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Disc Review



Understanding Nose Angles and Trajectory

by Blake Takkunen

Posted: 5-29-04


Table of Contents

Overview

I. Covering the Basics

II. Understanding Nose Angles

III. Utilizing Nose Angles in Conjunction with Hyzer Angles




Overview

While most players are familiar with nose angles and hyzer angles, they often fail to make the connection between the two. The purpose of this article is to outline their dependence and how that affects the disc's flight. I will also try to dispel some common myths of angles and their effects on disc behavior. While many players may find this article overly basic, I'm hoping that it will also benefit some players by helping them add some shots to their repertoire.


I. Covering the Basics

To start this article, I will define the terminology that I will be working with.
*all definitions targeted at right-handed back-hand throwers*

  • Hyzer – An angle of release where the outer edge of the disc is lower than the edge of the disc where you grip. This angle will generally make a disc curve to the left.
  • Anhyzer – An angle of release where the outer edge of the disc is higher than the edge of the disc where you grip. This angle will generally make a disc curve to the right.

    Hyzer Angles

  • Nose Down – An angle of release where the front edge of the disc is lower than the back edge of the disc. This angle will generally make discs fly less overstable.
  • Nose Up – An angle of release where the front edge of the disc is higher than the back edge of the disc. This angle will generally make discs fly more overstable.

    Nose Angles


    In general, the more extreme the angle, the greater the effect on a disc's flight.

    II. Understanding Nose Angles

    Most high-speed drivers will require a nose down release to fly far. A nose up release will cause these discs to slow down, rise, and fly more overstable. For shots that you want a straight flight or have the disc turn over, you will usually need a nose down release.

    However, when throwing sidearm or shorter throws with a midrange or approach disc, getting the nose too far down will often make the disc turn over too much. Although this is also dependent upon disc velocity and RPM's, a combination of too much nose down angle, too much velocity, or too few RPM's will often make slower discs turn over and roll. For an example of this, if you take a stable to overstable midrange and throw it hard and slightly nose up, it probably will not turn over too badly.

    These are fairly common problems amongst throwers that have not mastered a finesse game. Overall, not all throws will require a (very) nose down trajectory. Throws like sweep hyzers, knife hyzers, and air bounces will actually require the disc to fly nose up.

    However, it must be noted, that the nose angle of the disc will not always be the angle on “front” of the disc in relation to the line between you and your target. The nose angle may also shift during the flight depending upon the trajectory and direction the disc is moving. I outline these differences in the next section.

    III. Utilizing Nose Angles in Conjunction with Hyzer Angles

    Not all shots are meant to be thrown on the line connecting you to your target. Depending upon which line you wish to take and the disc flight path that you desire, you will often need to throw the disc off line and with varying degrees of nose angle. In reality, the true nose angle of a throw is whatever angle the leading edge of the disc is in the direction it is traveling. For example, with a hyzer angle, the nose down line is slightly off to the left of center. Similarly, the nose up line is off to the right of center. For anhyzers, reverse this relationship.

    Utilizing this relationship will help you achieve various types of shots more easily. Many people want to throw a hyzer that flattens and then travels flat or turns over. I refer to this type of throw as a hyzer flip. These throws will require a nose down orientation on launch and this translates into a required trajectory slightly off to the left (5-15 degrees) of center. Throwing the disc straight out or to the right will yield an overstable flight.

    The extent to which you can manipulate the flight of a hyzer flip varies a lot on the disc's stability, your power, and any roll angles during your follow through. For example, to throw a roll curve, you must put the disc out slightly to the left with hyzer angle, with good power, a large wrist roll over, and an understable disc. I have sketched out the flight paths of several types of hyzer flip shots that you may find useful.

    Hyzer Flips


    For sweeping hyzers, you will want the disc to fly nose up. The nose up orientation on these throws is to the right of center. Similarly, the amount of hyzer angle, power, disc stability, and wrist roll will affect disc flight. For example, a knife hyzer will require a steep hyzer angle with a lot of power, an overstable disc, and a wrist roll under. I have sketched out the flight paths of several types of sweeping hyzers that you may find useful.

    Sweeping Hyzers


    Do keep in mind that you can make each of these types of throws easier to accomplish by altering the direction of your footwork. If you start at the back right of the teebox and finish at the front left (while keeping your throwing shoulder pointed at your target), this will close your stance a bit and make hyzer flip shots easier. If you start at the back left of the teebox and finish at the front right, this will open your stance and make sweeping hyzers easier. A gentle hyzer or a flattened hyzer out to the right may not require a significant footwork change.

    The best advice I can give in regards to mastering angle manipulation is to practice and do not be afraid to experiment with different combinations. You may be surprised what types of shots you may find that will help your game in the long run.

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