After releasing four putters, two midranges, and two fairway drivers, Vibram Disc Golf is finally releasing their highly anticipated distance driver: the Vibram Lace! When Vibram Disc Golf announced they were working on a high speed driver, Vibram lovers everywhere were instantly excited. The wait has been long, but the time is finally here.
The Vibram Lace went out to testers and team members late this Summer. Vibram put out two version of this disc to the testers. One was stable, one was really flippy. The stable version received rave reviews from the testers. This became what we now know as the Vibram Lace.
Vibram was kind enough to give us a chance to test the Lace before it hits stores. Normally, weather in the Midwest in November can be quite chilly. We lucked out this past weekend where temperatures were in the upper 60s and lower 70s. So, what does one do with a brand new Vibram distance driver and nice weather? We hit the course and gave the Lace a workout.
Lets first start with what Vibram says:
Vibram’s first long range driver. The Lace is a very fast and stable long distance driver. The Lace is like a faster Trak with a ton more glide thrown in as a bonus. Team Vibram players have mentioned that discs are hard to find because they did not know they could throw that far. One disc got stuck high in a tree that a player did not know he could even reach.
Get ready to Lace one down the fairway – way down the fairway!
Hmm, a fast stable long distance driver. When I first picked up the Lace I quickly noticed how wide the rim was. The rim comes in at 2.4cm wide. For comparison sake, other discs on the market with a 2.4cm wide rim include: Innova Ape and Latitude 64 Bolt (among others). A Discraft Nuke comes in at 2.5cm and an Innova Destroyer at 2.2cm. I have average size hands. Personally, the widest rims I’m comfortable with are Destroyers. Anything larger than that and I dont’ feel like I have control of the disc. The Lace did feel comfortable in my hand though.
I also noticed a slight dome on the disc. Due to the X-Link rubber (our test disc was a medium firmness), there is some give to the top. The dome is gradual, looks like it should be there by design and not by mistake. The dome did bring some noticeable glide to my throws. More on that in a moment.
We were welcomed by a decent wind on during our test round. It was steady between 10-15mph and gusting up to 20mph. I purposely went to a course that would give me multiple shots with this wind. I wanted to test the disc with wind from all different directions.
The first chance I got to throw the Lace was with a steady wind from left to right (I throw RHBH). I didn’t want to crank on it too hard so I gave it a nice smooth throw. Out of my hand I noticed a nice stable flight. It wasn’t powered up too hard so I didn’t expect it to turn much. When it began to fade back into the wind I watched it power down nicely and settle down without a lot of movement back to the left.
Now that I can tell that it is a nice stable disc I wanted to give it a toss into a headwind. The word that kept jumping out to me while I was reading up on the Lace was “stable.” I was a little hesitant to throw it into a strong headwind with the fear that it would just flip and head right. I gave the Lace a handful of throws into a steady headwind. I noticed a more pronounced high speed turn when thrown into a headwind but it wouldn’t flip all the way over. It would also come back to at least center during its fade. In short, it doesn’t LOVE a headwind when thrown flat, but it doesn’t turn and burn like a really understable disc would. “Stable” really is the best way to describe the Lace in a headwind. Will see some more turn, but will try and fade back out.
After my headwind experiment, I really wanted to see what the Lace could do. I had a set of holes where I was either slightly downhill and/or slightly downwind. This is where I really noticed the intended flight path of the Lace. When released flat it will turn just a little bit when it gets up to full speed. It won’t flip, just turn a little bit. Exactly how I expected it to. I tried it on a small hyzer flip and it would flip flat. Too much hyzer on release and it would hold a minor hyzer line the whole time.
The thing that caught me off guard the most was the skip at the end I was getting with the Lace. Having thrown many Vibram discs before I’m used to seeing the disc hit the ground and stick. You don’t get much skip with their previous lineup. The angle of fade for me would be around 10:30 on the face of a clock. As the Lace was starting to power down on a nice forward fade, it hit the ground and took off. I noticed this more than once. I think golfers will like this. If you can keep your throw flat, you will get an added skip at the end. At first, I thought it was a fluke but after seeing it a few more times, I could tell this was by design.
The glide was also noticeable. I felt like I was able to get the Lace comfortably up to speed and grab a little extra distance. When Vibram was first entering the disc golf market their putters didn’t include much glide at all (VP, Ridge, Summit). Then Vibram released the Sole which brought some added glide to the picture. The Obex was another disc that has surprising glide. The Lace falls into that category as well.
I don’t like to put a distance number on my disc reviews. I tend to throw fairway drivers around 300-325ft on average and distance drivers around 350ft on avg. I’ve thrown them longer on some attempts and have thrown them shorter as well. For a comparison, I was throwing this right around where my Destroyers land… maybe a tad longer. I would think the Lace would compete for space in your bag with a Destroyer or a Nuke. Your results might vary, but based on what I was able to do with it, I believe they would fit that slot.
I’ve been trying to put the Innova rating system on the Lace. The extra wide rim should tell me it is a speed 13. I think a 12 or 13 would fit. I lean more on 12 though. Glide I would slot in around a 5.5. Seems to carry more glide than a Destroyer but not enough to say a 6. -1 for turn and either a 2 or 3 for fade. It was a little tough to tell with the wind and I couldn’t tell how much was wind aided or not. It will hold up in a mild headwind but nothing too strong.
There is a large (and growing) Vibram Disc Golf fan base. The obvious thing missing from the Vibram lineup was a distance driver and the Lace fills the void beautifully. The Lace will be a hit. This will knock other distance drivers out of disc golf bags everywhere. It flies like a slightly beat Destroyer with a little more glide for me. Many will read that sentence and smile. Can you find anything wrong with a slightly beat Destroyer with added glide? Probably not.
One negative about the Lace is that people will now want even more from Vibram. Where is the void in their line up? I see something around a speed 9 or 10… maybe slightly overstable too. There are still a few holes out there, but I’m sure I don’t have to tell Vibram that. Who knows what they are already testing internally right now.
The Lace is a wonderful surprise. I didn’t expect it to be this fast. Don’t take that to be a bad thing though. This thing is long. Once you figure out what it can do in different wind conditions, you’ll love it. Like Vibram said, “Get ready to Lace one down the fairway – way down the fairway!”
When can you get one? The Lace arrives in stores on Black Friday November 23rd.
The wait is almost over! We’ll try and make the wait a little easier to handle… stay tuned. You might want to Like our Facebook page while you wait. Your chance to throw the Lace is coming soon…