No disc golf bag is complete without an extremely fast distance driver. These wide-rimmed speed demons are great for attacking low ceilings, getting massive skips, and generating max distance. In this article we'll take a look at two popular Innova discs, the Shryke and Destroyer.
Often called the "gold standard" for distance drivers, the Destroyer is a tentpole disc in the Innova lineup. It is quite possibly the bestselling driver of all time, and is very popular amongst pro players.
But what's great for the pros isn't always the best option for the average player. That's where the Shryke comes in. It is a more throwable alternative to the Destroyer, and has gained popularity in recent years as a solid max distance driver for lower power players.
Now, let's find out which one of these popular drivers is right for you. When you are ready to buy, you can find both of these discs in our online Innova shop.
- Diameter: 21.1cm
- Rim Depth: 1.2cm
- Rim Width: 2.3 cm
The Shryke has the sharp edge and wide rim common among super fast maximum distance drivers. The 1.2cm rim depth is pretty standard in the driver category. What distinguishes the Shryke is its relatively tall 1.7cm height.
If you laid a disc flat on a table, the height dimension is the distance between the center of the disc to the table. This means the Shyrke has a lot of dome for a distance driver. The higher dome means more glide, and more glide means more distance.
Additionally, discs with higher dome will generally have more high speed turn than flat top molds. This means they will fly more understable at high speeds, making it easier to hyzer flip to flat.
- Diameter: 21.1cm
- Rim Depth: 1.2cm
- Rim Width: 2.2cm
The Destroyer has significantly less height than the Shryke. While this flatter profile translates to less potential glide, it also means a stronger, more reliable fade. This lower height also makes the Destroyer more aerodynamic and wind-resistant.
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It should be noted that the Destroyer has been produced for so long, and at such huge volume, that there is a lot of variance in different production runs, particularly in the size and shape of the dome top. The above dimensions are those published on the PDGA website, and may not reflect the dimensions of any individual Destroyer.
The much sought-after "pop top" Star plastic Destroyers may have the same amount of height as a Shryke. These taller profile runs will have extra glide and more high speed turn. Batches of stiff Champion plastic Destroyers might have a flatter top. These will fly more overstable and require much more speed and spin to activate the turn and glide portions of flight.
This makes it difficult to predict how a new Destroyer will behave. Some players keep multiple Destroyers in the bag to cover a variety of shot shapes and situations. In his 2021 "in the bag" video, top pro Calvin Heimburg reveals he carries six different Destroyers, each unique in their own way.
- Speed: 13
- Glide: 6
- Turn: -2
- Fade: 2
The Shryke's exceptional glide and generous turn make it an understable distance driver built to hit massive hyzer flip and turnover lines. Combine these flight characteristics with a high speed rating of 13 and you get an absolute bomber that could be the furthest flying disc in the bag.
The Shryke's ideal flight path is to start on a slight hyzer that flips up to flat and turns a bit anhyzer. At this point it will show off its high glide rating before a reliable fade takes over and finishes with a gentle hyzer back to center. With the right combination of angle and power, the Shryke can get incredible distance with a straight flight.
The flip side to that coin is a relative lack of control, particularly in windy conditions. On a bad throw, the Shryke is much more likely to turn over and never come back. Since it is so fast and has so much glide, it will go very far in the wrong direction. If you misread the wind or misjudge the angle of release, the Shryke will exaggerate that mistake.
- Speed: 12
- Glide: 5
- Turn: -1
- Fade: 3
The Destroyer is a high speed workhorse driver, and the flight numbers reflect that. It is a very versatile disc with a great combination of distance and control. It's -1 turn shows that it has mild high speed turn, but its 3 fade indicates it will be relatively overstable at slow speeds. This combination is perfect for shaping long distance shots with reliable accuracy.
For those with lower arm speed, the Destroyer will likely be a very overstable distance driver. There is a minimum power level required to activate the -1 turn and 5 glide that these flight numbers promise. Low power players will not be able to get big distance from the Destroyer, but they can use it as a fast utility disc in certain situations.
Advanced players will appreciate this disc's unique combination of high glide and strong fade. Excellent for both forehand and backhand, this disc has been incredibly popular among professional players for over a decade.
Both of these popular drivers are available in a wide variety of Innova plastics. With super high speed drivers, the different stabilities of the plastic blends can dramatically alter the disc's flight pattern.
The DX plastic is a cheap option, but will get beat up very quickly. This beating in process is accelerated for wide-rimmed speedsters like the Shryke and Destroyer. Unless you are a casual player who only plays every once in a while, we do not recommend buying maximum distance drivers in this plastic.
The G-Star plastic is a solid option for beginners and intermediate players. This plastic has enough durability to absorb punishment without the flight characteristics changing too drastically. Discs generally fly more understable in G-Star, making it an ideal plastic blend for players with less power. This blend is also very grippy and flexible.
Pro plastic is a bit stiffer than G-Star and has moderate durability. A brand new Pro plastic version of the Destroyer or Shryke will likely fly as described in the flight numbers.
- Halo Star
The Star, Champion and Halo Star versions are the most durable and overstable options. These are meant for experienced players looking for a primary distance driver that will hold up to heavy use.
In these premium plastics, a fresh Destroyer will be an overstable disc. As it breaks in, it will get more glide and turn. An old and weathered Star Destroyer will be legitimately understable and fly very similar to a brand new Shryke. Bagging multiple Destroyers in different stages of wear is a popular way to cover all the different distance shot shapes.
For the average player, a brand new Shryke in Champion or Halo Star plastic will be a stable distance driver with less turn and more fade than the flight numbers indicate. As it breaks in, the Shryke will gradually become more understable and start to develop massive glide.
When buying these discs in premium plastic it is best to think long-term, taking into account how they will age over time. You can read more about Innova disc plastics here.
Shryke vs Destroyer: Differences
We've already gone over how these two discs have significant differences in turn, fade and overall stability.
It's clear that the Shryke is the best option for lower power players looking for an introduction to the high speed driver category. It is more forgiving and throwable for those with less snap and torque. A lighter weight Shryke, such as a 160 gram in G Star plastic, is a legitimate option for beginners and juniors.
The Destroyer is best for experienced players looking for a long range workhorse. It is known as the gold standard for distance drivers for good reason. However, due to the massive volume of Destroyers available, and the aforementioned variance between different production runs, it can be difficult to decide where to start.
There is a massive secondary market for Destroyers, and if you want to take a deep dive into the subtle differences between production runs, take a look at this video for a detailed and unbiased overview.
Which flies further, the Shryke or the Destroyer?
Because of its extreme glide, the Shryke has greater raw distance potential and flies further than a Destroyer. However, this extra length comes with less predictability.
Do any pros throw the Shryke?
The Shryke is a popular mold in the FPO division, and pro Jessica Weese put her name on the 2021 Tour Series edition.
Why do so many pros throw the Destroyer?
The Destroyer is a popular disc among pros because its strong low speed stability offers tremendous accuracy and reliability when throwing maximum distance. It has enough stability to handle the extreme speed and spin that big arms generate.
Is a Shryke or Destroyer better for forehands?
Both are equally good for forehands and backhands.
If you're new to the high speed driver category, the Shryke is an excellent option. If you're a seasoned veteran looking for a versatile workhorse driver, definitely give the Destroyer a shot.