In November 2012, Vibram Disc Golf released their first distance driver, the Vibram Lace. Vibram is now ready to release their next distance driver to compliment the Lace. The Vibram unLace is the understable cousin of the Lace. With a wide rim, domey top, and great grip, the unLace brings many weapons to the disc golf course.
Vibram says this about the unLace:
It is our understable compliment to the Lace. What’s the best thing about the unLace? For starters, it’s great for starters. It doesn’t require big arm speed to perform. Whether you’re stepping up to distance drivers, or a pro looking for a finesse driver with tons of glide – the unLace is a fun, fast distance driver!
Right off the bat, we need to say if you have a very strong arm, the unLace will be very understable and flippy. As Vibram said, for beginners, the unLace is a great tool.
Vibram sent us an unLace a few weeks ago for this review. Since we got our hands on it we’ve had a handful of golfers throw the unLace. Some can throw a max weight distance driver 350-400 feet and some can only get to about 250-300 feet. We really wanted to see what the unLace could do across the spectrum of skill. If you have a strong arm and can get a distance driver out near 350 feet, the unLace will be very understable for you.
On our first throws we gave it a flat release and saw it flip into a roller almost instantly. Sure, there are times when this result is undesired, but there certainly are times that a quick roller is exactly what you want. Not only did it hit the ground quickly, it stood up and just kept on going. Some of the furthest roller shots we’ve seen came with the unLace. Since it hit the ground with so much speed, it was able to hold onto the energy and really carry across the ground.
While some rollers need a big sweeping anhyzer angle in order to roll over, we could send the unLace straight, about 7-10 feet off the ground on a flat release and it would do exactly what we wanted it to do: roll.
Because we saw it flip so quickly, we wanted to see what it would do on a hyzer release at full power. Even with a big hyzer angle on release the unLace would still roll from hyzer to flat to an anhyzer angle very quickly. If we threw it fast enough, it would hit into a roller again, but it needed a little more air to make it happen.
It wasn’t long before we knew we had to take some power off of our throws with the unLace. We slowed down to about 60-75% power with either a flat or slight hyzer release to see just what the unLace could do. This is where it really shined. With a smooth, controlled release, the unLace would flip up flat before starting a small turn right. It would never fully flip over, but would hold a slight anhyzer angle and glide down the fairway before a very soft fade at the end. The flight path was a very wide s-turn with the majority of the flight turning to the right before just enough fade to break out of the turn.
When we really got a feel for just how much power the unLace liked, we were starting to turn heads with how far we were throwing it with such little effort. It certainly needed some room to fly in order to get the long distance though. On wide open holes where all we needed was distance the unLace was filling the void nicely.
After our turn with the unLace we handed it over to some of the weaker arms who were around that afternoon. Some of these disc golfers will forehand everything regardless of how understable it may be. Others pull out a distance driver on anything past 275 feet. The unLace seemed like a perfect option for these golfers. When thrown forehand the unLace saw a very slight s-turn on a relatively tight line before fading back to the middle. When some threw it backhand, we saw a flight very similar to the Lace when thrown by a much stronger arm. A little turn, followed by a little fade.
Regardless of your arm strength, you must keep the nose angle of the unLace down. If the nose gets up, even the slightest bit, the unLace will stall and fade out relatively quickly. If you aren’t seen a lot of turn, or much movement, from the unLace, make sure you are keeping the nose helps. A big part of the sensitivity to the nose angle is due to a very small underwing. The profile photo from Vibram Disc Golf shown above illustrates just how little room there is on the under side of the wing. The disc almost has its wing sitting flat on the ground.
Overall, we’d give the Vibram unLace flight ratings of 12, 6, -5, 1. Stronger arms will find the unLace to be very understable and a consistent roller disc. Weaker arms will see a a straighter flight. If you do find the unLace to be a little too understable for you, slow down your arm speed and give it a nice smooth throw. The glide will carry it down the fairway on a slight anhyzer angle before softly fading back to the left.
Golfers new to the sport, or anyone with a slower arm speed will see great results from the unLace. It is a great disc to help you get comfortable with high speed drivers and what it takes to really execute a great throw.
We should also note that the unLace comes in Vibram’s very grippy X-Link rubber. The unLace we were able to test was in a very grippy version of their rubber. While it might just be in our heads, and it might be just a new disc, the unLace was one of the grippiest discs from Vibram we’ve thrown yet.
When throwing the unLace, rely on the tremendous glide and not the speed to achieve great distance. If the Lace was a little too much disc for you, the unLace might just be the answer.