When I began playing disc golf more than 20 years ago, all discs were basically the same in terms of material. They were all plastic, and they were pretty much all the type of plastic we now refer to as DX (Innova's term) or Pro-D (Discraft's). Yet despite the fact that the market for golf discs is now inundated with a continual flood of new models - most available in at least
three grades of plastic - one thing has remained constant: They've always been made from plastic. Until now.
A couple years ago, yet another company decided to vie for a share of the steadily-growing golf disc market, and it's decision is significant for two reasons. First, the company is Vibram
, whose founder is credited with inventing the first rubber soles for shoes. Their numerous products are manufactured in Brazil, China, Italy and here in the U.S. More than 1,000 footwear makers use Vibram's rubber soles in their products. You've most likely seen their ubiquitous little octagonal yellow logo on the bottom of hiking and work boots.
To paraphrase the character Ron Burgundy from the movie 'Anchorman,' they're kind of a big deal. In fact, in the comparatively tiny cottage industry that is the disc golf world, they're a very big deal. This is the first time a large multinational corporate name has entered the disc golf marketplace in a significant way. The implications of that may prove to be far-reaching, but for now it's enough to understand that disc golf has reached a point that it has attracted the attention of a corporation the size of Vibram. And so far, Vibram seems to have a strategy of growing the market for its disc golf products by growing the popularity of the sport in general. In a short period of time, it has become a major sponsor of two annual events, and a documentary film that will debut at the Pro Disc Golf World Championships in Santa Cruz, CA this Summer. Check out details of each if you're interested:
The fact that Vibram is all about rubber is the second part of the significance of their entry into the disc golf market, and the reason I wanted to write this review (yeah, I'm getting to the actual disc review). Click here
to read the rest of this entry!