By Jack Trageser — Rattling Chains staff
When teaching or playing with people new to the sport and they see me execute a roller shot for a long, accurate drive, it’s only a matter of time before they ask if I can show them how to do it.
They have correctly deduced that, quite often, a disc can travel farther rolling along the ground than spinning through the air. Actually, if the terrain and conditions are suited for the purpose — and the roller is thrown by someone who knows the right way to do it — it usually is the case. It’s pretty enticing for someone who is having a hard time getting the kind of distance he or she sees everyone else is getting.
Some people avoid the roller as a violation of an important aesthetic element of disc sports. After all, it’s supposed to float through the air. To that, I say geo over it.
At one point, I was in the camp myself. Then I realized I was a person who loved the competitive golf aspect of disc golf. I was jealous that others who could execute rollers had an advantage over me. So, I began to figure out a different world of getting discs from point A to point B.
In fact, roller shots are not as inelegant as they first appear. The same science of selecting the right combination of release angle, arm speed from an air shot applies to rollers as well.
From the time I started to now, I’ve learned a lot. The following is a journalist’s tried and true who, what, when, where and why for rollers. The how will follow in part two of this series.