 0.5% of sales. Personally, my favorite distance drivers are wraiths and destroyers, but I think that we should get a statistic next year of which plastics are more popular as well! We all know these discs fly completely different depending on the plastics!
Currently, I have most of the top discs But at my stage of development, I am working on Pharoe from Maya. For sure the buzzz and destroyer are just a staple. Thank you for the metrics, they are telling for sure. You helped me to see what to consider for future development.
The Infinite Emperor and Pharaoh are great molds and really the only contenders to to dethrone the Emperor would be the Innova Destroyer and the Wraith. My Destroyers are amazing with distance and control in the wind so they are my workhorse distance drivers.
There is an interesting dark-horse candidate specifically the Infinite Aztec. This stable distance driver battles wind well and can flex a long ways. If you haven’t tried this disc you are missing out on a dope disc.