Whenever you compare two discs the main factors to consider are flight ratings, plastic options, and best throws. Two popular fairway drivers, the Innova Leopard and the Leopard3, often stir up discussion among players looking for that perfect balance of control and distance.
Although they are similar in certain ways, their performance characteristics offer two different playing styles and situations.
Let’s unpack the nuances between these two Innova discs and help you decide which might earn a spot in your bag.
Innova Leopard Summary
The Innova Leopard is a fairway driver beloved by players of all skill levels for its glide and gentle turning flight pattern. Innova rates the Leopard with a flight rating of 6/5/-2/1 (speed/glide/turn/fade).
This classic disc is known for its controllable and predictable flight, making it an ideal choice for new players learning the ropes of disc golf throws, as well as for seasoned players seeking a disc that can navigate tight fairways with finesse.
The Leopard shines when thrown at moderate power, offering a straight flight with a reliable, soft fade at the end. This disc also excels in tunnel areas or wooded courses where precision is key.
Due to its understable nature, it’s also a go-to disc for those looking to develop an understanding of anhyzer shots or for those wanting a disc that will easily flip to flat from a hyzer release. I learned a lot about throwing understable discs when I began practicing with my Leopard.
For an in-depth look at the Innova Leopard, check out this comprehensive review: Innova Leopard Review.
Innova Leopard3 Summary
Let’s compare it with the Leopard3, Innova’s modern take on the classic Leopard. With a flight rating of 7/5/-2/1, the Leopard3 boasts a slightly higher speed with the same glide, turn, and fade as its predecessor.
The difference may seem minimal, but it equates to a disc that feels faster and a touch more overstable, giving it a straighter finish even at increased velocities. The Leopard3 is designed with a flatter top which aids in its speed and makes it a bit more suitable for players with a faster arm speed.
This disc is ideal for those looking to bridge the gap between mid-ranges and distance drivers. For advanced players who can command greater power, the Leopard3 will hold a turn longer before its dependable fade kicks in, allowing for those sought-after long, gliding anhyzer lines or laser-straight shots, even in the face of a moderate headwind.
Both discs thrive in the approach game, but you might consider one over the other depending on the shot required and the player’s style.
For instance, if you need to shape a line through trees with minimal danger of the disc turning over too much, the original Leopard should be your weapon of choice.
If you are on an open fairway or need a bit more distance without sacrificing too much control, the Leopard3 might just outperform its sibling.
One thing to remember is that both discs come from the same Innova brand, which means they benefit from the brand’s commitment to quality and consistency.
Disc golfers often affectionately refer to the Leopard as a “wooded course friend” due to its adeptness in navigating through narrow lanes. Meanwhile, the Leopard3 is sometimes seen as the “big brother,” ready to run ahead on more open terrain with its faster flight.
Who Should Throw What?
Beginners will find solace in the Leopard’s stability and forgiveness. Its ability to stay true to its flight path with less power makes it a confidence-building addition to a newbie’s arsenal. You can learn more about throwing techniques here: Disc Golf Throws.
Intermediate to advanced players with faster arm speeds or those who like to power down on their drivers for added control may lean towards the Leopard3. Its flatter top can also be more comfortable for forehand grips – for more forehand tips, check out: Disc Golf Forehand Tips.
Ultimately, both the Innova Leopard and Leopard3 have their place in the disc golf world. The Leopard’s user-friendly nature makes it a staple in the sport, while the Leopard3 enhances versatility for those who can harness its subtle speed boost.
When making your choice, consider your playing style, your experience, and what gaps you need to fill in your bag. Experimentation is key, and as with any disc golf decision, the right answer is the one that feels best in your hand and flies truest to your intentions on the course.
Whichever you choose, both the Innova Leopard and Leopard3 are capable of delivering memorable shots and helping you control your fairway drives, one throw at a time. Happy discing!