But throwing one well? That's a different kettle of fish entirely.
Sure, you might be able to manage a wobbly, ineffective lob here and there, but don't you feel jealous watching those guys who can effortlessly flick their discs for what seems like miles, straighter than an arrow?
Fix your failing Frisbee-fu. Here's a few pointers that'll really make you fly.
Choose your weapon
Cheap discs -- you know, the ones that usually come for free, pre-printed with the logo of some local business or good cause -- don't work well. They're often too heavy, poorly balanced, won't sit right in the hand, and generally lead to frustration.
Do yourself a favor and pick up a good Frisbee at your local hobby or outdoor goods store. It should only run you between $5 and $10, and will make honing your throw far more of a relaxing and entertaining experience. If you have a choice of weights, you should probably start with a medium-weight, 140-gram disc; heavier ones fly further but require a defter touch.
Get a grip
Pick your target, be it a friend, a convenient tree, a human-shaped rock, whatever. Then stand edge-on to it; if you're a right-handed thrower, your right shoulder should be pointing at the target. Hold the Frisbee with your thumb on top, your index finger curving along the edge, and your remaining fingers tucked underneath. Not too tight, not too loose. There are other grips and other throwing styles, but this one will get you off the ground with a good, solid, straight throw.
Master the snap
And the key to that is getting both plenty of power and plenty of spin. Sure, you gotta have power to reach your target, but without enough spin, the disc will wobble out of control long before it runs out of horizontal momentum. The secret to this is all in the wrist -- and not the elbow, and definitely not the shoulder.
So once you have your grip right, bend your wrist all the way as you draw the disc towards your leading hip. Let the rest of your arm follow along naturally. Then quickly unwind your arm until it's pointing straight at your target, snapping the wrist as you do so. Release the disc when your whole arm is straight -- and remember, almost all the motion comes from the wrist, while the rest of your throwing arm is just along for the ride.
Aim to get plenty of wrist snap (and consequently plenty of spin) to stabilize your throw, and don't worry so much about power for the time being.
Try a forehand
Once you've got your backhand straight, true, and with plenty of distance, give the forehand a try. It's harder to learn, but experienced throwers often find it offers more distance -- and it looks bad-ass to boot.
For this, you're going to need to face the other way, with your non-dominant shoulder pointing towards the target. You're also going to need to change up your grip, so flip the Frisbee over and make a V sign with your index and middle fingers. Tuck the middle finger into the edge of the Frisbee, and let the pointer rest more towards the center. The thumb goes on the other side, and applies a little pressure to pinch the Frisbee securely. The throw itself is the easy bit: just a simple flick of the wrist.
Take it to the next level
Now that you've got the basics down, there's more to do with a Frisbee than just throwing it to friends at the park, fun though that is.
Ultimate Frisbee is widely played in most cities: it's a team game rather like football but, obviously, with a Frisbee instead of a pigskin. And the rapidly growing pastime of disc golf is a great way to combine Frisbee-throwing with a gentle walk and a little light competition, if there's a course near you.
Or, you know, you can try this:
- Sports & Recreation