Innova Sidewinder vs. Roadrunner (All You Need To Know)

Having a control driver that you feel comfortable throwing on most holes is a huge game-changer in improving your game. Two discs from Innova that I see compared a lot are the Sidewinder and the Roadrunner.

At a quick glance, both discs have the same flight ratings, except for the Roadrunner which has a -4 turn instead of a -3 for the Sidewinder. 

Although they are pretty similar, there are some key differences that you should know about before deciding which disc to throw!

Innova Sidewinder

Here’s my Thoughts on the Sidewinder Versus the Roadrunner

Let’s get right into it and start learning about these two drivers from Innova!

Flight Ratings

You can compare these ratings between the two types of discs since they are from the same brand.

Speed Glide Turn Fade
Sidewinder 9 5 -3 1
Roadrunner 9 5 -4 1

Here’s some more information on the disc numbers and what they mean when throwing.

The Sidewinder and Roadrunner ratings:

  • Speed:  Moderate-speed discs require a moderate amount of power to throw correctly. Since these have the same speed they will perform similarly if thrown at the same power level.
  • Glide: A glide value of 5 is on the high end of most fairway drivers, so these discs will have more carry and cover distance during the flight.
  • Turn: Negative turn values usually indicate an unstable disc that will start turning right on a right-hand backhand.
  • Fade: Both of these drivers are considered low fade, so they will only slightly fade out at the end of the flight as the disc slows down.

Sidewinder & Roadrunner Plastics

The Sidewinder comes in any of Innova’s plastic lines, but it would be best if you got one in the more durable lines such as the Star or the Champion mold.

If you’re using this disc for rollers or tunnel shots, you need a plastic that can withstand getting beaten up on the fairway or by trees.

Available Weights for the Sidewinder & Roadrunner

The Sidewinder is available in the following weight categories for the Star plastic:

  • 140 to 150 grams
  • 150 to 160 grams
  • 160 to 165 grams
  • 165 to 170 grams
  • 170 to 175 grams

It would be best to stick to something within the 160 to 165 grams weight range as it will be heavier and therefore less likely to move around on a roller. The extra weight will also ensure that it flies a little more overstable.

Innova Sidewinder Side
Side view of Innova Sidewinder

The Roadrunner is available in the following weight categories for the Champion plastic:

  • 160 to 164 grams
  • 165 to 169 grams
  • 170 to 172 grams
  • 173 to 175 grams

It’s best to get a Roadrunner in The Star or Champion plastic since they are more durable, but the Champion plastic is the most durable. The Champion plastic is also smoother and less grippy than the Star plastic, and it can make the disc fly more stable than plastics like DX.

Innova Roadrunner Side
Side view of Innova Roadrunner

The Roadrunner is also available in all the weight categories for the Star plastic that the Sidewinder is above. 

You can read more about plastics in my guide of Innova plastic types.

Is the Sidewinder or the Roadrunner more Difficult to Throw?

The Sidewinder is valid for any skill level for a variety of situations. You don’t need to use a lot of power to throw it correctly, so you don’t need to be a pro-level player to use it.

The Roadrunner is also reasonably suitable for various skill levels because it doesn’t require much strength to your throws. It’s the signature disc for Gregg Barsby, the 2018 Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) World Champion.

Innova Roadrunner

Should You Throw The Roadrunner or Sidewinder?

There are a lot of similarities between the Sidewinder and the Roadrunner, so they have similar shots they work best for. These shots include:

  1. Hyzer flips: Both discs are understable due to their moderate speeds and glides, making them less likely to glide out of control.
  2. Roller shots: Both are heavier understable discs, so they are less likely to bounce when throwing rollers down the fairway.
  3. Backhand or forehand shots: Both types of discs work well with either backhand or forehand shots and have a comfortable grip and feel.
  4. Tailwinds: The Roadrunner is better for a tailwind than the Sidewinder because it is a bit more understable so that the wind won’t affect the disc’s flight as much.

When To Avoid Throwing Each Disc

Even though both Innova drivers perform well in most conditions, there are a couple of scenarios where it would be better to throw other discs.

  • Headwinds: Throwing into a headwind with these understable discs will be much harder to control. If you don’t have a perfect release, the disc is likely to turn over mid-flight.
  • Maximum distances: Since these are fairway drivers with moderate speed, they can be thrown from the tee on most holes. If you’re looking to reach your max distance on a throw, I would recommend choosing a more stable distance driver.

Here’s some additional information in my full Innova Roadrunner review.

Final Thoughts

If you’re trying to choose between the Innova Sidewinder and the Innova Roadrunner it’s important to know the differences in flight. They both have very similar flight numbers, with the only difference being the total turn.

Between the two drivers, I prefer to use the Roadrunner since I like the control and confidence that it gives me to throw in any conditions on the course.