Some basic techniques

As you would expect, throwing and catching the disc are basic parts of each routine. There are many ways to throw a disc and even more ways to catch it. You can use a backhand or sidearm throw (see the info sheet on throwing techniques). By changing the angle of the disc it will curve to the left or to the right.

The easiest and safest catch is the “pancake catch” (with both hands). In freestyle routines you will see much more difficult and riskier catches. A few simple catches include the under the leg and the behind the head. Advanced, hard to describe moves include the flamingo, flamingitis, triple fake, scarecrow, and the bad attitude. Take your pick. The more air you get the better.

Then there is the nail delay. You delay the catch by basically spinning the disc on your fingernail (al- though some people can also do it on their teeth, feet, and elbows). Once you have good spin or Z’s on the disc, you can then pass the spinning disc under your leg, behind your back, etc. Often players find they can nail delay better with clockwise spin, while others prefer counter clockwise, and a few top players are proficient with both spin directions.

It's important to play with quality discs since most promotional or give-away discs can barely fly. Free- stylers prefer discs with very smooth surfaces, weighing about 160 grams. Some wind players prefer lighter discs, especially for air brushing. The 175-gram ultimate disc can work but is not ideal because it is too heavy. Players try to reduce friction between the nail and the disc so the delay will last longer. This is critical for a longer combination of moves. To this end, most players use fake fingernails (try the index finger first), while all players use some type of silicon spray or other non-oily lubricant for the inside of the disc (and the top too for upside down delays).

To tip a disc with your finger, wait for a floating throw that’s just over your head, and then tip the spin- ning disc exactly in the center, and then catch it or tip it again. Once you get good at tipping, try kick- ing the disc in a similar manner.

Air Brushing is another way to keep a disc spinning. By repeatedly hitting a slightly-angled disc with your hand (or foot) on the outside rim, it keeps spinning and therefore remains in the air. Try this by yourself or with a friend the next time you have a nice steady breeze. And to make moves like this easier, always face the wind.

Another move is the body roll. Spread your arms, tilt your torso back a bit and let the disc roll from your fin- gertips over your arms and chest towards your other hand. Again, face the wind.

There are many more moves than we can describe here. For more information, check out the official site of the Freestyle Players Association (FPA), a non-profit or- ganization, at