Innova Atlas Review

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Innova Atlas

The Innova Atlas was announced just a few weeks ago and already it is making an impression in the disc golf community. Last week, we talked with Innova’s Dave Dunipace to get answers to the most popular questions. This week, we got our hands on three brand new Innova Atlases for this review. We wanted to see if it lived up to the hype and how it performed on the course. Starting with our very first throw, we knew we were in for a treat.

Innova says this about the Atlas:

The Atlas is a unique new Mid-range that combines a firm, low-profile flight plate with an ergonomic, grippy rim. The Atlas has a straight flight with minimal fade combining accuracy, control and throwability. The Atlas performs well for both backhand and forehand throwers forgiving small throwing errors better than any other Mid-Range.

The Atlas does fit very comfortable in the hand. You’ll instantly feel a firmer Star plastic on the flight plate and a softer, grippier Star plastic on the wing. The softer rim does make the Atlas fairly flexible, yet it isn’t a “floppy” feeling. The other thing you might notice are the four injection points on the underside of the rim. There were a few times when we’d start to get a grip on the Atlas and would catch one of the points. Certainly not the most comfortable feeling, but you just adjust the disc in your hand and you are set. Not a big problem at all. All three also had a board flat top.

When we first threw the Atlas, we were surprised by the speed. It seemed a little faster than some other Speed 5 discs and other midranges. It wasn’t in the fairway driver level, but it does pack a nice punch. We were getting slightly longer distances with the Atlas when compared to other midrange discs.

The Atlas does have a decent amount of glide to it, yet not to the point where you feel you lose control of it. In our minds, you don’t want a midrange to glide out too far on you. If you needed the added distance, grab a fairway driver. The Atlas seemed very controllable in regards to glide.

The Atlas was also very controllable when it comes to the line you want to put it on. The Atlas is stable at high speeds — and we mean STABLE. During our tests, we were sometimes faced with a 15-20 mph headwind. With a slight hyzer release, the Atlas held up in it and would not flip over. When the wind was at its max, there would be a little more turn, but it would finish very straight. With a tailwind, or no wind for that matter, the Atlas would fly on a lazer straight line until the very end of the flight.

If you want to have the Atlas fly on a sweeping hyzer, it will. If you need it to hold a big anhyzer line, it will. The Atlas is a very versatile disc.

While we haven’t had a lot of time with the disc, the Atlas seemed to finish on the same angle you started it on. If we gave it a little hyzer at the start of the flight, after flipping up flat, it would hyzer back out at the end with a very moderate fade. If we released the Atlas flat, it would finish on a very flat, soft fade. When given a little anhyzer, it would finish on that line as well.

Another thing we wanted to test was any possible gyro effect. When people saw the overmold, most made the connection to MVP Disc Sports who also uses the overmold style disc. MVP advertises a gyroscopic effect with their discs. After a long testing session, the Atlas doesn’t have any added gyroscopic effect. We were able to compare it to an MVP Axis and they are clearly two different discs. We feel confident enough to rule out any added gyro effect to the Atlas.

We also wanted to see just how durable the plastic was. With the combination of firm Star and softer Star plastics, the disc showed very little wear after our tests which included many throws into the basket. We actually stood five feet away from a 20 year old tree and gave it a very strong throw right into the trunk. The disc was perfect. We’re anxious to see how the disc wears in and if some of the high speed stability wears off over time.

Innova AtlasAs an approach disc, the Atlas was strongest from beyond 150 feet away from the basket. This allowed us to put a little more on the disc and saw a very straight flight. If we took a little bit of power off of the disc at shorter distances, the Atlas would fade out at the end of the flight. Certainly not a bad thing. You just have to adjust your line a little bit.

Innova initially rated the Atlas at 5, 4, 0, 1. Overall, we’d rate the Atlas at 5.5, 4.25, 0, 1. The 0 for turn is a very firm 0. Looking at the flight chart from inbounds Disc Golf you’ll see a stable flight at the start followed by a very small fade.

The Atlas is not a clone of the MVP Axis. The wings are different, the flight paths are different, the discs are just plain different. The Atlas is a very stable midrange disc with a laser straight flight. With a very comfortable feel in the hand, don’t be surprised to see these take over a local course over time.

Innova isn’t the first to try an overmold on a disc golf disc and we think it is safe to say, they won’t be the last. Our next question is, “When does the putter come out?”

Update 7.3.13 1:05 pm: Innova let us know Hero Disc USA still has Atlases supporting the 2014 Japan Open available.  

Have you thrown the Atlas? What do you think?

 

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10 Comments

  1. You said : “There were a few times when we’d start to get a grip on the Atlas and would catch one of the points. Certainly not the most comfortable feeling, but you just adjust the disc in your hand and you are set.”

    I disagree on this a lot. I find this to be a bigger deal than that. I know it might sound silly, but I don’t want to have to think about where my hand is on the disc to maintain a good grip. Too, I feel like those injection points could cause a release issue if you are close to one and throw it, causing it hang up on your finger a little. Maybe I am making too big of a deal out of this thing, but I REALLY don’t like the injection points and I hope they find a different way to manufacture this disc.

    • All Things Disc Golf on

      Have you thrown the Atlas yet? We really don’t find it to be that much of an issue at all.

    • I love the Atlas. I’ve had no issues with it except it gets kind of floppy while it bakes in the sun, I got an ace with it on my first time using it.

      • Agreed, and I also aced my first Atlas toss…great disc concept

  2. My two feel just as described. I can only imagine a stiff putter with that soft star on the outside rim. Pretty please Innova?

  3. Chris Davies on

    I don’t know what disc you guys were throwing, but it wasn’t an Atlas. At least, not an Atlas remotely like mine.

    My Atlasses, and those sent to a buddy of mine are ALL a firm “-1″ in HST, and very flippy under power, especially into a headwind. I wouldn’t recommend this disc be used at any distance over 80 metres, unless you want a real turnover shot which plenty of glide to the right, with a small left fade at the end.

    The flight plates are total rubbish; with none of them being in the slightest bit flat, and suffereing dimples opposite the molding lugs. It’s a very immature process and it is highly flawed.

    MVP is a specialist Overmolding company, who have brought their technology to Disc Golf. Whereas Innova is a Disc Golf company trying to develop the technology – and they have a very long way to go in both consistency and quality.

    The Atlas is a “game changer” but only insofar as it indicates the future of golf discs. As an actual golf disc, the Atlas is low quality, and underwhelming to say the least, and a “satisfactory midrange for average players” at best.

    You won’t see any top pros use this disc in a National Tour event, that’s for sure.

  4. I ordered my atlas from discnation.com and was able to choose my weight and color. i picked a yellow one weighing in at 172g. The day before it arrived in the mail i saw some at a local shop that carries discs. they were all warped and bent out of shape which really concerned me. I got mine in the mail in perfect condition. it flies like a dream. This article described it perfectly. its perfect for the course by my house which is primarily a shorter hole course, most of which are around 250′. it was a windy day when i played and only once did it turn into a direct headwind. keep in mind this headwind was strong enough to keep my wasp from fading left. in tailwinds, no wind, and even mild headwinds, it wont turn over. it has very little fade and i laser it straight up to the basket. i even did a little putting with it. its a great straight mid range and i highly recommend it. its surprisingly durable as well. the rim is harder underneath and soft on the top which makes for great durability and excellent grip. the injection points underneath didnt bother me one bit. occasionally in gripping, i would touch one, but with a short rotation, it was good to go. get this disc if you want a straight mid with excellent glide.

  5. Nhilism on

    I finally caved and picked one of these up today. I feel the description of stability in this review to be spot on. But stable in almost an odd way I found. I can release with pre tty solid hyzer angle, and the atlas just pops straight up flat, no further than flat, at any amount of(high) speed given. Hits that flatness and just Flys laser straight with very minimal fade. If I realesed it nice and flat, it would fly straight for a shirt time but begin to glide right softly and finish right. Definitely found a home in my bag.

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