Choosing the Right Discus
This blog on choosing the right discus was written for Neuff Athletic by England Throws Camp founder and Coach, Stuart Carlaw, you can read all about the camp and Stuart on their website www.englandthrowscamps.com
Choosing the Right Discus
As any thrower or coach will tell you, choosing the right discus is a process that is complicated and there are a lot of questions that need to be answered. In order to help throwers make good decisions we have put this guide together to help you understand the critical questions and decisions you need to ask or consider when choosing your discus. Before you even start to consider what make or brand you need to ask some very basic questions. Getting to grips with these questions will help massively in homing in on the right discus for you. You are probably asking yourself things like:
Lets now consider these aspects in conjunction with the some key critical factors.
How far are you throwing and what does your throw look like?
A general rule of thumb is that the higher the rim weight is of the discus the higher the spin rate but also the higher the force need to be generated by the athlete to get the discus spinning at an optimum rate. Understanding your distances and what your throw looks like is critical in understanding what discus is probably right for you.
If you are throwing in the 30’s it is likely that you do not need to invest heavily in a hi-spin discus as your release velocities are probably too low to benefit from the lift characteristics of a hi-spin discus. It is likely that you aren’t generating enough release velocity to fully break the added inertia of a high % Rim weight distributed discus and therefore aren’t also getting the best aerodynamic results out of the discus.
As well as the consideration of distance you also need to look at what your throw looks like. If you are throwing a low spin discus and it is hitting the floor relatively level and continuing to spin at a high rate you might want to consider moving on to a higher spin and higher rim weight discus. You are likely to be generating a lot of wasted spin, can handle a higher spin rate discus and are creating release velocities capable of breaking the inertia of a hi-spin discus.
Good examples of the type of discus you could choose here are the likes of the Nelco Super-Spin that has a 85% Rim weight or the ATE Indra that has a 91% rim weight. Click the images below to see more product information.
Conversely, if you are throwing a hi-spin high rim weight discus and it looks like it is falling off a cliff and nose diving early in the throw you aren’t creating enough spin and the aerodynamics of the discus are adversely affecting you. You aren’t breaking enough of the inertia created by the high rim weight. The spin is degrading fast and you are losing lift early. More importantly you are also creating negative lift as the spin degrades and driving the discus down. If you see this happening it is time to move down to a lower rim weighting and a lower spin rate discus.
It would probably be worth you considering products like the Nelco Lo-spin that has a rim weighting of 75% or the Neuff classic discus with a 77% rim weight. Click the images below to see more product information.
What hand feel do I like?
Discus throwing is a personal thing and comes with lost of factors that are discreet to each individual. A good discus thrower will intuitively like the “feel” of a disc. Feel is a critical component with discus throwing especially the feel of the rim on your fingers. You need a good, comfortable contact between your fingers and the rim in order to effectively transfer energy, break inertia and get the discus spinning.
The first part of the feel of the rim you should consider is the profile. Some discus have a “sharper” profile. These include the Polanik competition discus and the Denfi Skymaster. Click the images below to see more product information
Other discus have a less profiled rim that is a little “fatter”. Good examples of these are the Denfi Jurgen Shult or the ATE Comet.
Click the images below to see more product information
As wells as the profile of the rim it is also worth considering the finish of the rim and also the contrast between the rim and the plate. Discus like the Denfi space traveller have a wider rim that is black chrome plated.
The connection you make with the discus is probably one of the most important factors in attaining good distances. Don’t buy a discus blind, feel it, hold it and spin it. If it feels natural and “connects” well with your fingertips then that is a plus sign. Even better would be to try a friends first, just don’t cage it!
What else do I need to know?
As well as the two major factors above you also need to consider a few practical items that will also shape your decision.:
How long have you been throwing? If you are a beginner, you don’t want to invest in a hi spin discus or even a competition low spin discus. You would be better placed purchasing from the training range from Neuff as you build your skills. https://www.neuff.co.uk/collections/discus/Training-discus.
What level of competition am I entering? If you are entering a national championships or are likely to be striving for international age group honours you should ensure your discus is IAAF approved. If you are entering club competitions a rubber discus will probably be rejected.
What is my budget? You can spend a lot of money on a discus that would be wasted investment. There are discus at all prices that can meet most needs.
In summary, choosing a discus can be simple. Understand your throw characteristics and skill first, choose the appropriate rim weight and spin, find the rim feel and profile that suits you, make sure it is appropriate for you level of competition and budget.
Neuff also welcomes visitors, so you can go and try the feel of the discus in your hands if you are in the area.
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