Finding go-to discs is never easy

OK, it’s time to get a little personal.

What’s your go-to disc? What disc can you not live without? If you’re playing on a cold winter day and your favorite disc hits a tree and cracks into small pieces, which disc would leave you devastated over your loss? More importantly — what kind of discs are the go-to ones in your bag?

jenny_cookIt all depends on who you ask. But, what’s more interesting is, why?

In the beginning I only knew of a limited number of places to go and purchase discs and, as a female golfer, I didn’t really know what to purchase. So I would try a wide variety and, eventually, the ones that qualified made it to my bag. Then I’d play another amateur tournament, do well, and bring home more plastic. The dilemma would return yet again. Do I make new friends with these discs, but keep the old? Mix them up? Or stash the new ones in my back up bag?

It seems like the brand that made it to my bag first and most often (because of accessibility) was Innova with a peppering of Discraft. I do wish, however, that with all of the friends I made when I first started playing, that one of them would have spoken up about the plastic I was throwing. That’s not to say I couldn’t figure out for myself that, as a new player with slower arm speed and less snap, I shouldn’t be throwing an Orc.

It would have saved me not only from the aggravation of trying to get the disc to fly straight but it also would have saved me from forming bad habits. Such as forcing the disc into an anhyzer in order to compensate for less snap and finally make it land ahead of me on the fairway, instead of it quickly crashing down left into the woods.

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Product Review: MVP Amp

By Steve Hill, P.J. Harmer and Dave Coury — For Rattling Chains

I’ll be the first to admit that I am a fan of MVP Disc Sports. In the company’s short existence, I have tried all five of its molds, and have bagged three for a nice driver-midrange-putter set-up – the Volt, Axis, and Anode.

At the same time, I love understable plastic. The Innova Roadrunner and Latitude 64 Fuse – a couple of the flippiest discs on the market – are staples in my bag for their control and ease of use.

product_reviewSo, when MVP announced it was releasing the Amp, an understable fairway driver, I was excited. One of my favorite brands releasing my favorite kind of disc, obviously, had some appeal, and I knew I wanted to throw it.

One thing I knew coming into the review is that MVP discs – whether it is due to the overmold, or some other phenomenon – tend to require more snap and spin to fly as advertised. To wit, it took me a month to really dial in the Axis and learn how to throw it correctly, which seemed odd for a mid-range.

This is almost a blessing and a curse for new users of MVP discs. Stick with them, and your snap will likely improve. But it can be extremely frustrating to click with the disc at first, which can make it easy to give up on and move to an old standby.

And even though I knew this would be the case with the Amp, I still found myself frustrated with my first few throws with it. Since it was advertised as understable, I expected a nice gentle turn out of the box, with maybe a little fade.

I know it is user error, but If I wasn’t really concentrating the first couple times I threw this disc, it would hyzer out on me real quick, leaving me a little demoralized and ready to throw in the towel.

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Discraft’s Ace Race delivers with a lot of fun

By P.J. Harmer — Rattling Chains staff

With Discraft’s Ace Race in the books, let’s take a quick peek at this year’s tournaments.

I don’t know how many of you participated in one of these events this year. For me, it was the second straight year I played in the tournament and it was equally as fun.

This year’s Ace Race ran from August to October and had 347 events held throughout the world. A few weeks ago, Rattling Chains writer Steve Hill wrote about the event on a more broad level.

The Ace Race disc. (photo by P.J. Harmer)

For those who didn’t read that and don’t know about the Ace Race, it’s a small and fun tournament where players have more chances at aces. For your entry fee ($25), you get two discs and some other swag.The player pack this year was well worth the money as each person got the two discs, a mini, a pair of 80s-style sunglasses and a stainless steel water bottle.

The discs are the only ones you can use during the tournament.Each player throws them at each hole, counting nothing but aces and metals, which is how many times you hit metal somewhere on the basket, but without slamming an ace.

In the end, the person with the most aces wins an excellent prize package of Discraft discs.

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A beginner’s guide to dyeing discs

By Kevin Morrow — For Rattling Chains

In my original post about dyeing discs on Rattling Chains, I wrote about how I got into dyeing discs and gave some other thoughts on the process.

I’ve been dyeing discs for a couple of months and have received a lot of feedback on how good the discs look. I’ve also had people who are interested in doing it ask a lot of questions about the process.

I’m going to explain my process with a step-by-step look.

First, you need some specific tools to make it easier.

A light source, such as a light table, and an Xacto knife with No. 10 blades are needed. I use a new blade for each mask I cut. (Sometimes, however, I will use the same blade for multiple small designs).

My light source is something I have left over from my pre-digital photography days — a Logan desktop light box I used to edit negatives. You might be able to find these pretty cheap as most photographers who went digital could have them sitting in a closet collecting dust.

Another way to get a light source is if you have a glass table, put a lamp under it.

Other items needed include a black Sharpie marker, a roll of simple masking tape and an old credit card.

For supplies, I use Orcal 651 clear vinyl, which I get from U.S. Cutter. I use the clear vinyl because it’s easier for me to see through. I also use iPoly Dyes (iDye for polyester fabrics), which I get from Dharma Trading. I don’t use Rit dyes because they changed the formula, meaning one has to find certain lot numbers and that can be a hassle.

I do my design work with Photoshop.

With everything you need in hand, it’s time to get your art ready. I do all my designs in Adobe Photoshop. But use whatever art program you are most comfortable with.

I have a base file that is an 8-inch circle because most discs are about 8.5 inches in diameter. I started with a full color album and worked it to black-and-white line art. Once you get it the way you want, print it out and tape it to the backside of a square of the vinyl.

Then cut the vinyl at least an inch larger than the print on each side. I usually like to have about two inches extended from the edge.

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Using dyes to make your discs personal

By Kevin Morrow — For Rattling Chains

I like personalizing my stuff, making it unique to my personality and sense — or lack thereof — of style.

When I bought my Harley Davidson, the first thing I did was take the tins off and do a custom paint design, which is still unique to anything I’ve yet to see. When I got back into disc golf, I jazzed up the old camera bag I used. I took some patches I had been given, sewer them on and even spray painted some graphics on the bag. My new backpack is heavily decorated with patches, tags and other things.

This design took about 24 to cut over the course of three days. It’s my all-time favorite because it’s my most detailed dye and it was a perfect dye — clean detail cuts and no bleeds.

I like to believe it’s a way to tell my story.

I’ve always wanted to do custom art on my discs. But the only way I knew to do it was drawing art with a Sharpie.

Then I found out you could dye custom graphics on Champion and Star plastics. I’d still like to find the first person to discover this process. I can imagine a disc golfer in a dark and damp basement and he accidentally spills some Rit dye on his favorite disc, making a cool pattern. Just like that, custom dyes are invented.

It boggles my mind to think someone actually may have had the thought of “I wonder if I apply cloth dye to a disc, will it work?”

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Poll 28: Buying discs

We’re going to discuss buying discs for this week’s poll.

But, as per normal, we’ll get to that later on.

After all, we have some interesting things to discuss in regard to last week’s poll. Courses played … how many have you all done?

I had built myself up on this one to be shocked with the answers, but in the end it appears it was quite tame.

We had 113 people tally a vote in this poll. The top spot, which garnered 37 votes (33 percent) was the 10-24 range. That was followed by 1-9 (20 votes/18 percent) and a tie between 25-49 and 100-249, which each drew 17 votes (15 percent). Taking fifth was 50-99 (15 votes/13 percent), followed by 500 or more (four votes/four percent) and 250-499 (three votes/two percent).

I actually expected more votes toward the bigger amounts, but it doesn’t surprise me that reaching the big numbers — 250 or more — only accounted for seven votes.

That’s a lot of disc golf courses, after all.

Let’s see what some of the readers had to say.

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Once the buyer, now the seller (and trader)

With the pile getting bigger, it was time to shed some plastic. (photo by Steve Hill)

By Steve Hill — RattlingChains.com Staff

As readers of this fine website may recall, I have battled plastic addiction for quite some time now.

However, over the last couple months I have been navigating the road to recovery, and it is all due to making the plunge and selling discs online.

As a member of the forums over at DGCourseReview.com, I have wasted plenty of time posting about discs, courses, and other nonsense. Luckily, some of my time there has now been productive, as I am using their Marketplace forum to list my discs that were otherwise collecting dust.

It is quite easy, really — you start a thread listing your discs, then give each a little description, rating of wear, a photo, and price. People can then message you to arrange payment or trades.

The best part of the Marketplace, though, is the feedback you can give on transactions, much like on eBay. Since it is the Internet and you have no clue who you are dealing with, you can use each buyer’s feedback ratings to guide you in the process.

The First Taste

At first, it was pure laziness that kept me from dabbling in the Marketplace. Taking all the photos for the discs, listing the prices, making multiple trips to the post office … It all sounded like a lot of work.

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