By Steve Hill, Jack Trageser, and P.J. Harmer – Rattling Chains staff
When I spoke with Chad and Brad Richardson, the brothers behind MVP Disc Sports, for an article late last year, I specifically asked them how their signature overmold would translate to a truly overstable disc design.
To that point, MVP had not released anything with serious beef to it, but Chad mentioned that, due to the gyroscopic nature of the overmold, their version of a meathook would have more of a forward-penetrating, transitional fade as opposed to just dumping off at the end.
With the Tensor, MVP’s new overstable mid-range, they nailed it spot on.
Packing plenty of stability in the beginning of its flight and a nice, late, smooth fade, the Tensor is an excellent addition to MVP’s current crop of mid-ranges.
I was able to throw a 167-gram Tensor, which is a bit lighter than I normally use for mid-ranges. However, I think the lighter weight in this case was helpful, as I was still able to get the Tensor up to its cruising speed with a little less effort. When thrown off the tee, I was getting dead straight for about 85 percent of the flight, with a solid finish right (I’m a lefty). Without sounding blasphemous, off the tee, it flew like a shorter Teebird.
But this disc is no one-trick pony. While it is overstable enough to provide a hook, it handles low lines very well and, when powered up and thrown low, loses the fade and just becomes a laser. When powered down, it can be used on short flex shots around trees to provide a reliable landing right near the basket.
The best part of this disc, though, is how it resists turning over, even when torqued with bad form. I have done it quite a few times with the Tensor off the tee, where I try and overpower it to make sure I get some distance, and rather than holding left like a lot of mids will, it will nicely “S” back to its fade. In this sense, it is extremely reliable.
In fact, the only funky part about the Tensor is how it feels in the hand. It has a much higher shoulder than most mids I throw, so it took some getting used to. However, once I had a couple rounds in with it, the transition was minimal and I was able to really dial it in for some fun shots.
On the whole, the Tensor is accessible for most disc golfers and certainly holds down a slot in the bag. Whether there is wind, a dogleg hole, or just bad form lurking under the surface, the Tensor can be counted on to finish with a fade.
Even though I provide the pro point-of-view in these joint Rattling Chains reviews, it should be pointed out (again) that my perspective applies to disc golf skill level and experience. When it comes to keeping up with the latest and greatest on the rapidly expanding disc market, I’m quite the newbie. Case in point — the Tensor is the first MVP disc I’ve ever thrown.
I’m interested in anything in our sport that goes in a totally fresh direction, and I’ve been aware of MVP — with the unique two-part construction — since it first entered the market. But frankly, I was happy with my setup and figured it was more of a marketing gimmick than anything else. So I made the occasional snobby, old school stick-in-the-mud comment from afar and went about my day.
Ignorance was bliss.
Then one day recently I got word that an MVP disc was in the mail to review, and I must admit I got excited about the chance to finally throw one.
I first noticed how it instantly felt comfortable in my hand. The flight plate is made of an opaque, premium plastic that is surprisingly responsive when using a fan-style grip wherein the fingertips are spread out against the bottom of the disc. The edge of the Tensor — like all MVP discs — is made of a softer plastic that likewise feels comfortable as well as snug and secure nestled against the crease of my palm in all grips (fan, power, and standard sidearm). This is a big plus for me, as I immediately rule a disc out if it doesn’t feel right in my hand.
The Tensor is listed as MVP’s most overstable mid-range disc, and I was eager to put this to the test. I love to work discs on a forced-anhyzer line as I find if the disc is reliable, it’s the best way to get a predictable line once you learn how stable the disc is. The more stable the disc, the harder you can throw and the more extreme the anhyzer line without fear of it quickly turning over.
I’m happy to say that the Tensor earned a spot in my bag because it has proven thus far to be able to handle my hardest throws and a near vertical line-of-release (given enough height, of course) without turning over. I’ve already incorporated it into a number of shots where I want to take this approach. And it’s propensity to hyzer out quickly when thrown flat and straight makes it useful in other ways, as well.
The great grip makes it easy to dial in the exact power level I want on a flat shot, thereby getting it to turn at the exact time and severity I want. And the softer plastic outer-edge means I can get it to skip-hyzer a little without it running right past the point I want it to stop.
The only possible negative I can foresee is related to durability. But I haven’t thrown it enough times, over time, to know if this is the case.
It seems like a disc constructed of two materials might have issues related to that unique quality, but I haven’t heard of that issue with MVP discs and, so far, mine is holding up fine.
After the first time I tested it out I noticed that there were some nicks on the edge, and thought that this might be a big problem. But I’ve used it in about 10 rounds since, often on hard dirt and rock terrain, and the edge hasn’t gotten as chewed up as I feared it would. Again, time will tell.
The Tensor is in my bag for the foreseeable future, and I’m now eager to try some of MVP’s other discs as well. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks!
Here’s the thing with me and new discs — I’m not usually going to be too technical. The reality is with my arm — or lack of one — most mid-range discs do the same thing for me, whether over or understable.
I’ll throw them out, they’ll fly for a bit and end with a break to the right. It doesn’t matter what kind of disc. Unless I grip lock one or specifically try something different, that’s what happens 95 percent of the time.
So when I look at discs, I try and look at a few other things — namely grip.
I’ve stated in past reviews how much I like MVP plastic. In fact, I’d say it’s one of my favorite brands when it comes to grip. The plastic seems to be something that always feels comfortable.
I’m pretty picky there, too. I love Vibram because the rubber is easy to grip. But when it comes to plastic, I usually have a hard time finding things I like. That’s often the difference between something making a bag and not.
Anyway, this release from MVP was interesting. The plastic was still fine to grip, but there was something different about the rim. It had a different feel. I can’t even explain it, but the curved aspect of it gives an odd feel. But after throwing the disc in the field a few times, I found I enjoyed the rim and how it seemed to release from my hand.
As for throwing, I will say I liked the flight. On my good releases, the Tensor had a lower flight than most discs I throw — and I like that. It flew well and got decent distance (for me) in regard to a mid-range. I’ve yet to be disappointed by an MVP disc I’ve thrown and this one is no different. Though they all don’t make my bag, they are ones I’ll continue to use here and there to see if I can figure them out a bit more so they become a permanent addition to my lineup.
For those who enjoy MVP, this is a disc I’m sure you’ll truly like it. And for those new to the company, it’s a good disc to see what MVP is all about.