The 10 Best Innova Putters In 2023

by Denis Flaschner, Professional | PDGA #49081
Three Innova Putt and Approach Discs with studio lighting

With over 25 options, the Innova putter lineup has a little something for everybody. From vintage lid style molds to modern overstable throwing putters, they offer a full spectrum of shapes, sizes, and flight patterns. No other company comes close to Innova's variety and volume in the putter class. 

Based on my decades of experience throwing their plastic, I've whittled down Innova's selection to their ten best options. But I know a player's relationship with a putter can be very personal, so these aren't just my favorites. I've seen these discs bring success to casual players and professionals alike. 

Aviar

A Yellow Innova Nexus Aviar disc with a blue stamp

Dimensions

  • Height: 2.0cm
  • Diameter: 21.2cm
  • Rim Depth: 1.5cm
  • Rim Width: 0.9cm

Flight Ratings

  • Speed: 2
  • Glide: 3
  • Turn: 0
  • Fade: 1

Popular Plastics

  • DX
  • Pro (KC, Yeti, JK)
  • Champion

The godfather of all putters, the Aviar is one of the most significant discs in the sport's history. Its debut in 1984 represented a giant leap forward in design and manufacturing technology. It's no exaggeration to say the Aviar is the disc golf equivalent of the Louisville Slugger or the Naismith Basketball, and its success essentially built Innova as a brand. 

Still widely used by players today, the Aviar has evolved and inspired several variants of the original design. This disc is so popular that other manufacturers make Aviar-inspired putters, such as the Gateway Wizard, Dynamic Discs Judge, or the Discraft Magnet.

The affordable DX "putt and approach" edition is always easy to find and is in the Innova starter pack. The "classic" Aviar is closest to the original design and is a dead straight flier with flight numbers closer to 2 / 3 / 0 / 0. You can recognize this one by its retro-inspired grid stamp. 

The following variants of the Aviar are also popular options:

  • KC Pro – Named after Ken "The Champ" Climo, this Aviar has a big bead on the rim that makes for a deeper hand feel and a more stable flight. This version is excellent for throwing and has long been popular among professionals.
  • Yeti Pro – Named after disc golf Hall of Famer and one of the best putters of all time, Jay "Yeti'' Reading, the Yeti Pro Aviar has a distinctive concave flight plate and a big bead on the rim. A soft, rubbery hand feel that is particularly beloved by spin putters.
  • JK Pro – Named after Julianna Korver, this version has a smaller bead and flexible plastic.

We have yet another unique Aviar in stock now. The Innova Nexus Aviar comes in a special plastic blend that has the grippy feel of a baseline plastic with a bit more durability.

For more background on the Aviar, here's Innova founder and CEO Dave Dunipace with a brief primer on his company's bestselling disc:

Whale

An Innova Champion Glow Whale disc with a white background

Dimensions

  • Height: 2.0cm
  • Diameter: 21.1cm
  • Rim Depth: 1.5cm
  • Rim Width: 1.0cm

Flight Ratings

  • Speed: 2
  • Glide: 3
  • Turn: 0
  • Fade: 1

Popular Plastics

  • DX
  • XT
  • Champion

The Whale is a slightly more stable Aviar. With a somewhat blunter nose and a small bead under the rim, the Whale has more weight concentrated towards the rim. It is not exactly overstable, but it can handle a bit of extra power and torque. This putter has a deep hand feel combined with a fairly flat top.  

While with Innova, Ricky Wysocki switched from putting with KC Pro Aviars to the Whale. Wysocki is on the short list of the best putters in the world, and the Whale suited his aggressive pitch putt style. We have a very cool Glow Champion Whale available in the store. It is excellent off the tee and on the approach in this premium plastic. 

For more info on the Whale, Pro Chris Shotwell takes us to flight school in this video:

 

Firefly

An Innova DX Firefly Disc with studio lighting

Dimensions

  • Height: 2.1cm
  • Diameter: 21.1cm
  • Rim Depth: 1.5cm
  • Rim Width: 1.0cm

Flight Ratings

  • Speed: 2
  • Glide: 3
  • Turn: 0
  • Fade: 1

Popular Plastics

  • Nexus

As the largest manufacturer in the sport, Innova has the production power to pump out discs for other brands. For years, they produced most of Discmania's lineup.

This included the popular P2 putter. In 2020, Discmania moved away from the Innova factory and kept the name "P'' for themselves. Innova held the design patent and rebranded the P2 as the Firefly.  

This beadless and slightly overstable putter feels like a deeper and beefier version of the Aviar. The Firefly is a solid option on the putting green, but it shines off the tee and on the approach.

It has enough stability to absorb extra power and will hold turning hyzer lines. Finesse players will quickly get the Firefly to perform subtle flex shots.  

Innova Team captain Nate Sexton bags his signature Firefly in Nexus plastic. After spending years honing my putt with the P2, I was relieved to see this rebranded version hit the market. This disc has the versatility and consistency of a go-to putter. 

Dart

Dimensions

  • Height: 2.2cm
  • Diameter: 21.2cm
  • Rim Depth: 1.4cm
  • Rim Width: 1.2cm

Flight Ratings

  • Speed: 3
  • Glide: 4
  • Turn: 0
  • Fade: 0

Popular Plastics

  • XT
  • R-Pro

When he's outside of 60 feet and wants to make a run at the chains, Sexton leaves the Firefly in the bag and grabs his Dart. This straight-flying putter/mid hybrid has extreme glide with minimal fade.

Just a flick of the wrist can put it on a slow frozen rope towards the basket. In the grippy and flexible R-Pro plastic, spin putters can extend their make range with the Dart. 

On full throws, the Dart will behave like an understable midrange. It doesn't take a lot of power to hyzer-flip this disc to flat and have it glide out to 250 feet. The Dart is a great all-around disc for beginners and an excellent utility disc for aspiring pros.

Pig

An Innova Color Glow Pro Pig (Ricky Wysocki 2021 Tour Series) disc with a rainbow stamp

Dimensions

  • Height: 2.1cm
  • Diameter: 21.2cm
  • Rim Depth: 1.4cm
  • Rim Width: 1.4cm

Flight Ratings

  • Speed: 4
  • Glide: 1
  • Turn: 0
  • Fade: 3

 Popular Plastics

  • Pro
  • R-Pro

More of an approach disc than a putter, 2x World Champion Ricky Wysocki inspired a Pig renaissance the past few years by using it for seemingly every shot within 300 feet of the pin. He has since left Innova for Dynamic Discs, but the Pig remains a beloved throwing putter, particularly among dominant forehand players. 

With a prominent thumb track around a thick and heavy rim, this disc has plenty of weight to grab ahold. Its overstable flight can handle extra torque out of hand, and its heavy hyzer fade is super reliable in all wind conditions.

Available primarily in Pro plastic, we have the Pig in Stiff Pro and flashy Color Glow varieties. 

Rhyno

Dimensions

  • Height: 1.9cm
  • Diameter: 21.2cm
  • Rim Depth: 1.3cm
  • Rim Width: 1.0cm

Flight Ratings

  • Speed: 2
  • Glide: 1
  • Turn: 0
  • Fade: 3

Popular Plastics

  • DX
  • R-Pro
  • Champion

The Rhyno is an overstable putter with a thumb track around the rim. It also has a prominent bead. With a slightly lower profile and a much thinner rim, the Rhyno cannot match the speed and stability of the Pig, but its slow and consistent flight performs much better on the putting green. 

While it has never been super popular, the Rhyno has somewhat of a cult following. Players love its versatility, as it is great for both forehand and backhand approaches.

The DX and R-Pro are excellent for putting, while premium plastics like Champion are the best for throwing. Innova pros Gregg Barsby and Calvin Heimburg bag the Rhyno as an approach disc.

We have the Innova Gregg Barsby Rhyno (Tour Series) in Nexus plastic in our store.

AviarX3

A purple Innova Star AviarX3 (Maria Oliva 2022 Tour Series) disc with a black stamp with a white background

Dimensions

  • Height: 1.8cm
  • Diameter: 21.3cm
  • Rim Depth: 1.6cm
  • Rim Width: 1.0cm

Flight Ratings

  • Speed: 3
  • Glide: 2
  • Turn: 0
  • Fade: 3 

Popular Plastics

  • Star
  • Champion

For reliable overstability without a thick and beefy thumb track, look no further than the AviarX3. The AviarX3 is another Aviar variant, but this one has different dimensions and flight characteristics. With a very low profile and deep rim, the X3 is meant to be thrown off the tee and on the approach.

I bag this disc for all kinds of specialty putter shots like spike hyzers, skinny flexes, forehand upshots, and dead straight frozen ropes that finish with reliable dumpy fade.

Great in windy conditions, the AviarX3 is super predictable no matter the situation. We have the Maria Olivia Tour Series version available in Star plastic. 

Invader

A blue Innova Champion Luster Invader with a red stamp

Dimensions

  • Height: 1.9cm
  • Diameter: 21.2cm
  • Rim Depth: 1.5cm
  • Rim Width: 1.0cm

 Flight Ratings

  • Speed: 3
  • Glide: 2
  • Turn: 0
  • Fade: 1

 Popular Plastics

  • DX
  • Star
  • Champion Luster 

The Invader is a newer mold steadily gaining a reputation for being an excellent option off the tee and on the approach. It has a low and aerodynamic profile with a flat top and a shallow rim. The board flat and throwing putter has long been a blind spot in the Innova lineup, and the Invader fills that void. 

The Invader doesn't get much glide, but that's a good thing. This disc is about controlled approaches that won't zoom past the basket. We have the extra durable Luster Invader available in our store. This stiff plastic blend will add more stability for full power throws. 

Nova

An Innova XT Nova (XXL Legendary Planet Stamp) disc with studio lighting

Dimensions

  • Height: 2.7cm
  • Diameter: 21.3cm
  • Rim Depth: 1.5cm
  • Rim Width: 1.1cm

Flight Ratings

  • Speed: 2
  • Glide: 3
  • Turn: 0
  • Fade: 0 

Popular Plastics

  • XT

The Nova is made with an overmold, meaning the rim and the flight plate are two pieces of plastic fused (MVP uses similar technology for all their discs). With a very high dome and deep rim, it has a unique hand feel that might take some getting used to.

Those who master this quirky disc are rewarded with flight characteristics that are the epitome of "point and shoot." The Nova will hold its initial angle through the entire flight and is one of the best discs for honing a smooth and clean release. This disc is fantastic for aspiring pros who want to build perfect throwing form. 

Texas-based Pro, Bradley Williams, has one of the cleanest backhand throws in the world, and he demonstrates the virtues of the Nova in this informative video:


Polecat

An Innova Halo Polecat Disc with studio lighting

Dimensions

  • Height: 2.3cm
  • Diameter: 21.3cm
  • Rim Depth: 1.6cm
  • Rim Width: 0.7cm 

Flight Ratings

  • Speed: 1
  • Glide: 3
  • Turn: 0
  • Fade: 0

Popular Plastics

  • DX
  • Champion
  • Halo Star

With the 3rd annual Polecat World Championships set for later this month at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, I would be remiss to exclude the Polecat from any discussion of Innova putters. Innova dropped a long-awaited Halo Star version of this disc on April Fools Day, and they are going for as much as $1000 on the secondary market. 

What started as an internet meme has snowballed into a full-blown hype train, as players are rediscovering the fun of throwing this vintage disc. The Polecat has an old-school ''lid" shaped design with a unique squared-off edge. With extreme glide and dead straight flight, this is a solid approach disc that takes just a flick of the wrist to get it going. 

When it hits the ground, it sticks where it lands, making it a good choice for conservative players who hate bleeding strokes. For putting, its extremely deep rim makes for an odd hand feel. It won't be your all-around workhorse, but, at the very least, it is excellent for a pre-round game of catch! 

The Innova DX Polecat is available in our store. This disc won't let you down if you're a newbie trying to master different shot shapes or just want it for the memes!

This humorous review from Gladiator Disc Golf highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the Polecat:

 

Top Picks

For a great all-around putter that is solid for players of all skill levels, you can't go wrong with the classic Aviar. The standard DX version is affordable, always available, and remarkably consistent for a company often criticized for variations between its production runs. 

For something a bit different, give the underappreciated Rhyno a try. I've met many excellent players who bag multiple versions of this disc to cover all their putt and approach needs. 

 

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