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Making Discs That are Doomed

Hey, we admit it, we’re new to the world of disc design. We’re learning by trial and error.


Let’s look at the fate of the original Apocalypse design which was intended to be a wide rim distance driver with enough overstability to be a long-bomber for experienced players. Due to some miscommunication and miscalculation, the early prototypes ended up having a rim that was too wide and weights that were tipping the scales at 185+ grams, which is too heavy for a standard sized driver. At least it would never pass PDGA standards for play in PDGA sanctioned events. But the prototypes were so fun to throw that we decided not to scrap the mold entirely. Instead we just ordered up a batch of discs that we ended up calling the WMD, meaning “Weapon of Maximum Distance.” Doesn’t every avid disc golfer have a deep down desire to throw an overweight driver, just to see if they can?

Now that WMD (first fail on the Apocalypse) is now in the Doomsday Discs online store, just for those people who want to heft one across the fairway. And yes, they do go far if you’ve got the arm for it, because they’re actually a tad understable for some nice turn. But they are not PDGA approved for sanctioned tournament play.

We started another mold to try to get the Apocalypse right. The new testers came and the rim width and weight was better, but it was so understable as to render the disc unthrowable for its intended purposes. It wasn’t a good idea to release an Apocalypse high-speed disc that would instantly flip over when thrown at a high speed. So, we will have to start over again.

PERFECT! Or….Maybe Not

Another interesting learning lesson was in the designing of two of our more unique molds, the Land Mine and the Frag (designed originally with the names “The Hub Cap” and “The Can Lid”). They were originally designed with 3D modeling and looked like they’d be fun discs to throw. We took the costly risk of making the molds and the initial testers looked good. But those testers were run in baseline plastic blends (like putter plastic). Indeed, they were fun to throw. We sent them in for PDGA approval and they passed. Bingo!

However, the members of Team Doomsday then fell in love with the discs and wanted versions in premium plastic. We tried everything we could think of, but the premium plastic blends kept coming out of the mold overweight. There was no way to get them under 200 grams when running premium plastics. The Land Mine had only been approved to 182.6 grams based on its somewhat large diameter, and the Frag was only approved to 183.4 grams based on its large diameter.  Throwing 200+ gram Frags and Land Mines was fun for testing, it wasn’t feasible for production runs now that the discs were PDGA approved.

Since the Land Mine instantly sold-out on it’s first production run in a firm baseline plastic that was called “Weapon’s Grade” we decided to tackle that problem first. The only solution we could find after a lot of tests was to make an alternate insert for the mold that would change the thickness of the rim for a premium plastic version. That, of course, results in a different mold…a different disc. Now there will be a premium approach disc with a similar shape, but ultimately a different rim thickness. It will have a different name and need to be approved under the new name. We’ll keep the original Land Mine in the original blend, and there will be a different disc with a similar shape in premium plastic with a different name. Confusing? Maybe. But alas, we didn’t design the mold with the premium plastic weight in mind. It’s easy to add weight, but it’s hard to take it away.

Lesson learned.

We moved on to another requested mold in the Munitions Line– that of a grossly oversized driver. But this time, we designed the mold to achieve the target weight when run in premium plastic so that it can be run in the desired material from the start.


Okay, we admit, we didn’t understand ALL of the rules on disc specs that need to be met in order to pass PDGA standards for approval. We knew the basic disc sizes, rims sizes, diameter vs weight, etc. But there’s a little rule about the radius of the leading edge of a disc needing to fit into a 1/16th inch radius tool. After a couple of fails with the Famine disc at the PDGA for not passing that test, we ended up buying the radius tool that the PDGA uses so we could check the disc ourselves.

We had the mold retooled to make the leading edge of the rim just a little thicker. We used our handy tool and saw that the edge didn’t touch the back of the little 1/16th inch radius notch, but it failed again. Wow. Apparently we weren’t looking at it quite right because the edge of the disc was touching the inside bottom before touching the back. It’s hard to explain…it was hard for us to understand. But we asked a business partner to talk to somebody at the PDGA and try to get it all figured out.

By this time, our friends at the US manufacturer that were tooling the mold and running it for us started to throw their hands up in the air. The 3D model clearly showed the edge radius over 1/16th of an inch. They already owned a pile of radius measurement tools, but also apparently didn’t understand the nature of the test. Plastic also shrinks after coming out of the mold, so the resulting disc may not exactly match the model. Despite the confused feelings, the disc was retooled yet again to increase the thickness of the leading edge of the disc. Now there was a risk of making the disc too heavy. Making the rim thicker means adding more plastic.

Now we have testers for the twice-retooled version of the Famine distance driver. Does it fly the same as the original prototype run? Nope. Not exactly. Every little change to a disc makes it fly a little bit differently. But we had to go through that gauntlet to the end. Soon we’ll send the new discs to the PDGA and we’ll see if this time we’ve passed the test. Will the disc and that pesky little tool finally become friends?

Either way, Doomsday Discs now holds the PDGA Technical Standards record for the disc that has been rejected the most number of times. Hooray!


The Cataclysm driver from the Prepper line was PDGA approved on August 29th and the first run is being made for a hopeful October release. That one will probably wrap up the disc releases for 2022 and the above mentioned discs that are in development will likely land in early 2023.

We already mentioned the oversized driver and the altered version of the Land Mine for premium plastic. We also have other molds and designs in the works. The same US manufacturer that we use for the Blackout fairway driver is tooling a mold insert to make an interesting mid-range. The insert will make the rim less wide and will add to the rim depth, while sharing the top part of the original Blackout mold. That will create a small diameter midrange disc (approximate 4-5 speed) that we hope will fly with a more overstable path than the Despair or the Flat Earth (previously released molds in other disc lines). That same manufacturer is also working on an all-new distance driver mold that we hope will result in a disc in the 13-speed range with a neutral to understable flight (different than the original Apocalypse concept).

But, we’ve learned that plans can change. We have requests from Team Doomsday that we would like to launch before too long. A lot now depends on how well our first discs are received and how well they sell in the coming months in order to budget for more molds. The clock it ticking. We never know when the sun will spit a massive CME our way and the disc runs will stop for an extended period of time.  Until then, we move forward!

— Go down throwing.