In the Interest of Being Honest
In the interest of being fully transparent, you should know that Clint over at discgolfstation.com (great guys over there, and good prices!) recently contacted me about reviewing a disc on my blog in exchange for the disc itself. I happily agreed since I’m an avid disc golf fan who would likely do a lot of things to get free, new plastic. The disc that they sent was a yellow and green, Discraft ESP Nuke, weighing in at 168 grams.
My Primary Driver
I’m already a pretty avid Discraft Nuke user, but I’ve never owned one in ESP plastic, so I was anxious to compare the ESP version to the other Nukes I already owned. Up until this Summer, my primary driver was the Innova Katana, but a couple of months ago I switched to Discraft’s Elite Z Nuke SS for most drives. The reason for the switch was that the Nuke SS allowed me to throw just as far (if not farther) with much less strain on my body. I am far from having the biggest arm or the best release in disc golf, so to get the Katana to fly straight and far, I usually had to release it with a bit of anhyzer. When I do, the Katana tends to s-curve really nicely and finish with dependable fade, but if I release it flat or hyzer, it tends to hyzer out strongly to the left. The issue with all of this anhyzer versus hyzer stuff is that anhyzer wears on your body, hyzer doesn’t near as much (at least that was my experience). I can play stronger and longer if my primary release is flat or hyzer. While the Nuke SS has been touted by some as Discraft’s version of the Katana, really it’s much less stable, and much easier to throw. I can throw a Nuke SS on a slight hyzer line and watch it flip up flat and still finish with dependable fade. If I release it ever-so-slightly anhyzer, it will s-curve beautifully and go for days. So, I mainly use the Nuke SS for drives, but I will also occasionally use my Elite Z Nuke for shots where I need a really strong left fade.
So What Do You Think of the ESP Nuke?
I really like it. The Nuke has made a name for itself as a disc that can go maximum distances with dependable fade every time. A lot of my friends also love how good this disc skips on harder surfaces, thus increasing the distance. Upon receiving my new disc, I did two things: 1) played a round using it as my primary driver, 2) I took it out to a park and threw it multiple times side by side with an Elite Z Nuke SS, an Elite Z Nuke, and a Pro-D Nuke. Here’s what I think:
- I can’t tell a big difference in the flight pattern between the Elite Z and the ESP. For me, the Elite Z seemed to edge out the ESP in distance by a couple of feet, but that was it. However, I love the grip on ESP plastic; it just feels better in your hand. It wouldn’t surprise me if I started reaching for the ESP version of the disc over the Elite Z version.
- Both the Elite Z and ESP are more dependable (and obviously more durable) than the Pro D Nuke. If you release the Pro D Nuke with too much anhyzer, it will die and not come back. Conversely, the ESP and Elite Z Nukes have dependable fade every time. If you’re wondering why I have a Pro D Nuke to begin with, I’ve recently been very interested in how D plastic breaks-in and and changes over time. I bought it in hopes that as it breaks in, it will fall somewhere between the stability of my Elite Z Nuke and my Elite Z Nuke SS.
- The Nuke SS is easier to throw, and I think slightly easier to throw straight, than the regular Nuke, but I was getting better distance out of the Nuke. This is really all a matter of arm speed, if you can throw a more stable disc hard enough, you will likely prefer it for dependability and distance. However, a less stable disc is easier to throw straight (especially for beginners) and gains more distance for less arm speed. Personally speaking, I can release the Nuke SS on a hyzer line, watch it flip up, and then fade dependably. For the Nuke, if I want to throw it straight, I still throw it best with a little anhyzer, and watch it s-curve and come back every time.
The ESP Nuke is a great addition to my bag, and a favorite of quite a few of my friends. Having thrown both, I think I now prefer the ESP Nuke over the Elite Z Nuke, simply because of the grip. If you need a good driver, you should definitely consider the Nuke.