Which is the Best Roller Disc?
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Learning how to throw Rollers is the perfect way to add a little more finesse to your disc golf game. But with so many options out there, finding the right disc can be daunting. That’s why we’re here to help! In this blog post, we’ll delve into the characteristics of high-performance roller discs and explore the different types of roller shots that you can incorporate into your game. We’ll also guide you through the process of throwing a roller shot, and finally, we’ll introduce you to some of the best options available in the market today. So, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out in disc golf, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about choosing and using roller discs!
What is a Roller?
In disc golf, a “roller” is a specialized throw used to cover long distances or navigate tricky course layouts. Unlike traditional throws where the disc flies predominantly through the air, a roller is designed to land early in its flight and roll along the ground for the majority of its distance.
Rollers can be advantageous in various situations, such as long, open fairways, or when avoiding obstacles in the air. They’re particularly useful in windy conditions where air throws might be unpredictable. Rollers can also be quite helpful when it comes to heavily wooded situations. For example if you find yourself off the fairway and surrounded by trees, often times your best bet is to aim for a gap and throw a roller through it!
Mastering the roller requires practice and a good understanding of disc dynamics, as small changes in release angle or speed can significantly alter the outcome. It’s a skill that intermediate to advanced players often develop to enhance their strategic options on the course.
When and Why to Throw a Roller
A key thing to understand about rollers, is to know when and why to throw them. A roller is a strategic throw used mainly in two scenarios: to navigate long, open fairways, or to circumvent obstacles like trees or hills. Typically, it’s thrown when a traditional air shot won’t suffice, either due to distance challenges or tricky terrain. This technique is ideal for advanced players looking to cover significant ground, especially on courses with hard, flat surfaces conducive to rolling or for any level players who are in a tough wooded position.
Types of Roller Shots
- Backhand Roller
- This is the most common type of roller. The disc is thrown with a backhand throw, typically with an understable disc. It’s released with an anhyzer angle (outer edge tilted upwards for a right-handed thrower) so that it turns over after landing and rolls along the ground. Ideal for long distances on open fairways.
- Forehand (Sidearm) Roller
- Thrown with a forehand or sidearm grip, this roller is less common but can be very effective. The disc is released with a hyzer angle (outer edge tilted downwards for a right-handed thrower), flipping to roll upon hitting the ground. It’s useful for navigating obstacles or turns in the fairway.
- Overhand (Tomahawk) Roller
- This roller is executed with an overhand throw, similar to a baseball pitch. The disc is thrown vertically and lands on its edge to roll. The path of the roll depends on the disc’s stability and the throw angle. It’s often used to get out of trouble spots like dense woods.
- Thumber Roller
- Similar to the overhand roller, but the disc is gripped with the thumb under the disc and the fingers on top (like a thumbs-up). It’s thrown overhand and rolls upon landing. The thumber roller is great for specific lines and getting out of tricky situations.
- Cut Roller
- This is a variation of the backhand roller where the disc is released with a more extreme anhyzer angle, causing it to land quickly and cut sharply in one direction before straightening out. It’s useful for navigating sharp bends in the course or avoiding specific obstacles.
Each type of roller requires practice, and an understanding of how different discs behave when rolling. The choice of which roller to use depends on the course layout, the obstacles present, and the player’s skill in executing these throws.
How To Throw a Roller
Now that we have given you a basic summary of all the roller types, we will now dive into how to throw them. Keep in mind that learning the roller shot is can be difficult and tricky. Unlike a backhand or sidearm, many people will struggle with understanding the basics of a roller of the bat. Keep your head up though, and with enough time and practice you will be throwing rollers like a pro!
- Backhand Roller
- Grip the disc with a standard backhand grip. Aim to release the disc with an anhyzer angle (outer edge tilted upwards for a right-handed thrower). The disc should have enough angle to land on its edge and begin rolling. The speed and angle of release will determine the disc’s path and distance.
- Forehand (Sidearm) Roller
- Use a forehand grip, with the disc held in the fingers and the thumb on top. Release the disc with a hyzer angle (outer edge tilted downwards for a right-handed thrower). The disc should flip over upon hitting the ground and then proceed to roll. This throw requires good control over the disc’s flip and roll.
- Overhand (Tomahawk) Roller
- Hold the disc vertically, with an overhand grip similar to a baseball throw. The disc is thrown high and vertically, landing on its edge to roll. The angle at which the disc lands will determine its rolling direction and behavior. This throw often requires a strong arm and good control over the disc’s landing angle.
- Thumber Roller
- Grip the disc with the thumb underneath and the fingers on top, in a thumbs-up position. The disc is thrown overhand, similar to a baseball pitch. It should land on its edge and roll. The roll can be controlled by the angle of release and the disc’s stability.
- Cut Roller
- Similar to the backhand roller, but with a more exaggerated anhyzer release. The disc needs to hit the ground quickly and at a sharp angle, causing it to cut in one direction before straightening out. This requires a delicate balance of speed, angle, and timing in the throw.
For all roller shots, the choice of disc is crucial. Understable discs are generally preferred for their ability to flip and roll effectively. Additionally, the terrain and wind conditions can significantly affect the disc’s behavior, so these factors should be taken into account when choosing the type of roller and the specific throwing technique.
For more info on how to throw rollers check out this awesome guide!
With a comprehensive understanding of roller discs and their unique shot mechanics now under our belt, we’re primed to delve deeper. It’s time to transition from theory to practice as we explore our top selections for roller discs. These picks are tailored to elevate your game, whether you’re a beginner mastering the basics or an experienced player refining your skills!
Let’s dive right into our top roller pick out of the entire Innova lineup. Our number one pick for a roller disc is the Rollo. This disc is renowned for its exceptional glide and stable flight characteristics, making it a versatile choice for both new and experienced players. Its ability to maintain a controlled roll at various speeds and angles ensures it’s approachable for beginners yet remains a reliable option for advanced players mastering precise roller shots.
Rollo ( 5 / 5 / -4 / 1 )
- Understable Midrange
- Specifically Made for Rollers
- Great for Beginner to Professional
The Innova Star Rollo puts the roller shot in the hands of … everyone! With its easy handling and automatic turnover flight, even those with less power can perform sure fire rollers and automatic anhyzers right out of the box.
Best Roller Putters
Putters are used as rollers primarily in situations requiring precise navigation around obstacles or tight corners on the course. Their slower speed and predictable flight path offer better control and accuracy, making them ideal for controlled ground play, especially in tight spaces or when avoiding low-hanging branches. Below are our top picks for putter roller discs!
Invader ( 3 / 2 / 0 / 1 )
- Great for tight corners and wooded terrain
- Holds Rolling Line
- Solid choice for beginners who are trying to learn precise and controlled roller shots
The Innova Invader, with its flat top and stable flight, excels in controlled rollers due to its consistent ground play and predictable roll, making it a reliable choice for navigating tight fairways and avoiding obstacles with precision.
Other Great Options
Innova Polecat (Speed 1, Glide 3, Turn 0, Fade 0)
- Ideal for beginners, offering an easy-to-control flight path.
- Exceptionally useful for short, accurate roller shots in tight spaces.
- Stable and predictable glide, perfect for controlled approaches.
Innova Firefly (Speed 2, Glide 3, Turn 0, Fade 1)
- Steady and predictable flight, suitable for players of all levels.
- Gentle fade ideal for subtle, controlled roller shots.
- Reliable performance in a variety of wind conditions.
Best Roller Midranges
Midrange discs are a versatile choice for rollers, particularly when navigating through obstacles or maneuvering around bends on the course. Their balanced speed and stability provide a blend of control and distance, making them suitable for ground shots over varied terrain. Here are our top recommendations for midrange roller discs!
Mako 3 ( 5 / 5 / 0 / 0 )
- Neutral, straight flight
- Consistent glide and control
- Smooth air-to-ground transition
The Innova Mako3 makes mastering rollers effortless for all skill levels! Its naturally straight flight and dependable glide allow for precise roller shots and smooth turnovers, ideal for players seeking consistent, controlled ground play straight from the start.
There is no doubt that the Rollo and Mako3 are two of the greatest midrange options for roller shots on the market. However, the wolf is an underrated choice that people may come to love!
Innova Wolf (Speed 4, Glide 3, Turn -4, Fade 1)
- Understable flight characteristic, great for creative shot shaping.
- Excellently suited for navigating through wooded or complex terrains.
- Enables long-distance roller shots with a controlled turn and moderate fade.
Best Roller Drivers
Roadrunner ( 9 / 5 / -4 / 1 )
- High glide, consistent roll
- Understable, easy turnover
- Beginner-friendly, versatile use
The Innova Roadrunner excels in roller throws for players of all skill levels! Its understable flight and substantial glide facilitate effortless roller shots, making it perfect for achieving long, controlled ground rolls. This disc is a go-to choice for those aiming for reliable, easy-to-manage rollers, particularly beneficial for players developing their roller technique.
Other Great Options
Innova Firebird (Speed 9, Glide 3, Turn 0, Fade 4)
- Highly favored by advanced players for its stability and wind resistance.
- Suited for long, sweeping roller shots with predictable endings.
- Robust speed and strong fade for aggressive, powerful throws.
Innova Destroyer (Speed 12, Glide 5, Turn -1, Fade 3)
- Designed for experienced players seeking maximum distance.
- High speed and glide enable explosive, long-range roller shots.
- Capable of handling powerful throws while maintaining a consistent flight.
Before we conclude, it’s crucial to highlight the significance of utility rollers in disc golf. Often, players are captivated by the allure of executing long-distance roller shots, focusing on the impressive coverage these shots can achieve. However, it’s essential to remember that utility rollers often play a pivotal role in a player’s arsenal. These shots are not about distance but about strategic play and navigating challenging situations on the course. Whether it’s maneuvering through tight woods, circumventing obstacles, or dealing with unfavorable wind conditions, utility rollers can be game changers. They require skill and precision, underscoring the importance of mastering rollers not just for distance, but for their invaluable utility in critical moments of the game.
Best Utility Rollers
Pig ( 4 / 1 / 0 / 3 )
- Overstable, predictable rollers
- Short-range, controlled roll
- Durable, reliable grip
The Innova Pig is the definitive utility roller, a must-have for any player’s bag. This overstable putter is perfect for executing short-range, precise rollers, especially in tight situations where accuracy is paramount. Its durable construction and predictable flight characteristics make it the go-to disc for controlled, utility roller shots, navigating tight corners or landing in confined spaces with remarkable precision. The Pig’s unparalleled reliability in utility rolling scenarios cements its status as a top choice for versatile and effective play.
Other Great Options
Innova Rhino (Speed 2, Glide 1, Turn 0, Fade 3)
- Excellent for precise, controlled throws in tricky situations.
- Low speed and strong fade make it reliable for technical roller shots.
- Particularly effective in tight spaces where accuracy is key.
Innova Gator (Speed 5, Glide 2, Turn 0, Fade 3)
- Known for its exceptional stability and predictable flight.
- Ideal for accurate roller shots where control is essential.
- Performs reliably in headwinds and challenging weather conditions.
After all these recommendations, you should be able to find a roller disc that suits your game. Rollers might not be the first thing you think of in disc golf, but they’re crucial for tough situations. The right disc can change your game, especially when traditional shots won’t work. Now get out there and get rolling!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Best Roller Disc
Choosing the “best” roller disc in disc golf depends on individual skill level, playing style, and specific course conditions. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, but popular options like the Innova Destroyer and Beast are frequently favored for their adaptability and reliable performance in a range of scenarios, making them excellent choices for many players.
Which Pro is the Best at Throwing Rollers
Identifying the best pro disc golfer at throwing rollers is subjective and varies among fans and experts. However, many consider Simon Lizotte to be exceptionally skilled in this aspect. His ability to execute complex roller shots with precision and creativity stands out in the professional disc golf community.
Is it Hard to Throw Rollers in Disc Golf
Throwing rollers in disc golf can be challenging, especially for beginners. It requires precise control of angle and power, understanding disc behavior, and adapting to varying terrain. With practice, players can master this technique, adding a valuable shot to their disc golf repertoire.
What is the Easiest Kind of Roller Shot to Throw
The easiest kind of roller shot to throw in disc golf is typically the backhand roller. It allows for a natural arm movement and a comfortable release angle, making it more accessible for beginners. The backhand roller relies on an understable disc and a smooth, controlled release to achieve a successful roll.
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