The line of fairway drivers from Discmania has taken a steady step forward on a regular basis often the results echoing what disc golfers have been wanting to see. The FD brought very straight lines with a high amount of glide. Then the overstable second run FDs became the inspiration for the FD2. Now, they have answered the call for a even more overstable driver and they added some speed to it with the new Discmania FD3. Initially released as a fundraiser for the 2015 European Open, the FD3 slots in nicely between the slower FD2 and faster PD.
Discmania says this about their third fairway driver:
The flight numbers for the FD3 has been set at 9, 4, 0, 3. Despite being very close to our best-selling Power Driver (PD) in terms of flight ratings, the FD3 offers a noticeably more overstable flight pattern. This disc can be used for everything from touch sidearms that get you out of trouble to full power drives off the tee. You can rely on the FD3’s long but powerful and forward-penetrating fade.
Discmania sent us a FD3 to check out and we threw it along side a PD, Innova Firebird, and Innova Eagle. The feel of the FD3 will remind you of a Firebird. It has a concave bottom wing, slightly rounded nose, before leading into a top that has a very slight gradual dome from side to side. It isn’t board flat, but we also wouldn’t call it domey. They very top has a small flat area, but the total rise of the flight plate is minimal. At times you look at those very flat topped discs, especially the Firebird and it feels almost too flat or you look at a domey disc and wish the dome wasn’t quite as large. Those thoughts never once hit us with the FD3. It felt right where it should be. Now, would a very flat topped FD3 be an interesting disc? Sure, but that might already be available in the Firebird.
The FD3 is without a doubt overstable. Even though it shares the turn and fade ratings of the PD (0, 3), the FD3 is certainly more overstable. The high speed stability is there and will really shape what the flight is. You can give the FD3 just about all it can handle on both backhand and forehand shots and you won’t see any turn from it. It has one of they key factors we always look for in overstable fairway drivers. If it does show a little turn, it might not do what you’re wanting achieve.
The speed of the FD3 is what will force most of the distance. There is a little glide to it, but the glide reminded us a lot of a Firebird. It certainly isn’t as much as the PD, especially in GStar plastic, but it isn’t a brick either. Throw it hard and lean on the speed to get the distances you want to see.
The end of the flight will certainly show the fade you’re looking for. It will come in strong and come in consistently. We’ll say right out of the gate that it isn’t as strong as a Firebird’s fade. On quite a few shots, especially in the field, we found very similar distances with both the Firebird and FD3 and almost always the same amount of space between them due to the differences in fade. Accounting for a little bit of differences due to release angle and height, the FD3 was consistently closer to the initial line of release than the Firebird. The Firebird always traveled further to the left by around 15-30 feet depending on the shot we were attempting.
With that said though, You could make the FD3 a replacement for the Firebird in your bag. You can get it close to the same end result, it just needs a slightly different line. If you need some more fade, give it a little hyzer or keep it lower to allow for a skip finish to help it carry over. It also might be a little easier to gain some distance due to the fade not knifing in so hard at the end of the flight.
We also saw many tight s-curve shots with the FD3. It’s high speed stability will certainly help it break out of a turn relatively quickly and the fade will take care of the rest. On a few holes we saw the FD3 really put together a complete flight which really showed what it can do. It didn’t fade too quickly and it didn’t hold that big anhzyer line for too long either.
Overall, we’d rate the Discmania FD3 at 9, 4, 0, 3 — the same numbers as Discmania gives it as well. We could make a case that the fade is around a 3.25 due to it being a little stronger than the PD, but we’re starting to split hairs.
One other way to describe the FD3 is a slightly worn in Innova Firebird, but with the same high speed stability. We’ve thrown some Firebirds that have some age to them and while they fade a little less, we might also see a slight amount of turn too.
It isn’t as fast as a PD, but it isn’t trying to be a PD. Less fade than a Firebird and more speed and a little more stability over an Innova Eagle. The FD3 fits comfortably in between all of those discs. Can it replace a Firebird? Yes. Can it replace a PD? Probably not, but it might be able to replace that desire for a really overstable PD.
If the previous popularity of the FD and FD2 are any sign of what is to come, we wouldn’t be shocked to find the FD3 finding a home in many bags at your local course.
The FD3 is currently available as a fundraiser for the 2015 European Open at the Discmania Store. Help support a great tournament today!
Swirly S-Line FD3
In a recent shipment from Discmania (it’s like Christmas), we got our hands on quite the surprise. They included a beautiful S-Line FD3 that was very swirly! We picked this out of the box and found the feel to be nearly the same as the C-Line with just a little more grip to it.
We were anxious to get it out to the course and found the flight to be nearly identical to the C-Line version with that same great high speed stability and predictable fade. There are times when the plastic plays a role in how a disc flies, but when it comes to the S-Line FD3, you are getting what you would expect.
We’d put the speed and glide ratings in line too. 9, 4, 0, 3 still stands for the S-Line FD3, but you’ll get a little more grip out of the plastic too. Same stiffness, but a little more grip.
Keep your eye on the Discmania Store for when these hit the market. Expect to see a special stamp too!