Why Do We Choose THOSE Discs? – State of Disc Golf Survey

Picture yourself walking into a disc golf store to look around. If you don’t have a local shop, picture yourself hopping on InfiniteDiscs.com. What’s the first disc you want to look at? Do you check out the discs on sale? Do you look at the new releases? Are there some cool stamps that grab your attention? Or do you just look for a specific disc you had in mind that brought you to the store in the first place?

Now that you’ve decided on what to check out, think about what drew you to the disc. Did it have a cool stamp that you like? Was there a new plastic for a mold you like? Did you head straight to your favorite brand? Maybe it was the color of the disc that caught your eye? Or perhaps it was the flight of the disc?

In this week’s State of Disc Golf survey results we examine which disc qualities we like, and which ones are not important to us. This week we’ll look at the brand, plastic types, and flight numbers. Let’s find out which factors are the most important when we buy a disc.

How Important is a Disc Golf Brand?

There was a time when disc golfers only had a few choices for brands when they were looking for a disc. However, the past few years have seen an explosion in the number of new manufacturers and new molds. We now have such a large selection of discs that we might not be as loyal to one brand. However, we might still feel like certain brands are better than others, and stick to those brands. Let’s look at the numbers and see how important brand it to our disc buying preference.

Nearly 25% of us find the brand of a disc Very Important. Additionally, nearly half of us find the brand of a disc semi-important. Although more of us will likely be throwing a more mixed bag, since there are so many more options available now, those numbers may not change much in the future. Those of us who still value certain brands will just have more brands that we prefer to throw.

Out of curiosity, I wanted to see which brands were preferred by the people who indicated that brands are very important. Here is the chart showing the favorite brand, or the brand that makes most discs in our bag, by people who find the brand Very Important:

Graph showing Favorite Brand of disc golfers who consider the brand important

Over half of the people preferred one of three brands: Innova, Discraft, or MVP. Although MVP hasn’t been around nearly as long as the other two manufacturers, they have been around long enough to gain some traction in the disc golf world.

Year Started

The next thing I wanted to look at is what year this same group of people started playing. I wanted to see if newer players or players that started years ago were more likely to find the brand of their discs important. Here are the data:

Pandemic Choices

Over forty percent of us who say the brand is important started in 2019 or more recently. The numbers drop off prior to 2019 and are spread out relatively evenly. The worst year of the pandemic was 2020, which has the highest percentage of people who find brand important. That year there were major disruptions in the supply chain. Since people couldn’t always get the discs they wanted, they started buying any brands that were available. This introduced a lot of people to new brands. I wanted to see if the people who started playing in 2020, and who found brand important, had favorite discs that were not mainstream companies. Here are the results:

The top five brands are the same. Apparently, being forced to buy the brands that are available didn’t really gain those brands loyal followers. Or, at least those brands aren’t the only one that people are loyal to.

Importance of Plastic Type

Let’s take a look at another factor to consider when buying a disc. In fact, this factor had the highest number of people who said it is Very Important. The factor is Plastic Type. Here is the graph of the survey results:

A whopping 95% of all survey respondents indicated that they found plastic type either Semi-Important or Very Important. Over 63% said they found plastic type Very Important. I’m in that 63%. There are plastic types that I won’t throw, and others that I won’t throw with certain disc types. I hear other disc golfers express similar feelings about plastic types, so the numbers in the graph don’t surprise me.

Plastic types not only greatly affect how a disc feels in our hand, but affects the flight and durability of the disc. They also affect the cost of the disc. Less expensive plastics are not as durable, nor as stable as premium plastics. They do cost less and occasionally we might want a disc to wear a little faster so it will fly like we want.

Are Disc Golf Flight Numbers Important?

The second most popular factor that we look for in a disc is its flight numbers. Although flight numbers for a particular mold can vary significantly because of plastic type, wear, and weight, it is still the best system we have for a manufacturer to indicate approximately how a disc should fly. We can then use that knowledge to find out if a particular disc is the right one for us.

Graph showing percentage of disc golfers who feel flight numbers are important.

Over half of us rate flight numbers as Very Important, and nearly ninety percent think that they are at least Semi-Important. Although it would be nice if we could test the flight of each mold and plastic under controlled conditions with few variables, until we reach that point we’ll have to rely on the flight numbers to help us chose a disc. It appears that most of us value the numbers and use them to guide our purchases.

Tune in next week when we will conclude our examination of the disc factors that are most important to us.

Ted is the Chief Writer at Infinite Discs. He is responsible for the State of Disc Golf Survey articles and most of the "best discs" posts. Ted runs all kinds of local disc golf leagues and tournaments and tournaments in Northern Utah.

One comment

  • With MVP and Axiom being two brands of the same manufacturer, looks like they essentially have the top spot. Especially if you factor in TSA and Mint under that umbrella. As best I can tell, that also accounts for lumping in Discraft & DGA, Innova & Infinite & Millennium (not listed so presumably <3%), and DD & Lat64 & Westside & Kasta & Discmania (so I've heard…). Very interesting!

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