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Snap is a mystery to me. I think I know what it is, at least I recognize it when I see it but I'm not sure what causes it or how to improve it.

My backhand snap is weak. My forehand snap is not. This is not a recent condition. I have played disc golf competitively for 15 years. My backhand snap is better than when I started but still weak and feeble compared to the average amateur tournament player. It makes no sense to me. When I played racquetball and ping pong I had good snap on both forehands and backhands but when I play disc golf I only have good snap on a forehand.

Why does my wrist work one way but not the other?

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I'll try to translate.


The two main "drivers" (pun intended) in the release of the disc are:

1) Vector change between hand and disc

2) Release of the disc by the hand

Translation: You throw a disc by accelerating it and releasing it. At the point of release, the disc necessarily goes one direction (down the fairway, nice shot!) while your hand goes another direction (hopefully it stays attached to your arm.) This is the "vector change between hand and disc."

For a putt, good snap would be to not only have good angular rotation (spin w/o wobble) of the disc, (via wrist supination(Translation: starting with your wrist curled and releasing with your wrist straightened and your palm facing upward)) but also to have intentional release of the disc, with your fingers acting like they all have the same electrical charge and are wanting to get as far apart from each other as possible at the point of release. (In other words don't use a grip that causes you to griplock your putts, ever. Accelerate the disc on the line and then get your hand out of the way)

For a drive, I believe it is true that the disc is not so much released by the hand as it is ripped out of the hand by the momentum of the disc, as the vector of the hand changes. In this case, snap would be enhanced by a pronounced vector change of the hand at the desired point of release. Translation: When you throw, your hand moves forward at first and then backward during your follow through. The change in direction is the "vector change." Think about snapping a towel. You get it to snap by pulling back on it--you change the momentum from forward to backward. In doing so, a lot of force is exerted on the tip of that towel. You want the disc to be the tip of that towel and for it to release from your hand when the force you have exerted on it is at a maximum. Too soon (not a firm enough grip) and you are not maximizing the power of your throw. Too late (griplock) and you probably hurt you arm.

Finally, an approach shot would be a combination of the two. The vector of the hand changes, but not as drastically as a drive, (Translation: you aren't throwing as hard) so there has to be an intentional release of the disc (or maybe just not quite as firm of a grip), but again, the release is not as drastic as that of a putt (this is probably a typo, you mean the release is MORE "drastic" than a putt), since the vector change is aiding in the release (Translation: you are still letting the disc rip out of your hand rather than releasing cleanly like a putt).

My advice? If you are not getting good snap it is probably because you are not using firm enough of a grip, or you are trying to "time" the release by letting go of the disc. "Letting go" can be death to snap.

I would define "getting good snap" as "transferring the power of your throwing motion to the disc in flight as efficiently as possible."
mark i know exactly what your talking about, i myself stuggle to get any distance from a backhand drive, so i have studied videos of pros, watched big arm locals, and read as much as i can find, and still struggle with getting any distance ( i am stuck at 300 feet ) but i have noticed the same thing you have, and that is some players when they drive you can tell they are really putting something behind it and use real fast pullthru to get some distance, but other players and i will use avery jenkins as an example, i was watching video of him driving and when he did his pull thru it didnt look extremely fast, but when the disc left his hand it looked like it was breaking the sound barrier !! and i have noticed this with alot of pros i have watched, the pullthru speed doesnt seem to match the speed that the disc has coming out of their hands, they make it appear effertless, but the disc seams to excellerate out of their hands way faster than the arm speed they appeared to have used. i drew a lady as a doubles partner a few weeks back that had no run up, she just stood in place and crushed drives as long and longer on some holes than me ! i know i will take some ribbing over this , but its true, she told me she had more controll and accuracy just standing at the end of the teepad, i can only wonder how far she could throw with a runnup, i know personally i have recently went back to less stable discs, and i have noticed i am throwing them the same distance as i was the over stable fast discs i had been throwing with alot less effert, the problem with that now for me is i have a tendancy to grip lock the understable stuff and yank evrything to the right unless i really focus on throwing it flat, which keeps me from using as much speed and snap as i would like, and that is keeping from breaking thru the 300 foot barrier at this point, so i figure once i get used to throwing understable stuff again and get to were i can throw a controlled hard snap and use the anhyzer, that maybe, just maybe i will be able to break thru the 300 barrier, because as i mentione in another forum post, there needs to be a 300 club on here, or someone needs to start one, heck i could be the president !!
Is it really that complicated guys? I think it isn't. What I DO is stop my wrist. I never approach with a run up. I always walk up to my disc placement AS IF they were the steps to a run up, but I stop myself so my legs are far enough apart to get a good base, but close enough to get the push I need to make my disc go as far as the basket or whatever my target may be. Of course do your warm-up or what it is that you do before you throw, whatever it is you do to wind up your throw, and when you get ready to realease just stop your hand and your disc should move forward in a motion which indicates that you snapped it. I have videos on here so if you are wondering about my form you can check them out. And as if you didn't know, it takes practice and using the proccess of elimination you can possibly acheive a good snap through trying different methods and possibly taking some advice from all these wonderful people.
Learn to snap a hand towel while there is snow on the ground.
This will automatically increase your snap when you start up again next year!
Kenny Climo describes it as how you hit a nail with a hammer...pop it.
I have heard about that.
alright if someone can explain something to me in a way that makes sense, you will be my for real hero, i read all these posts were players and pros are saying its like snapping a towel, but yet they all agree you are to fallow thru with your throwing arm, how the heck do you do a fallow thru with a towel snapping motion, because at the end of a towel snap your yanking back towards you, which is the opposite of a fallow thru, i understand the disc is to rip out of your fingers but the whole towel snap thing just doesnt quite make sense to me, does it to any of you in a way you can explain ?

believe me i have tried to practice the whole towel snapping thing with no luck or noticable improvements.

oh yeh and one other question that seems to have a different answer depending on who you talk to is do you cock or curl your wrist during your pullthru or do you keep it in a staight line with your forearm, in other words do you try to use wrist snap in your throw
I think Snap is the one on the right....

Snap is what my wrist does when I release. Crackle and Pop is what some other of my body parts do right before the release.

brett@sickdisc.com said:
I think Snap is the one on the right....

That is a superb old guy joke. If you are lucky, one day the rest of you will get it.

Bill Burns said:
Snap is what my wrist does when I release. Crackle and Pop is what some other of my body parts do right before the release.

no actually its more like, if we are lucky, when we get to be as old as you guys, we don't here snap crackle and pop when we throw !! :-)

mark ellis said:
That is a superb old guy joke. If you are lucky, one day the rest of you will get it.

Bill Burns said:
Snap is what my wrist does when I release. Crackle and Pop is what some other of my body parts do right before the release.

Heard that snap is created when you have a tight grip on the disc, but a loose wrist to create the snap.
Put a towel in your hand and backhand snap it.
The 'snap' is supposed to create the "spin" that with power keeps the disc aloft.
Never seen a knuckle ball non-spinning flying disc have you?
I think the "snap" sound is generated by the fingers pressing against the inside rim as the disc is released. One thing that people normally do not notice when someone throws backhand with good snap is the effortless transfer of weight when rotating out of the x-step and pulling through that creates some extra "whip" with the arm and thus the disc. Good timing can lead to good snap whereas bad timing can lead to little to no snap. Its getting all of these things working together that is the problem.

Maybe use a small 3-5 lb hand weight and perform curls to build up the arm and wrist.

When I played table tennis I had one of the better forehands in the state and was rated at almost 1900. My forehand was probably rated around 2300 with my pitiful backhand rated about 1500. I play DG now and my backhand is great but my forehand stinks. But, a couple of weeks ago I was practicing my forehand and heard some snap for the first time and got 300' with it.

Oh snap, I've typed too much. Later.

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