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The Science Behind Innova 3-Series Discs


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08/28/2023 // Best Gear
August, 2023 // Best Gear

Disc golfers often get confused when they browse the racks at their local disc golf stores or search online. There are so many different types of discs out there. Innova Disc Golf alone has a wide variety of plastics and special blend materials to go along with dozens upon dozens of unique disc molds in each category: distance drivers , fairway drivers, mid-ranges and putt and approach discs.

What is the Innova 3-Series?

One thing you will notice when looking through Innova’s disc lineup is that some are named with a “3.” You might see a Roc sitting next to a Roc3 and wonder what the difference is between these two popular mid-range discs.

Innova founder, Dave Dunipace, was recently on the Champion Disc Golf Podcast talking about this exact subject. You can listen to the whole discussion or read the transcript here.

Innova Leopard3 3-Series Profile

The Origins of 3-Series Discs

First, it helps to understand how the Innova 3-series discs came to be. Dave originally designed the Roc, and the first one is also known as the Ontario Roc. The second Roc variant is known as the Rancho Cucamonga Roc (or “Rancho Roc”). Both of these are named for the Southern California cities that Innova called home at the time of each disc’s development. They don’t make the original Ontario Roc anymore because the mold broke. If you can get your hands on one of those, cherish it! 

Mako3 lower profile version

The Roc3 came about when players asked for a lower-profile version of the Roc. It has since become one of the most popular discs in the Innova catalog, and easily one of the best-selling mid-range on the market today. Due to the popularity of the Roc3 mold, Innova saw the opportunity to apply this lower-profile technology to other discs. The most notable ones became the Mako3, Leopard3, TeeBird3, TL3 and AviarX3. Now, the “X” in the last one is a different story for a different day.

Is a Lower-Profile Disc Better?

So, basically when you see a “3” attached to the name of any Innova disc, it means it is a lower-profile mold than its original counterpart. Which is better? Well, that depends on the individual player and which they prefer to throw.

tl3 plastics feature 3x2 720x480 565719a6 4f4d 4e44 9b64 8be5c767b959

It largely comes down to feel for most disc golfers. People just like how the lower-profile discs feel in their hands. They do tend to offer slightly different flight characteristics, as well. 3-series discs are a little faster because of the profile. That’s why a Leopard is rated as a speed 6 and a Leopard3 is rated as a speed 7. They tend to handle more torque, which is why you’ll see more a professional player like Ohn Scoggins throwing a Halo Leopard3 as her Tour Series disc, whereas original Leopards are often popular with beginner-level players. That’s why a DX Leopard has always been a staple in our DX Starter Packs.

It really comes down to feel and flight for each individual player. You may prefer a 3-series disc or you may like the original mold better. Finding the right discs for your bag is all about getting out there, trying different discs, working on your form and seeing what works best for you. That is why Innova offers so many discs, plastics and variants like the 3-series discs.

Published: May, 2021
Updated: August, 2023

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