If you are looking for a review of the best Innova discs for forehand shots - keep reading. Innova makes some excellent forehand discs, but first, you should understand what to look for when picking a flick shot disc.
If you want to skip straight to shopping, you can find most of these Innova discs here.
What Makes A Disc A Good Forehand Disc?
Generally speaking, there are a few characteristics that make a disc better suited for forehand shots:
- Low profile - a shallow rim and flat top make a forehand grip more comfortable.
- High-speed stable - the wrist is more active in sidearm throws, and solid high-speed stability is essential to correcting any wobble that comes with the extra torque when throwing forehand.
- Strong fade - players often turn to the forehand for a strong hyzer fade in the opposite direction of the backhand throw, making a high fade rating an essential element in forehand discs
Taking these general metrics as a guide, this article curates all the discs in the Innova lineup to help the average disc golf player find the best disc for their sidearm. With a long and storied history, this company has a lot of options, and we're here to sort it all out.
Innova has a number of high-profile forehand dominant players, such as Nate Sexton, Jeremy Koling, and Gregg Barsby. We'll feature some of their favorites and a few of ours as we delve into the best Innova discs for the forehand game, from putters to distance drivers and everything in between.
Putt and Approach
- Flight numbers: 3 | 1 | 0 | 3
- Dimensions: Diameter 21.2cm, Height 2.1cm, Rim Depth 1.4cm, Rim Width 1.4cm
- Popular Plastics: Pro, R-Pro
The Pig is a reliable overstable putter that doubles as a solid approach disc. Its wide and thick rim includes a thumb track around the top, allowing for a bit of extra leverage for forehand shots. The Pig's relatively flat top also provides comfort for the forehand grip. That said, its beefy rim could be an acquired taste for some players.
Before his recent exodus from Innova, top pro-Ricky Wysocki used the Pig for forehand throws well over 300ft, so we know this disc can hold up to maximum speed and torque. Unlike touchier putters that tend to turn over when thrown with less than perfect form, the Pig's heavy fade and low turn will keep it coming back to a hyzer finish.
- Flight numbers: 3 | 2 | 0 | 3
- Dimensions: Diameter 21.3cm, Height 1.8cm, Rim Depth 1.6cm, Rim Width 1.0cm
- Popular Plastics: Star, XT, Champion
The X3 is a variant of the most popular neutral putter of all time, the Aviar. The rounded rim feels like a traditional putter, but its concave "puddle" top makes it one of the more overstable discs in the putter family. For those looking for the stability of the Pig, but without the thick rim and thumb track, the AviarX3 is a great disc.
When choosing between these overstable putters, it all comes down to hand feel, and the AviarX3 has a uniquely thin 1.0cm rim width. Compare that to the Pig's thick 1.4cm rim, and it's evident that while their flight ratings are similar, the hand feel is very different. It's up to the individual player to decide which is the best disc for their hand.
Out of the hand, the AviarX3 will hold the intended line before losing speed and finding a reliable hyzer fade. Players with a lot of arm speed can put it on a straight flight for maximum distance out of the putter slot.
- Flight numbers: 4 | 2 | 0 | 2
- Dimensions: Diameter 21.2cm, Height 1.7cm, Rim Depth 1.4cm, Rim Width 1.1cm
- Popular Plastics: Star, Champion Glow
Explicitly designed to feel comfortable for the forehand throw, the Rat is a low-profile mid-range that most disc golfers will be able to control. A great beginner disc has enough stability to hold a line out of the hand without the extreme fade that most advanced players incorporate into their forehand game.
An excellent approach disc, the Rat, could even double as a putter for some players. Unlike the more stable discs on this list, this mid range will fly straight when thrown flat and, after some wear, will hyzer flip and achieve maximum glide.
The Rat is a very versatile option for throwing forehands with touch and finesse.
Note that the Rat is marketed as an overstable disc. Still, from both our experience and testimonials online, it tends to be much more neutral and controllable than its flight ratings, and company descriptions indicate.
- Flight numbers: 5 | 2 | 0 | 4
- Dimensions: Diameter 21.2cm, Height 1.9cm, Rim Depth 1.4cm, Rim Width 1.3cm
- Popular Plastics: DX, Champion
The Gator is an overstable mid range that has proven to be a reliable forehand disc for players of all skill levels. It feels very much like a traditional mid range, only a bit flatter and with a thicker rim. It pairs perfectly as an overstable complement to Innova's flagship mid range, the Roc.
The Gator has a prominent bead under the rim. One thing forehand players need to consider is whether they like throwing with or without a bead. The "bead" is an extra bit of plastic that protrudes from the bottom of the rim. Some players find the beaded rim catching on their fingers when throwing forehand, while others prefer the extra stability the bead provides.
- Flight numbers: 5.5 | 2 | 0 | 4
- Dimensions: Diamter 21.1cm, Height 1.7cm, Rim Depth 1.4cm, Rim Width 1.4cm
- Popular Plastics: Star, Champion
As we stay in the reptile family, the Caiman is unsurprisingly very much like a Gator, but with some key differences: it has a lower profile, a flatter top, and a smaller bead under the rim (referred to as a "microbead"). This gives it a bit extra speed in flight, but most importantly, it feels very natural for the forehand throw.
With an extreme 4 fade rating, the Caiman is one of the most overstable midrange discs in the Innova lineup. This is a forehand disc that will be very difficult to turn over, even for the hardest throwers. For players who use the forehand for force over flex lines, the Caiman will be a consistent disc that begins on anhyzer before reliably returning for a hyzer finish.
- Flight numbers: 7 | 4 | -1 | 3
- Dimensions: Diameter 21.2cm, Height 1.6cm, Rim Depth 1.2cm, Rim Width 1.7cm
- Popular Plastics: DX, Star, Swirly Star, Champion
A classic mold, the Eagle combines excellent glide with a bit of turn. It has a very reliable fade for a fairway driver. This combo of glide, turn, and strong fade makes it a shot-shaping machine that excels on flex lines and hyzer flips. Just make sure to get the more stable "X" version of the mold. The "L" model is a less stable disc.
Forehand aficionado and 2018 World Champion Gregg Barsby has bagged an Eagle for decades and is so associated with the disc that he has his own Tour Series Eagle. The Eagle is manufactured in a wide variety of plastics, with the baseline DX being solid and workable for beginners and the extra firm Swirly Star blend being very overstable and torque resistant.
- Flight numbers: 9 | 5 | -3 | 1
- Dimensions: Diameter 21.1cm, Height 1.4cm, Rim Depth 1.2cm, Rim Thickness 1.8cm
- Popular Plastics: Champion, Star
Perhaps the best forehand driver for beginners, the Sidewinder is an understable disc that will help promote smooth sidearm form. Its very low profile fits comfortably in the hand, while its generous -3 turn will allow players of all skill levels to take advantage of the high 5 glide rating.
This is a good forehand disc for learning a hyzer flip shot that flies straight. It is also fantastic for forehand rollers, a must-have utility shot for getting out of thick rough and generating extra distance from difficult lies. Try the Sidewinder if you are new to throwing forehand shots and want to practice solid fundamentals.
- Flight numbers: 9 | 5 | 0 | 2
- Dimensions: Diameter 21.2cm, Height 1.6cm, Rim Depth 1.1cm, Rim Width 1.9cm
- Popular Plastics: Champion, Star, Halo Star, Swirly Star
The Thunderbird's shallow 1.1cm rip depth fits comfortably in the hand with a forehand grip. With its generous 5 glide rating, this could be your next workhorse driver.
When brand new, it works well as an overstable driver that will work spike hyzers and forced flex shots. Once broken in, it will lose some stability but gain extra glide, becoming ideal for both hyzer flips and long straight shots.
By bagging multiple Thunderbirds in various stages of wear, disc golfers can cover a plethora of shot shapes with the same mold. Jeremy Koling, one of the best forehand throwers of all time, uses the Thunderbird as his signature disc. As with most of these signature Swirly Star editions, the Koling Thunderbird is very overstable.
For a more workable version of the Thunderbird, give a lighter version a try. This disc in the 160-165 gram range will get tremendous glide and even hyzer flip and fly straight for both forehand and backhand throws. With the variety of Thunderbirds in circulation, there's bound to be one out there that will fit your forehand shot.
- Flight numbers: 9 | 3 | 0 | 4
- Dimensions: Diameter 21.1cm, Height 1.4cm, Rim Depth 1.2cm, Rim Width 1.9cm
- Popular Plastics: Champion, Star
The Firebird is simply the most popular overstable fairway driver of all time. It has been a staple in Innova pros bags for two decades.
World Champions Ken Climo, Paul McBeth, and Ricky Wysocki have all put the Firebird in the bag. Forehand dominant pro-Nate Sexton is one of the most popular disc golfers of the modern era, and his famous Tour Series Firebird is always a hot commodity.
But what's best for professional disc golfers is not best for beginners. The Firebird is an excellent example of a popular overstable disc that newer and casual players should approach with caution. It's fast, overstable, and not going to get a straight flight.
That said, its extreme high-speed stability and heavy fade make it very reliable for players who tend to turn over their forehand shots. For experienced players, the Firebird offers to pinpoint accuracy in all conditions and is universally praised as a go-to forehand disc.
The aforementioned Sexton version is a slightly modified Firebird that is easier to throw forehand for the amateur disc golfer. This "sexy bird" gets more glide and a tad bit of turn. The widely available premium plastic Champion version is the most reliably overstable model.
The elusive "flat-top" runs of the Firebird are favorite forehand discs for those who can find them.
Here are our picks for the best sidearm distance drivers.
- Flight numbers: 10 | 4 | -1 | 3
- Dimensions: Diameter 21.2cm, Height 1.9cm, Rim Depth 1.2cm, Rim Width 2.0cm
- Popular Plastics: Star
Perhaps one of the most under-appreciated molds in the Innova lineup, the Orc is basically a much faster and more aggressive version of the Eagle.
Other than the significant difference in speed, these molds have the same flight ratings, with their subtle -1 turn combined with a heavy 3 fade to get more distance without sacrificing accuracy.
A slightly understable disc, the Orc is excellent for hyzer flips and skinny flexes, making it particularly useful when carving up tight lines in the woods. Often overshadowed by faster distance drivers, the Orc is an excellent forehand distance driver for intermediate-level players.
- Flight numbers: 12 | 5 | 0 | 4
- Dimensions: Diameter 21.1cm, Height 1.6cm, Rim Depth 1.2cm, Rim Width 2.3cm
- Popular Plastics: Star
The XCaliber is a fast and overstable distance driver that, in the right hands, will get a significant distance with a lot of control. Primarily for power players, this disc will get a lot of glide before reliably fading on hyzer.
Also great for skip shots and forced flexes, the XCaliber is an overstable counterpart to the more neutral Destroyer or Wraith.
We already discussed Nate Sexton's signature Firebird, but that's not the only driver that's been anointed with his signature. When he needs more distance and speed, Sexton opts for the Star XCaliber. This is his newest signature disc, and you can see him and designer Dave Dunipace extoll its virtues here.
- Flight numbers: 13 | 5 | -1 | 3
- Dimensions: Diameter 21.2cm, Height 1.5cm, Rim Depth 1.2cm, Rim Width 2.5cm
- Popular Plastics: Champion, Star
With a very low profile and a maximum legal rim width of 2.5cm, this extremely fast-distance driver feels sleek and sharp in the hand. For maximum forehand distance, the Boss is the best disc for the job, as it has enough turn to get massive flex lines that take advantage of its high glide rating.
It can also achieve wicked hyzer flips that glide very straight at an incredible speed.
Due to its very wide and sharp rim, the Boss is one of the best discs for huge skip shots. On smooth and manicured fairways, like the ones found on converted ball golf courses, this mold will finish with a massive series of skips before finally settling down.
Innova pro-Alex Russell is known as one of the best forehand throwers in the game, and he uses his signature Star Boss for maximum distance. He talks about the Boss and the rest of the best Innova discs for forehand in this video:
What makes a disc better for forehands?
Disc golf discs with a low profile, solid high-speed stability, and heavy fade are generally better for forehand shots.
What is the best forehand approach disc?
The best Innova forehand approach disc is the Pig or the Rat, although this heavily depends on your experience level.
What is the best forehand driver?
With its low profile, high glide rating, and a huge variety of available plastics, the Thunderbird is the best forehand driver in the Innova lineup.
What are the most overstable Innova discs for forehands?
If you need an overstable disc that will never turn and burn, the Gator, Firebird, and XCaliber are excellent for spike hyzers, forced flexes, and extreme headwinds.
What are the best forehand discs for beginners?
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