How to Throw Disc Golf on Downhill & Uphill Slopes

By | July 12, 2013

After taking a road trip with some friends to Charlotte to place disc, I noticed a part of my game and my friends’ games that really needs to be refined: throwing up and down hills. It’s a huge element in the disc golf in a lot of place, so I’m had to learn to throw up and down hill well.

I’ve done some research and have tried to summarize the general opinions of folks online and off about hill throwing.

For downhill shots, a Reddit user explained it like this:

 If there’s one thing you want to make sure you do is to throw down the slope. If you have an elevation change of thirty or more feet, throwing a flat shot 10′-15′ off the ground from where you’re standing leaves you with at least 40′-’45’ of air beneath the disc. That means that it’s got tons of time to fade and you can easily miss your mark by more than 100′. So make sure you throw with the slope to minimize how much air is beneath the disc.

When you throw downhill, you will also naturally get the nose of the disc down more than you might usually. This can cause your discs to turn over or hold an anhyzer (on a flex shot) more than normal. So you disc up to a more stable disc to avoid this.

You also have to factor in the wind when playing downhill.  If there’s no wind most of the time you can get a crazy amount of glide out of a putter or a mid and keep it on a relatively straight line. If there is wind, you have to think about the direction of the wind weather it is a headwind (straight at you) or tailwind (coming from behind). A headwind has a tendency to catch the bottom of your flight plate and accentuate the fade while a tailwind hit the top of the flight plate and push the disc down towards the ground faster. This is also a crucial factor in putting.

Personally, for my downhill shots I used to throw an MVP Anode, which is fairly neutral but I’d often put a little bit of anny on it by accident and end up way off line.  I’ve learned now to throw an Ion, Axis or TL which are all neutral to slightly overstable.

For throwing uphill,  I haven’t exactly figured that one out yet but the general consensus seems to be the opposite of throwing downhill which means throwing more understable discs in order to keep the nose up to avoid throwing it into the hill.  I find uphill shots harder in general or maybe it is just because I feel like a poon b/c the discs tend to fly about 33% shorter.  Does anyone have any tips they’d like to share about throwing uphill?

In summary for throwing downhill, use a slightly overstable disc, throw with the angle of the slope, and keep your lines pretty tight while throwing uphill understable discs work best going up hills due to the upward nose angle.

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