Every disc golfer has a few discs in their bag that are used in just a few situations. They might lack a wide range of use opportunities, but they excel in these limited cases. These could be slower midranges with a very overstable flight, or really understable fairway drivers. Another category we’ve seen discs like this land into is the pure distance high speed driver. It wants to fly fast and in order to show a full flight, it needs to fly fast.
That is the case with the Latitude 64 Ballista. A wide rimmed driver craves a strong throw, but if you can get it up to speed, you’ll be rewarded.
Latitude 64 says this about their distance driver:
Tired of choosing between speed and accuracy? With the Ballista you can get the best of two worlds. One of the fastest discs in the world combined with a dependable flight pattern makes the Ballista a must-have in the bag. It will be overstable for beginners and slightly understable for experienced players.
Latitude 64 sent us a Ballista for this review and a variety of skill levels have had a chance to throw it.
With a pretty low profile, the wide rim of the Ballista will be very noticeable. It isn’t too difficult to grip, but the added size can be a turnoff for some. During our tests, those who were accustomed to throwing distance drivers with wide rims felt right at home, but did note the size.
The wide rim obviously translates to a lot of speed, which can turn into distance, but it also brings an important factor to the throw. The more we tested the Ballista, the more we noticed how much it really relied on speed to carry out a long flight. There is some turn to it, but if you can’t get it up to speed, it won’t do you much good.
We found the Ballista to be very responsive to speed differences, which can be both good and bad. It’s highly possible slower arms find the Ballista to be too overstable. That is mainly due to the reliance on speed instead of a lack of turn. The Ballista wants to turn if it is moving fast enough, but that need outweighs anything else.
On the other side of things, stronger arms were able to get the Ballista to dance a little which helped with overall distance. If you have consistent power that can reach 350 feet or more, the Ballista will have some turn to it. It isn’t to the point that you need to give it some added hyzer to have it flip up on you, but it will be enough to show some drift from left to right and help shape its flight. It wasn’t too extreme of a turn, but the type that when you see it start to kick in down the fairway, you know you have a great throw.
What surprised us though was the amount of turn that showed up when thrown into a headwind. This is where we settled on the idea that it relies more on speed than high speed stability when it comes to holding back any turn. We had a few chances to throw the Ballista into a moderate headwind and each time, it just didn’t have the stability to fight it and showed a much more understable flight. Since the headwind gives the disc the effect of being thrown faster due to the air moving past it quicker than normal, this simulates more speed. Each and every time with the Ballista we’d see it kick into a turn quicker and faster than normal.
With the headwind we could throw some big hyzer flip shots, but felt like we lost some control in the end due to a little unpredictability of the flight. Quite simply, if you are facing a headwind, and you have a decently strong arm, the Ballista might not be the best choice. Slower arms might welcome the headwind to achieve a little more turn.
The end of the flight usually comes in with a little bit of a punch. Latitude 64 rates it as a 4, and slower arms might see something at that level. We’d bump that down a notch or so for faster arms. Regardless of the arm strength, the fade will be there.
Most importantly, we found the Ballista needs some room to fly. It leans heavily on the speed aspect of things to get that turn and if it can get a little movement, it will only help with distance. It is capable of hitting tight lines, but we wouldn’t initially reach for the Ballista in those cases. If you have the room though, the Ballista can really achieve some distance.
Overall, we’d rate the Latitude 64 Ballista at 14, 4, -1, 3.5. Slower arms might see something like 14, 4, 0, 4 and stronger arms could see a flight closer to 14, 4, -1.5, 3. It all comes down to overall power and arm speed.
The flight chart from inbounds Disc Golf shows a flight close to what we experienced. We saw slightly more turn, but the overall shape of the flight is very similar.
With a little turn, a reliable fade, and plenty of speed, the Latitude 64 Ballista can achieve plenty of distance on the course. It leans heavily on speed, but if you can get it moving, you’ll be rewarded. Stronger arms might need to play with a little bit release angle due to the different levels of turn you might achieve with the power.
We also have to note that the Ballista has made some waves in the disc golf community recently when it was used to set the Under 16 WFDF distance record. Austin Spradlin threw an Air Ballista 958 feet (292.2 meters).
While we feel the Ballista doesn’t have a very wide range of shots in it, what it does have, it can do quite well. It craves speed and distance. If you reward it with what it wants, it will reward you with what you want.