Have you ever ordered a disc online, only to have it arrive bent, warped or concave? This quick guide will help you fix this issue in a few simple steps!
What Does Puddle Top Mean?
In simple terms - a puddle top disc golf disc means that the top of the disc is concave and would collect water like a "puddle." This can happen for a variety of reasons, and some players even prefer puddle top discs due to their flight characteristics. There are even some discs that are made with a slight puddle top, like Innova's Pro Pig for example.
How Does A Puddle Top Effect Disc Flight?
A disc that is concave or "puddle-topped" will have less glide than a flat or domey disc. Generally speaking the more dome a disc has - the more it will glide. This makes putters and approach discs ideal candidates for puddle tops, because it will help the disc "sit down" faster and perform more predictably in windy conditions.
Some players will even set weights on top of their discs overnight to create a puddle top just to make their disc less glide-y. Kastaplast's Berg, a putt & approach disc, has a naturally occurring puddle top and it is known for having little to no glide.
However, sometimes a disc will be puddle-topped that you do want to glide. This can happen from a variety or ways but most commonly happens during the shipment of a disc. If a heavy box is sitting on top of a bubble mailer or the discs are packed too tightly it can result in one (or more) of the discs forming a puddle top.
Luckily if you want to fix a bent or puddle topped disc, it is pretty easy.
How To Fix A Puddle Top Or Bent Disc
A quick disclaimer: Premium and hard plastics will work the best with this method. While we have had success with this method using base plastics, it doesn't work as consistently as it does with premium. So if you are trying to fix a disc with entry level plastic, just know that it will not always work.
If you are working with a premium plastic, or are fine with the risk of not succeeding with baseline plastic, read on.
Step 1: Place Your Disc In A Bowl
Find a bowl that is big enough to hold your disc and can handle heat. Glass and metal bowls work best for this, but if you are careful when pouring your hot water any bowl will work.
Place your disc upside (stamp side) down in the bowl, and try to get it level. We are going to be pouring water into the bottom of the disc, so if it isn't level this technique won't be as effective.
Make sure to place the bowl somewhere that can get wet, like a sink or counter. Sometimes the hot water will splash or spill around the bowl, so just make sure you aren't doing this on surface that can't get wet.
Once the bowl is in a safe place and the disc is level it's time to get the water ready.
Step 2: Heat Up The Water
Add at least three cups of water to a stainless steel or stove-safe pot and turn on the heat. Watch the water closely, and when it starts to steam and small bubbles start forming it is time to pour it.
If the water is boiling or the bubbles are bigger than about 1/4" then the water is too hot. Using water that is too hot can ruin, warp or take the stamp off of your disc - so do not use boiling water. All you need to do is add more cold water and repeat the process until the desired temperature is reached and small bubbles start to form.
Make sure you have your disc and bowl ready from step 1 before removing the water from the heat.
Step 3: Carefully Pour The Hot Water On Your Disc
Remove the water from the stove and get ready to pour it. Make sure to clear the area around your disc ahead of time so that you have a clear walking path to your disc.
Using two hands, carefully pour the hot water inside the disc. It is best to pour in a small stream so that you can see when you are getting close to filling the disc.
You want to get the water filled up to the rim, ideally without spilling over the side of the disc (but it's not a big deal if it does). The combination of the heat and weight of the water is what will fix your disc, so filling it all the way to the edge of the rim will be the most effective.
Once the disc is full of water your work is done. Leave the disc for at least several hours before checking it. I usually leave it in the bowl overnight and check it in the morning.
Remove the disc from the bowl and check to see if the puddle top is fixed.
If your disc is made with premium plastic and is not fixed, it is worth repeating the process again. It is possible that the water wasn't hot enough or there wasn't enough water added to properly weigh down the top of the disc.
If this method worked for you, or you have had success fixing a disc with a different method - let us know in the comments!
You can check out our selection of in stock disc golf discs here.