Another new disc golf company has come onto the scene in recent months with some friends in tow. Element Discs uses Gateway Disc Sports to provide the molding of the discs and they share not only production materials and also ideas with Reptilian Disc Golf.
The first offering from Element Discs is the Iridium. The Iridium is a beadless putter with a thumb track on top that gives you a flight with quite a bit of stability from start to finish. Element Discs says this about their first putter:
The PDGA approved Iridium is a beadless putt & approach disc featuring one of the thinnest flight plates out there. The flight plate has a subtle thumb track for consistent grip/alignment every time. This versatile disc is great for putts and upshots, as well as driving off the tee. The Iridium excels as a spike hyzer bomber that stops dead in its tracks when it hits the ground.
Element Discs sent us an Iridium for this review and we’ve spent time inside the circle and on the tee with it to see how it stacked up.
The Iridium felt familiar to us and if you’ve used a Reptilian Disc Golf Scale, you’ll likely have the same thought for a very good reason. Both discs share the same top with a thumb track on the outer edge and a thin flight plate. The bottom of the Iridium shares the same bottom wing as the Gateway Disc Sports Warlock. If you liked the idea of the Scale, but like beadless putters, the Iridium is more of your preferred flavor.
The Iridium feels a little on the deep side, but the nose that is more blunt than rounded fills out the hand nicely. Smaller hands might find it a little hard to grip due to the depth though. As for the thumb track on the top, we found it to be too close to the rim to comfortably put our thumb during a putt or drive. You’ll naturally place your thumb closer to the center of the flight plate. If you’re worried about the groove, you can rest easily. It really doesn’t come into play.
When used as a driver or even on approach shots, the Iridium has a nice amount of high speed stability. We’d still put it at a 0 rating for turn, but don’t let that intimidate you. This is a disc you can throw with some power and trust it can hold up during the entire flight. It did it’s job in headwinds, but might not be the first choice in our bags, but the fade plays a factor in that as well.
As the Iridium begins to power down, the fade kicks with with a decent punch. It is a little harder than we expected, but it won’t fade too quickly on you. With each and every throw you can expect the Iridium to finish left to some degree. You won’t get major skips or flares at the end of the flight mainly due to the glide. In our opinion, the glide of the Iridium shapes the end of the flight more than the fade truly does.
As the Iridium begins to lose speed, we would see it just start to drop out. Some discs will hang in the air, thus giving the disc more time to move left. The Iridium will begin it’s fade at nearly the same time as it begins to drop. Since it will drop quickly, the fade just doesn’t have that much time to really do much.
Where this really shined was on short hyzer approaches and sweeping hyzer drives. It naturally wants to push left and if you can give it the height and power it needs, the flight will be very predictable. It won’t glide out too far which helps with your placement. You know it won’t glide too much, you can trust that it won’t turn, and you know it wants to finish left to some degree. Control the release angle and the height and you’ll be rewarded.
Inside the circle you can expect a little fade at the end of the flight, but due to the low glide, you’ll need to do the work yourself to get it there. Some putters you can float toward the basket. The Iridium leans on your power a little more than others to pull off a great shot. From push putting to spin putting, just go at the heart of the chains and let the disc crash in.
The thin flight plate is pretty flexible and could be frustrating for those who like to get a firm pop from their fingers or might like to dig into top of the disc with their thumb. This is more of a factor due to the plastic than the mold. Firmer plastics would remedy this, but we felt it was worth noting.
Overall, we’d rate the Element Discs Iridium at 2, 2.5, 0, 2. This varies slightly from the numbers Element Discs provides at 2, 3, 0, 2. The glide doesn’t quite reach that 3 rating for us, but the lack of turn and moderate fade is certainly there.
The flight chart from inbounds Disc Golf shows something close to what we saw in our tests. It will lean more on your power than glide to carry out distances like that, but the overall flight pattern is accurate.
Element Discs puts forth a solid option in their offering. A beadless putter with a stable-to-overstable flight can appeal to many. With a nice full feel and a flight that is tough to dislike, it comes down to a matter of preference. The flight plate might be a little too thin for some, while it might be exactly what others have been searching for.
We always like to see new companies enter the sport and its a great result when their first step forward is a strong one like the Iridium.