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So have you noticed how much elevation affects the flight of your disc? I know some of you guys that play worlds or tour a lot, have noticed the difference. I was thinking about this because of all the talk on here about how far some people claim to throw certain discs or low scores on long courses in areas with high elevation.

Here in Michigan the elevation is between 500-1000 feet in the Lower Peninsula, lowest being at the southeast part of the state near Lake Erie. Now, I have played in Las Vegas where the elevation is 2028 feet, and man did I feel huge throwing out there. I was overthrowing baskets that were 450’ until I realized there is a pretty big elevation difference and I should disc down to a midrange. I played in Denver Colorado area, where the elevation is 5183 feet, and I could throw a Wasp like 400+, CRAZY! My friend from Denver was here visiting over New Years and when we went and played, he was trying to throw mids at baskets that were around 400' and he was not coming close, then he finally thought about the elevation difference when I said somthing about it.

This next Worlds is in Kansas City where the elevation is 740 feet. This is very similar to what I’m used to but some others may be hating life that are from higher elevations. They are going to feel like someone taped lead weights on their discs.

So what are your feelings on this subject? What’s your elevation? I have never really thought about it when I disc golf, but on here when I hear some of the distances people throw it all makes sense.

Tags: affects, change, elevation, of

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Exactly, thicker air resists to what the discs want to do (be overstable), thinner air there is less resistance to it so the disc does more of what it wants to turn.

It's pretty much common sense I thought.

Don't post if you have no clue what your talking about there Todd.


nitegolfer said:
I think there are a good many disc golfers whose elevation is High.

I always thought that the main reason for the discs to fly differently was that the air was a little thinner at higher elevations, meaning there is less drag on the disc thus making it more stable than compared to throwing it at a lower altitude. I play in Alabama, in a valley, with lots of humidity.
Pretty worked up over peoples take on elevation. Chill out PoeticLogic. No need to be a dick to people just because you don't like their post.
I play in Hawaii where we are playing at Sea Level. Sometimes we play inland in which we are sitting about 200-500 feet. However, reading all the replies, I would have to go say that understable discs would work better at higher altitudes due to the thinner air and the less friction applied on the surface of the disc. In other words, there is no air for the disc to rest on during flight. Overstable discs would just 'fall' because there is no air to sit on during the flight. Thats my two cents...LOL
all i got to say is DANGIT !! here i all but had my bags packed and was ready to move to colorado in the hopes i could stretch my drive from 300 to 500, that was just going to be with my midrange discs, heck i figured if mikes take on elevation were true i would be throwing drivers like Avery !! LOL
The reason that disc fly different is due to air density, the lower the elevation the more dens the air thus more resistance on the flight plate. The higher the elevation the less dens the air resistance, and the further it will fly. That is if all other things are equal like wind, thermal updrafts, etc.. There are points were you go so far one way or the other that the disc wont fly properly as designed. If your from MI you will notice that in the winter you cant begin to touch the distance that you can in spring, yet in late summer when its not like 100 degrees out you can throw further than in spring. Weather you realize it or not air density acts like sandpaper pulling at your disc slowing the rotation down and robing you or maximum distance. God I love science! LOL
Very true. I was a bit drunk, sorry.

Pet peeve, mixed with alcohol, not a good combo.

No I'm not one of those drinking discers, sports and alcohol don't mixed to me.

Apparently drinking and typing don't mixed for me either.

Trevor Thorp said:
Pretty worked up over peoples take on elevation. Chill out PoeticLogic. No need to be a dick to people just because you don't like their post.
Yes, very true. but the thicker air keeps the disc from hyzering out quicker. You usually get a bit shorter drives at elevation due to more overstablity of all discs.

Like here in Colorado the air is very dry, but doesn't matter if you're high enough up. Cause the higher you go the more overstable the discs are and the quicker they want to hyzer.

I'm at 6,000+ ft.

Red Line Disc Golf said:
The reason that disc fly different is due to air density, the lower the elevation the more dens the air thus more resistance on the flight plate. The higher the elevation the less dens the air resistance, and the further it will fly. That is if all other things are equal like wind, thermal updrafts, etc.. There are points were you go so far one way or the other that the disc wont fly properly as designed. If your from MI you will notice that in the winter you cant begin to touch the distance that you can in spring, yet in late summer when its not like 100 degrees out you can throw further than in spring. Weather you realize it or not air density acts like sandpaper pulling at your disc slowing the rotation down and robing you or maximum distance. God I love science! LOL
No matter the elevation, drier air is more dense and will slow your disc. Moist, humid air will make you disc fly further.
humid air is much more dense the dry air. Cause it has water in it too. If you live in a humid place during summer, like Iowa. Then you know how thick and heavy the air gets.

Colorado has very dry and thin air. Hints the "Thin Air Tour".

It flies further cause the thick air with humidty keeps the disc from doing what it wants to do sooner, hyzering out.

Elevation matters BIG TIME. Cause higher up you go the thinner the atmosphere is and more overstable the disc is going to be.

Trevor Thorp said:
No matter the elevation, drier air is more dense and will slow your disc. Moist, humid air will make you disc fly further.
That's the only thing that sorta sucks about Disc Golf in East Central Florida....no serious elevation changes.....plenty of water hazards though :)
BEST ANSWER!!!! I copied and paste this from the best answer I got when I was asking for help on higher elevations when I moved here to Colorado. It's from the Mile High Club website.

"Guide to elevation changes

This guide is presented to highlight affects of playing in elevation changes.

The atmospheric conditions generally change 3% per 1,000 feet of elevation. The farther the throw the more potential for this to effect the flight. The velocity of the throw and the spin put on the disc will also have an effect on the flight.

Generally speaking the higher the elevation the more overstable the disc will fly so, the lower the elevation the more understable the disc will fly.

Going down in elevation
In general disc flights are less stable
Changes to correct for less stable flights
Use your normal discs only heavier
Use new or newer discs that you normally throw, your normal weight
Use a disc that is more overstable than you usually throw
Throw with more hyzer than normal
Putting: disc will generally float more

If going to a lower elevation for a tournament go early and find an open field to throw some drives to check out the change so that you can adjust your bag accordingly. This can reduce the time and frustration spent trying to figure out elevation effects on your throws. Generally speaking going up and down elevations of 1,500 ft. or less isn’t a big enough change to do much to your game.

Going up in elevation
In general disc flights are more stable
Changes to correct for less stable flights
Use your normal discs only lighter
Use older or beat up discs that you normally throw, using your normal weight
Use a disc that is less stable than you usually throw
Throw flatter or more anhyzer than normal
Putting: disc will generally drop quicker

In trying to find what works for you I would first suggest trying the least expensive and hang on to those old favorite beat up discs that are flipping over for those trips up in the high mountains.
Some players find that one or more of these tips must be used to compensate for some elevation changes. With elevation changes another factor is humidity that is a big factor no matter what elevation. To help minimize these affects on your throws by keeping your throws lower you can also help minimize this overstable/understable effect.

Good Luck!
John Bird #387
_________________
It's easy to throw stones. It's difficult to gather them up and build a stone house.

Last edited by Mr Condor"
Wow! I know I wrote this at work, however I didn't think I could make such a significant typo...I managed to switch around my references - that is kind of the point of my unclear second paragraph (and it didn't come across when I posted it). Thank you guys for replying and pointing it out. My original post should read as follows:

I play in SoCal, but have played at elevations as high as 9,500ft, 2,000ft, 4,000ft, and on the daily less than 300ft. What I notice more than anything is the tendency for discs to be more stable in thinner air, hence the outcome being increased distance when throwing "all out" in wide open spaces. (In other words, if you're throwing "all out" at lower elevations, there's more of a tendency to over turn your plastic and not have it come back. I.e., my Wraiths in LA will flip easily, so much so that will nearly always hyzer flip, whereas in Denver, I can unleash my flippy Wraith and watch it fly just like my stable Wraith hyzer shots in LA.) Further, when coming to lower elevations, those used to stable flights from their plastic experience loss in distance due to the decreased "apparent" stability of their plastic. (Here, the example would be trying to throw a Wraith flat in Denver where you'd get a basic hyzer result, throwing a flat Wraith in LA, it will flip and anhyzer eventually fading back soft - or not at all. If you were to flip a Wraith in Denver, then try to flip it the same way in LA, you'd be getting a cut roller.)

I found it easy to flip a brand new Xcaliber in Denver, not so much in LA - so much so that it was a real shock to me, however it did force me to learn the disc that much better down at lower elevations. (I stopped trying to figure that one out - it must've been maiden voyage luck in Denver). Now I'm progressing to throwing much more stable plastic longer distances as a result of seeing these differences first hand.


Sorry for the confusion everyone - I'm completely baffled at what happened when I wrote this originally - obviously that work thing got in the way - DOH!. The reality is, I obviously wasn't paying attention =(

Cheers,
T

Todd Mitchell said:
I play in SoCal, but have played at elevations as high as 9,500ft, 2,000ft, 4,000ft, and on the daily less than 300ft. What I notice more than anything is the tendency for discs to be less stable in thinner air, hence the outcome being increased distance when throwing "all out" in wide open spaces. Further, when coming to lower elevations, those used to less stable flights from their plastic experience loss in distance due to the increased "apparent" stability of their plastic.
It's easy to flip a brand new Xcaliber in Denver, not so much in LA - so much so that it was a real shock to me, however it did force me to learn the disc that much better down at lower elevations. And I'm progressing to throwing much more stable plastic longer distances as a result of seeing the differences first hand.

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