Imagine staring down a 250ft tunnel shot through heavy woods. The narrow fairway doesn't allow space for the disc to turn, and the tight green calls for little to no fade in any direction. What you need is a frozen rope down the center that finishes flat on the ground.
Finding that elusive dead straight flight path is one of the first achievements beginners need to unlock, and both the Innova Mako3 and the Discraft Buzzz promise to help them get there. In this article we'll compare and contrast these straight flyers to help decide which one to keep in your bag.
- Diameter: 21.7cm
- Height: 1.9cm
- Rim Depth: 1.4cm
- Rim Width: 1.4cm
- Diameter: 21.7cm
- Height: 1.9cm
- Rim Depth: 1.3cm
- Rim Width: 1.2cm
Despite having identical listed height of 1.9cm, the above profile photo reveals that the Mako3 has a bit more of a dome top. Combine that with a deeper rim and the Mako3 will feel taller in the hand than the sleeker and lower profile Buzzz.
Another big difference between these two molds is the rim configuration. Take a close look at the way the underside of the Buzzz's rim has a concave shape as it connects with the outer rim. In contrast, the Mako3 has a straight if not a bit of a convex shape, more akin to a putter than a driver.
Generally speaking, a more concave rim provides more high-speed stability and low-speed fade. As discs become faster, this shape becomes even more extreme and exaggerated. A convex rim, on the other hand, will promote a neutral flight and very little fade. It denotes a classic "point and shoot" disc.
- Speed: 5
- Glide: 5
- Turn: 0
- Fade: 0
The Mako3 has perfectly neutral flight characteristics. With extreme glide, little to no turn, and virtually no fade at the end, this mid range is a very straight flyer that will stay true to the angle of release all the way to the ground.
While straight is great, it is a bit of a one-trick pony. It will be difficult to shape hyzer lines with the Mako3, and once it's put on an anhyzer angle, it is less likely to fight back to hyzer and create a flex shape.
However, to a large degree, this is dependent on personal arm strength. Beginners and low power players will have some success shaping shots with the Mako3, while intermediate and advanced players will find it neutral to slightly understable.
- Speed: 5
- Glide: 4
- Turn: -1
- Fade: 1
The Buzzz flies straight, but with slightly less prominent glide and a more reliable hyzer fade. This makes it more versatile than the Mako3, allowing for more shot shapes. Put on a turnover line, the Buzzz will hold a gentle turn before fading back to flat. Put it on a steep angle and it can hold a long sweeping hyzer line.
At first glance the Buzzz's -1 turn vs. the Mako3's 0 turn makes it seem like the Buzzz is more understable. Based on my personal experience, this is simply not the case. The Buzzz can absorb a lot more speed and torque without turning over. This is especially true in premium plastics.
- Halo Star
Most popular in the durable and stiff Champion plastic, the Mako3 is also available in the softer Star plastic. If your home course is heavily wooded, go with the Champion for longevity, but the grippier Star version will maintain flight characteristics for awhile too.
We have the Mako3 available in Innova's popular Halo Star plastic (pictured above), which promises the durability of Champion with the hand feel of Star.
- Z Line
The Buzzz has long been one of the most popular midranges in the world, and as such it has been produced in pretty much every plastic blend Discraft has ever cooked up. Most players use it as their midrange workhorse, so a durable premium plastic is essential to increase longevity.
Any plastic with a "Z" in the name (i.e. Z Line, CryZtal, Z Glow) will be a very durable option. The Buzzz also flies more a tad more overstable in the Z blends. The Titanium is also extremely durable with a metallic sheen, and the ESP has solid durability but with a softer and more flexible feel. For all our Buzzz's, check the full collection here.
Innova Mako3 vs Buzzz: Differences
Low Speed Stability
The Mako3 has the unique ability to remain straight all the way to the ground. Put on a flat line, it will remain flat as it slows down. This makes it a very useful tool when approaching difficult greens, as it will not skip to the side or catch edge and roll.
The Buzzz, on the other hand, has enough low speed stability to gently hyzer out of a flat shot. To land it perfectly flat will require a bit of an anhyzer release. That extra low speed stability comes in handy for accurate approaches that require some turn at the end.
Getting good distance from midranges is often what separates beginners from intermediate players. Seasoned disc golfers reach for the slow and reliable accuracy of mid range discs over the speedier but less controllable fairway driver.
The Buzzz is has excellent distance potential for a mid range disc. More advanced players will be able to push it well over 300ft, and pro-level arms will push it out past 400ft.
With a decent amount of turn at high speeds and a little fade at the end of its flight, the Buzzz flies on towering flex lines for long distances, as demonstrated by big-armed pro Drew Gibson in this video.
The Mako3 has less distance potential than the Buzzz. It does not get the kind of gentle turn and reliable fade necessary for long distance flex shots. Furthermore, since it flies so true to its release angle, there is much more room for error when muscling up on the Mako3. A few degrees off on a power throw and it might be sailing in a straight line in the wrong direction, never to return.
Which One Is For You?
There is a fair amount of overlap between these two, so which one will be the next new disc in your bag?
Who Should Use a Mako3
Beginner to intermediate players who want a straight shooter should grab this disc. Since it flies so neutral, the Mako3 promotes smooth and fundamentally sound throwing form, and is excellent for learning clean throwing technique. Many players note that is doubles as a putting option (perhaps due to the aforementioned convex rim shape).
Who Should Use A Discraft Buzzz
Advanced players looking for a workhorse midrange that comes in a seemingly infinite amount of plastics should dive down the Buzzz rabbit hole. Discraft also produces the Buzz "SS" (So Straight) and "OS" (Over Stable), slight variations on the original.
Presumably a disc golfer can fill their entire mid range slot with various Buzzz's. Take a look at our wide selection of Buzzz's and other Discraft discs for sale here.
Which is more popular, the Buzzz or Mako3?
The Buzzz is possibly the most popular mid range disc in the world, and has been getting players birdies for nearly two decades.
Which version of the Buzzz is best?
That depends on what you need. Try the Buzz "SS" for hyzer flips and turnovers, the Buzz "OS" for sweeping hyzers and forehand throws, and the tradional Buzzz for an all-around midrange for all conditions.
Do pros throw the Mako3?
Young phenom Hailey King recently signed with Innova discs and immediately put her name on her own Hailey King Signature Halo Mako3. Fellow FPO player Holly Finley also has a Glow Champion Mako3, which you can take a look at here below.
At the end of the day there is no wrong choice when it comes to the Mako3 vs Buzzz decision. Both have proven to be great options for players of all skill levels, and both will thread the needle on those intimidating straight tunnel shots.
The Mako3 is designed to hit that straight shot and is great for beginners, while the Buzzz offers more versatility and distance potential for advanced players.