4 December 2006

Photos of grips

Here are some photos of forehand grips.

I am only looking at forehands here because they are harder to learn, less intuitive (ask any non-ultimate player to throw a disc, and they will generally throw a backhand, not a forehand), and there is more variation in them, among Ultimate players.

Most players should use a power grip. (Scroll down to 3.2). I am certain about this.

Power grips

Jeff Cruikshank, Furious George, thrower extraordinaire. I recommend having your your ring finger and pinky fingers straight, and supporting the outside of the disc, like Jeff does.

Miranda has the pinky and ring fingers bent.

Tom Rogacki, Chilly, who has huge hands

A Kiwi


Mad Dog

Hybrid grips

Meg Campbell, Ishtar


Split finger/Beginner's grip

Still looking for good examples...


  1. Owen,

    I still use the split grip, I feel like I have a lot of control but still enough power to get it 50 metres.

    Why should I change?

    Rueben Berg

    PS Nice blog

  2. Most people (not all) should change, because it will give them more power
    (and negligible loss of disc control, especially if you feel your thumb has a firm grasp of the disc anyway).

    Hold your hand flat. Bend your fingers at the big knuckles (where fingers join the hand), like you are throwing an imaginary forehand.

    Now split your index and middle fingers by 45 degrees. Bend your fingers at the big knuckles, like you are throwing an imaginary forehand. While maintaining a 45 degree angle between those fingers.

    Which situation gives a greater range of movement? Which has more power? Try pushing a cup across a table with the tips of your fingers, with these 2 positions.

    The only advantage of a split finger is that the index finger supports the disc more. And most people can learn to throw fine without that support.

    Other reasons?

    1. Anecdotally I've seen more improvement from people going from split finger to the power grip than vice versa.

    2. More of the best throwers use the power grip (see photos).

    3. Disc golfers know grips. I believe Piers has consulted several for advice on the best forehand grips.

    4. Because very powerful is better than powerful and 55m > 50m :)

  3. hey owen

    i was throwing with my dad a couple nights ago. his flick has always been a little shaky. it turns out he was throwing with the same grip i use (just one pad on the rim but both together). i showed him your grip and there was immediate improvement.

    the next night he was down at church street league showing beginners how to throw with his new grip. i remember walking past and hearing him say "now i've been throwing frisbee's with daniel for 4 yeeears and he's only just shown me this secret grip..."


  4. (I'm super bummed that the first three photo links are broken.)

    The illustration for the power grip on the AFDA page you linked to has been driving me crazy as I try to get this grip right. The way I read it (right now as well as a couple years ago when I set my grip), it is showing the forearm being perpendicular to the plane of the disc! As far as I can tell, this is not the case for the strong throwers I've seen online (e.g. Rob's and Bro's videos). The grips I'm seeing look more like the "Other grips" (3.4) on http://www.afda.com/skills/grips.htm or maybe somewhere in between the two.

    What do you think? Thanks!