Loft Discs has launched their second Kickstarter campaign. Riding high on the success of, “the straightest putter in disc golf,” the Hydrogen. This time they are taking aim at the high speed distance drivers with the Borhium. According to Loft Discs, “…our new design concept: The rounded rim.”
Table of Contents
The Rounded Rim
According to their Kickstarter page, the rounded rim improves grip. It also reduces drag while maintaining lift. They going on to claim that the rounded rim will make the disc fly farther before it loses speed compared to similar width discs with a sharp rim. They also state that the curved rim will fit the curve of your fingers better.
Now to my knowledge this is the first distance driver that has the curved flashing. There are a few other discs like the old school Latitude 64 Riot but that rim was more angled than curved like the Bohrium. As for the more natural feel in the hand, I think that’s a little more difficult sell. The rim is wide. Really wide. 2.5cm wide. That doesn’t sound too wide but when you compare it to one of the more popular drivers like the Destroyer at 2.2cm. That .3 cm doesn’t sound like a lot but if you think a Firebird and the Destroy is a huge difference that’s also .3cm difference. I really want to feel this in my hand and see if I can grip it and hold on through my backhand. For a forehand I tend to like the wider rim discs. Though with the curve on the disc, I want to see if I can take advantage of extra distance they claim it’ll have.
By the Numbers
Now they rate the disc as a 14, 6, -1, 3. If you need further explanation on the numbers you can check out this article here. As a 14 speed disc, and as mentioned before, this is going to have a very wide rim making it harder to grip. The 6 glide is the highest glade of any disc out there. The one disc that has a 6 glide that I’ve thrown multiple times is the Latitude 64 Sapphire, specifically the trilogy challenge 170+ gram discs. I will say that disc did not want to land. Hopefully, I will say the same about the Bohrium.
Simulating the Disc
According to the simulations and limited testing the curved rim will reduce drag. Less drag means the disc is not slowing down as fast so it should stay in the air longer than a traditional rim disc.
If we look at the picture above we can see how the traditional flat rim causes areas of high drag; the dark blue areas. These areas cause more turbulent airflow and increase the negative acceleration due to air resistance.
Now looking at the rounded rim of the Borhium those dark blue, high drag areas are much smaller than a traditional rim. We do have to remember that these are just simulations, but the science looks promising. The smoother the airflow around the disc the slower it will negatively accelerate.
Pushing the PDGA Disc Limits
They are able to reduce drag even further with the widest possible rim allowed by the PDGA. This allowed them to move more mass from the center of the disc, the flight plate, and move it to the rim where the moment of inertia increases reducing fade and turn. This helps regain control with the increased speed.
Loft does admit that the rounded rim does feel different than any other current driver; because it is different than anything in production currently. There is a chance that you will have some early releases because of the wide, rounded rim.
The disc is available in the alpha-solid. This is one of the plastic option from the Hydrogen putter. I liked the feel of this for the putter. Even though I’m partial to softer putters, the alpha plastic felt great.
Defending Loft Discs’ Kickstarter Campaign
I have heard complaints that Loft is doing a kickstarter for their second disc. The negative comments have ranged from uncouth to scummy. To those people, I say you’re wrong. They’re using kickstarter as more of a pre-order system. As a very small disc manufacturer, I think this is a great option for them. You can use the capital raised from the campaign to reinvest in the company, judge the demand for the disc, and plan funds accordingly. I would have a problem if a large company like Latitude 64, Discraft, or Innova did this. They more than have the resources to develop new discs, take risks on innovation, and market their product. What do you think about the Loft Discs Bohrium and their claims? Let me know in the comments below!