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Choosing the Ideal Rim Weight

This past weekend I returned to Massachusetts to coach at the Elite Throws Coaching summer camp. During one of my sessions with the discus throwers, the topic of rim weight and picking a discus came up. A few of the kids had an idea of rim weight, while others had no clue, just getting a discus based on price or looks. Today I wanted to talk about rim weight and how to choose the most ideal discus for you!

What Is Rim Weight, And Why Does It Matter?

Rim weight refers to how much of the total weight of the discus is located in the rim. Let’s say you have an 80% rim-weighted 2 kilogram discus, 1.6 kilograms would be located in the rim, with the remaining parts making up the .4 grams.

2 kilograms x .8 = 1.6 kilograms

2 kilograms - 1.6 kilograms = .4 grams

In the discus, the thrower releases the discus by applying pressure on the rim, creating spin. The more rotation applied, the greater amount of energy transferred, which can create further distances. The greater the rim weight, the more an athlete has to apply spin to the discus. Beginner throwers should work with rubber or center-weighted discus until they have established a consistent release pattern. Intermediate throwers are recommended to work with low-spin or high-spin discs, depending on their ability. Elite throwers are recommended to work with high-spin or very-high-spin discs.

Do I Have the Right Disc?

An easy way to determine if the discus you currently have is ideal is by watching how it flies in the air. If you have a high-rim weighted discus but it wabbly through the delivery, it's probably best to drop down to a lower rim weight. If you have a low-rim weighted discus that flies with minimal to zero wobbles, it might be time to look into a high-rim weighted discus.

Down below, I have provided examples of discs based on their rim weight rating.

Rubber Discus

Centered Weighted 65-70%

  • Olympus Preliminary Discus

  • Gill S-Series 67 Discus

  • Nelco Challenger

Low Spin Discus 75-80%

  • Olympus Contender Discus

  • UCS Blue Flyer

  • Gill S-Series 75 Discus

  • Nelco Lo Spin

High Spin Discus 80-84%

  • Olympus Podium Discus

  • UCS Orange Flyer

  • Gill S-Series 80 Discus

  • Nelco Super Spin

Very High Spin Discus 85-92%

  • UCS Purple Flyer

  • Gill Carbon G-Series 90

  • Nelco Ultra Spin

Choosing the Ideal Discus!

When selecting a discus, they’re a few considerations to take in. Rim weight should be a priority, plate material (plastic, carbon, metal), and price. Finding the ideal discus is important but finding the right discus for the ideal price is just as crucial. Also, finding a discus you can be comfortable with.

For example, the Olympus discs are high-quality discs for a price that won’t break the bank. They feature a black zinc coated rim, which holds chalk really well! The Olympus Contender, Preliminary, Podium discs, as of July 27th, 2023, are currently on sale. You can pick up one at !

Rubber discs can be a good starter for teaching beginners. I only advise investing in rubber discs for training purposes. I don’t recommend them for competition, due to the lack of rim weight. Yes, an athlete can get spin on a rubber disc, but because there is no weight distributed to the outer layer of the disc, the preservation of energy will be lost during delivery. Investing in a center-weighted discus would be advantageous, as it’s good for beginners to learn how to create spin, during training and competition!

Once an athlete gets a good feel for putting spin on the discus, I recommend getting one that feels the most comfortable. I’ve had several discs, ranging from the Nelco Lo Spin (Low Spin) to the Nelco Ultra Spin (Very High Spin). I currently throw a Nishi High Momentum (High Spin), which feels the most comfortable in my hand. I can put spin on all three discs, but when it comes to a consistent feel, the Nishi is perfect. Get a discus that feels comfortable. That will lead to consistent tosses!

I hope this blog post helps with the decision process of investing in a disc. For more information on discus and discus training, head over to the Throws University YouTube page!


"We aim to provide concise and concrete education and training on the throws, helping coaches and athletes learn what they need to do to succeed and become champions."

- Dane, Trevor, Sam W.

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1 Comment

Thank You Sam. This is an important topic.

The discus when it spins behaves like a gyroscope. Toy gyroscopes don't wobble until they are getting slow and are about to fall over.

What causes a spinning discus to slow down its rotation? The answer is not a lot! The discus has air flowing up against the forward/ downward face which will absorb forward speed but the air resistance trying to slow the spinning is quite low. In other words, if you spin the disc correctly, that gyroscopic stabilization is there for the whole throw.

As an experiment, get a white discus and paint a thick black line running from one point on the rim, through the center to the opposite…

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