Rpm Discs: New Zealand’s Manufacturing Jewel
If someone asked you to list the brands who manufacture golf discs, no-one would blame you if you only mentioned companies based in the US and Europe. But did you know there’s some great plastic flying down under in the land of the long white cloud?
The PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association) has only a few certified locations for disc manufacturers, and, as luck would have it, one of the 14 countries is New Zealand. RPM Discs is New Zealand’s very own disc golf manufacturer. Experts in the field of disc golf, members of the RPM company have garnered a wealth of knowledge from their extensive travels and professional competition experience, spearheaded by one of NZ’s best Simon Feasey.
Disc golf has been played in New Zealand for over 40 years, and, with the growing amount of interest in the sport, RPM offers discs that are unlike any other in the world. Their variety of disc molds are unique to RPM, and their disc golf targets are used around the world.
RPM DISCS’ INFLUENCE ON THE SPORT
RPM Discs’ Piwakawaka discs, named for the fan-tailed natives of New Zealand, and Tui Approach, a unique choice for a putter, this disc has introduced thousands of new players to disc golf over the years, through the epicentre in the South of NZ Queenstown. As such, their influence here has been insurmountable in introducing many tourists to the sport.
Though the discs mentioned above are highly popular, these other professional discs range vastly in quality and purpose:
Ruru: Putt & Approach Disc – 3, 3, 0, 1:
The Ruru—or, more affectionately named after the native owl, the Morepork—is designed for a consistent, stable fly with a very small late fade. The PDGA has approved this disc to 174.3g. The disc is available in four types of plastics with different effects.
Review: “The RPM Discs Ruru is a fantastic putter. I think spin putters would like it a little better than push putters. The Ruru also works great as a straight approach disc with consistent and repeatable results. The Magma plastic is wonderful inside the circle and the Cosmic plastic works well for approach shots. Their newest putter, the Ruru, might be the best putter you haven’t heard of yet.”
Tui: Approach Disc – 4, 3, -2, 1:
This PDGA approved disc is specific to a utility putt and approach disc. Like its fowl counterpart, its lip is thin and is known for its understability. Its light weight of 145 – 175g helps it glide well for a putter. The plastic types are available in Cosmic, Atomic, and Strata.
Review: “The Tui has immediately found a place in my bag (which rarely happens anymore) as my go-to distance putter and a great option for short drives. The Tui will serve a large range of disc golfers from beginners who are looking for a glidey yet manageable putter to assist their developing abilities all the way to advanced disc golfers looking for a reliable and versatile understable putter.”
Piwakawaka: Mid-Range Disc – 5, 5, -1.5, 1.5:
Named for its fantail counterpart, the Piwakawaka is comparable to its gliding. Given a 5 for its ability to glide, it will hold a straight line on those long drives. Mid-weight at 155 – 178g, the Piwakawaka’s thin rim, and wide diameter requires some finesse to hit the basket.
Review: “RPM Disc’s Piwakawaka is a great approach disc full of finesse and glide. The Piwakawaka would be a great choice for a novice learning form and finesse on shorter shots or could fit in the bag of an advanced player who needs a light touch with control close to the basket.”
Kea: Mid-Range Disc – 5, 3, 0, 3.5:
Though all the discs listed are PDGA approved, it never hurts to mention it again with the Kea. RPM Discs makes the great and wide guarantee that the disc is appropriate for all conditions and provides true mid-range qualities. The beautiful visage of the New Zealand Kea is also inscribed on the front.
Review: “A very exciting new midrange disc indeed, which challenges the best overstable mids in the world for a rightful place in your bag.”
Taniwha: Distance Driver – 10, 5, -2, 2:
The Taniwha, unlike the birds above, refers to the protective guardians or predatory beings that live in dangerous waters. The name for this disc symbolizes the beings’ protective nature, and, sure enough, is perfect for beginners. At a diameter of 210mm and a weight of 150 – 175 g, this particular disc offers speed.
Review: “I simply bought it because I liked the look (mine is yellow with a black design). I didn't know what to expect but it is fantastic. I release low and with a lot of power, and this disc is perfect for long, fairly straight drives that fall to the left.”
Kahu: Maximum Distance Driver – 13, 5, -1, 2, Kahu XG:
Maximum Distance Driver – 13, 5, -1, 2 Kahu OS: Maximum Distance Driver – 13, 4, -1, 4:
New Zealand’s Kahu bird is known as a hunter and its wide wings. The three varieties listed above are perfect distance drivers that are designed specifically for the type of throw. Its plastic allows for consistent throws, remaining constant despite winds.
RPM DISCS AND PRODUCTS
If you’re interested in something a little different, check out the range of disc moulds specific to your game shots. Visit The Flying Disc Store.
If you are looking for a great practice basket or are thinking of setting up your own disc golf course, make sure you check out the RPM Helix basket found at RAD - Recreation Activity Design.