Best Kept Secrets in Disc Golf: Innova Condor
Updated: Jun 18, 2020
It’s 1991, and unrestricted commercial use of the Internet is enabled, and a total of 1-million computers are now connected to it. Operation Desert Storm is well underway in Kuwait. Terminator 2 is a smash hit, and Innova Champion Discs releases the Condor!
The Condor is a PDGA-approved golf disc, and at 241 millimetres in diameter and with a legal maximum weight of 200 grams it is a Beast Of A Thing! It behaves differently to all other existing large diameter discs because it has a profile most similar to a Roc, rather than an Ultimate disc.
The Condor feels like a regular golf disc until you throw it, and then the extra weight (if you have a heavy one) and the large diameter separate it from all other discs in your bag. But Condor is so big it doesn’t even fit into the main compartment of most modern golf bags! But don’t let that put you off one.
I have two Condors, a 175-gram “lightweight” example, and a heavyweight 197-gram item. I carry the heavy one for disc golf, and I use the light one exclusively for throw-and-catch sessions, usually with best bud’ JT. This is because the Condor WILL hurt you if you muck up a catch. And even when JT and I huck the 175-gram for 30 minutes at Woodham Park next door, there’s always at least one or two “Owie Owie Owie” moments followed by a lot of finger squeezing, and hand shaking. You Have Been Warned!
Why is the Condor so good?
Let me count the ways!
Firstly, its huge diameter means you have much more leverage on the disc, so it can be thrown far with relative ease. It’s like throwing a short hammer vs. throwing a longer hammer. You can throw the longer one further.
Secondly, the diameter forces you to apply lots of spin in the snap, else the disc will fade out early, and fail to fly far. And this is perhaps the biggest lesson the Condor will teach you, and reinforce in you every time you throw one. It provides FAR more feedback than a regular 210mm golf disc in this regard.
The extra potential angular momentum the Condor gains from its large diameter forces a player to really emphasise the snap and release of the disc in order to fully exploit the extra length, stability and straight-flying characteristics of the disc.
Thirdly, Condor flies the straightest of any hard-thrown disc I have ever used, in 32 years of disc golf. Let it go flat and straight, and it will not turn, and it will not fade unless the shot is exceptionally long. But Condor’s power isn’t in the longest of shots; it's an approach disc.
Fourthly, Condor has amazing glide when thrown flat. Throw and catch sessions will usually require Condor be thrown somewhat nose up, so that the catcher is not endangered by the incoming disc. Flat-thrown discs will be absolutely screaming when they arrive at the catcher, and injury may result from a poor catch attempt.
Fifthly, The Condor’s massive weight and low profile means that when thrown flat in heavy wind, it is the single most reliable disc of all time. In high winds Condor is the perfect upshot disc if a straight throw is required.
Sixthly, it is incredibly easy to range a Condor. With hyzer, anhyzer, or flat shots, a well thrown Condor will not deviate from its line, and thus the landing zone is very small.
Seventhly, The Condor’s large diameter instantly reveals poor anhyzer technique, as correct nose angle (down!) and correct spin speed (lots!) is required for anhyzers to flex out as intended, landing flat. See our article titled Classic Problems in Disc Golf; Anhyzers Fading Out Early for more info.
Eighthly, the "massive" Condor is available down to a shocking 139-grams. Now, I have no idea how they achieve this with DX, but the Innova Factory Store advertises them, so they exist! And they are sometimes available in Blizzard Champion plastic. But that is a mythical thing, and I have never seen one, personally.
If it's so special, why haven't you heard about the Condor before?
Maybe it's a form of cultural amnesia? Maybe it's the automatic assumption in 2020, that modern discs are always better than old ones? Maybe it's because it's huge, and doesn't fit into many modern bags?
Maybe it's simply because almost no one carries one on the DGC.
But in truth, Innova do not market the Condor as a golf disc. It doesn't even have a Flight Rating on the Innova web site. FYI, those numbers are 3 4 0 2, but the "2" is up to you. If you apply sufficient spin in the snap, Condor has zero fade, so it's a 3 4 0 0.
Perfect for finger twirling!
Condor's high mass and big diameter make it the perfect disc to teach yourself to keep a disc spinning on the tip of one finger. It's hard to learn to do this with a 210mm disc. And Condor's large ejection tab surrounding the sprue allows you to easily stay centered with your driving finger.
Condor is the best disc for Ultimate players to transition to disc golf
Ultimate players will take to this disc like a pig to mud. It has large diameter, but a golf disc profile.
Throw Run and Catch (TRC) World Record Holder
Whenever people try to break the TRC distance record, they'll usually use a lightweight Condor to achieve it. The current record is 94 metres for self-caught-flight. So, if you are fast maybe get your running shoes out.
There are not many discs on the market I unreservedly recommend to players of all abilities, from complete newbies, to professionals. The Condor is one such disc, along with the Sinus and the Fuse. But those are for other disc homages!