Continuing with their trend of adding a new top to popular molds, Innova is set to release the Innova TL3. This new flatter top creates a very sleek profile, but does change the flight characteristics just a bit. After our tests with the TL3, if you’re a fan of of the TL, you’ll be able to adapt to the TL3 with ease.
Innova sent us a pair of GStar TL3s to review and we were graced with near perfect weather conditions for testing. The TL3 will feel a little smaller in the hand due to the flatter top. Previous TLs we’ve used, especially in Champion plastic. If you’re a fan of flat tops on a disc instead of a domey top, the new “3 top” on the TL3 will have a lot to like for you.
The TL3 comes out of the hand with a very clean release thanks to the very low profile. The small rim size (1.7cm) gives you the chance to really get a strong hold and give it a strong powerful throw. It isn’t the fastest disc available, but that isn’t the purpose of the TL3. The TL comes with a speed rating of 7 and the TL3 is given a rating of 8 from Innova. While the rim size is still the same, it does appear to fly just a hair faster. It isn’t a big difference, but it is there.
Less dome also means less glide due to the reduction of air under the disc has it flies. The end result is a flight that is actually very similar to the TL, but takes a little more effort on your end to get it there. We were throwing the TL3 on holes that we would typically throw a TL or similar disc on and we were able to achieve very similar distances. The TL3 just got there a little quicker and didn’t glide out that much.
We’ve always thought the TL had just a hint of turn. If anything, it has what we typically call a “stable turn” of sorts. It won’t remain perfectly flat, but it won’t kick into a very large turn. The TL3 still has that slight stable turn, but it isn’t as pronounced as the TL. Even into a minor headwind, the TL3 would easily hold up and show no desire to roll over. It isn’t the best disc in a major headwind, but you can have confidence in the TL3 if there is a small wind at your face.
If you aren’t familiar with the TL, it is known for a very straight flight which means a very small fade. That same small fade is brought to the TL3 and isn’t that strong at all. The TL3 will certainly fade out and finish slightly to the left, but don’t expect any big skips or dramatic flares. When we had a throw where it showed a little bit of turn, it would start to flatten back out, continue to push forward and end with just a hint of fade to the left. True to the description, the TL3 is one straight driver.
The biggest comparison we can make for the TL3 is to a slightly stable Innova Leopard. A GStar Leopard for us, also with a very flat profile, does have a little bit of turn and is useful for the 275-300 foot shots where you need a little bit of left to right movement and even a finish to the left. A stable Leopard, especially in Champion plastic has always had a slightly more stable flight, but isn’t as fast as the TL. The TL3 can replace the stable Leopard shot in the bag. The flight is straighter than a Teebird and has just enough turn combined with a moderate fade to produce a very straight shot.
Due to the very neutral flight and reduced glide, the TL3 should also prove useful on any forced anhyzer shot. On a few holes, where you have the option of letting a disc naturally turn over (like a Leopard or Sidewinder), or you have the room to pump out a bigger anhyzer shot, the TL3 would produce some quality results. We were able to give it some added height and force it to turn over and the TL3 would hold the initial anhyzer angle and continue to push forward. The flatter top allowed it to maintain this line and not get too much air under it to help force it back out.
Overall, we’d rate the Innova TL3 at 8, 4, -0.25, 1. The end result is a very straight flight with a hint of turn and touch of fade. If you’ve been desiring a very straight flight out of a fairway driver, the TL3 could be exactly it. Don’t expect a large amount of glide, but do expect great control.
The TL3 is just another in the line of discs from Innova with a new flatter top. The TL3’s flight is actually very comparable to the original TL, but gets down the fairway with just a little more speed. The reduced glide could be seen as a positive since it allows for a more controllable flight that won’t fade out as hard.
While the GStar plastic is very durable, if it is like any other GStar disc out there, give it a little bit of time on the course and you’ll get it to beat in just a touch. Once it does beat in a little, we’d expect the TL3 to show a little more turn and maybe a touch less fade. Once it reaches that point, we’ve seen other GStar hold that flight pattern for quite some time. A slightly faster fairway driver with a very straight to understable flight? Not much to dislike there.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve ever thrown a TL or not. The TL3 could quickly fit into your bag and remain their for quite some time.
The new TL3 is shipping from Innova this week. Contact your local retailer for exact dates.