Innova is one of the most prominent disc golf companies in the world. They produce and distribute the largest line on the market, so there is no shortage of discs available to meet a player’s every need.
In this piece, we will break down and review two of Innova’s popular discs; the Thunderbird Vs Firebird, and help you decide which disc is right for you.
While both the Thunderbird and Firebird are considered drivers, they have some significant differences that affect their flight.
Innova Thunderbird Vs. Firebird
When it comes to each disc’s physical properties, they may seem fairly similar to each other. However, regardless of their similarities, each disc offers its own benefit and abilities to players. Both are offered in the standard weight range with a maximum weight of 175g and are built for controlled distance.
Thunderbird Flight Numbers: 9 | 5 | 0 | 2
The Innova Thunderbird is most commonly produced in Champion Plastic, but is also available in Star, GStar, Metal Flake, Pro, DX and Halo Star plastic as well. The rim has a 21.2cm diameter and 1.9cm width.
Firebird Flight Numbers: 9 | 4 | 0 | 3
Like the Thunderbird, Firebirds are most commonly produced in Champion Plastic, but are also available in Star, GStar, DX, and Champion Glow plastics.
With only a slight size variation from the Thunderbird, the Firebird's rim is 21.1cm in diameter and 1.9cm wide.
How They Fly
While a disc’s true flight pattern is in the hands of the thrower, each disc is made with certain flight properties in mind.
The Thunderbird is an incredibly stable disc. It has a slight fade, though flies straight and steady with a right-hand back-hand throw. A more advanced player with proper technique can push this disk to around close to 380 feet (115.8 meters).
It can be used for more precise drives and controlled hyzer shots. With its consistency and predictability, the Thunderbird can also be used for straight-ahead placement shots. Innova compares the Thunderbird speed to the Valkyrie and stability to a TeeBird.
The Firebird has the same speed and turn rating as the Thunderbird, but their main difference is in their stability. The Firebird is an overstable driver that offers power and accuracy. These features come in handy when throwing into headwinds.
The Firebird is geared more towards intermediate and advanced players. With the higher fade rating, the Firebird can be used for big hyzers and flex shots. A highly skilled player can drive and flex a Firebird nearly 360 feet (109.7 meters).
When They Should Be Thrown
The Thunderbird is most often used for accurate and predictable drives. When facing a tunnel shot or open fairway, this is a great disc to throw.
The Thunderbird's features also make it a solid choice for controlled hyzer shots. Its stability and fade allow for placement shots, especially when aiming for a shot that is pretty much right in front of you. They work well for right-hand back-hand throwers.
The Firebird is excellent for windy conditions and forehand shots.
The Firebird’s combination of stability and speed allows it to fly into headwinds with power and accuracy. Innova claims the Firebird is their most popular upwind driver.
The control requires a higher skill set than the Thunderbird, but if done right can be excellent for big hyzers and long-range flex shots.
Who Should Throw Them
These two discs offer different features and abilities and, in turn, require different skill levels to get the best out of them.
The Thunderbird is far more forgiving than the Firebird and much more beginner-friendly. It doesn’t require as much skill to get the benefits this disc has to offer.
In fact, it can be an excellent disc for someone who is just starting out and trying to learn control. It is a bag staple for highly skilled players and comes in handy for those situations when you want to remove the guesswork from a drive.
The Firebird definitely requires a more polished and advanced skillset. It can be challenging to handle for beginners.
Innova designed Firebirds for professional level players, and it takes professional level skills to get this disc to end up where you want it to. With the right skill level, this disc is incredibly accurate and a top choice for overstable discs.
The Nate Sexton Firebird has been one of the most sought-after discs since its initial release in 2015. Year after year, it is a top seller.
The Firebird Vs Thunderbird Final Decision
Of these two Innova discs, which one is right for you? While both are great, each can provide players its own benefit on the course.
Thunderbirds are more versatile than Firebirds. They don’t require as much skill and are beginner-friendly, stable, and accurate.
They work well with controlled hyzer shots and predictable placement. These discs can be a great option for players who are just starting out and trying to learn control and placement or as a go-to stable distance driver for more seasoned players.
The Firebird is geared more towards highly skilled players. Its unique speed and overstability rating make it a favorite among players with elite control and handling skills.
It is also an excellent choice for those battling heavy winds on the course. Wind can become the shot killer, but not if your bag is equipped with this disc.
Now that you know a little more about these discs make sure to check out all of our Innova disc golf discs for sale.
You can read more disc golf disc reviews and comparisons here!