NOTE: The series takes a look at some of the top disc golf disc brands with interviews from some of their team members. Through these interviews and background research, I found what makes each brand and team special.
The order of the series is predicated on who responded to my requests and when; it is not meant to be a ranked list. There are some brands that are not included because its team members did not respond to email requests.
Even from the start, Nate Sexton was destined for greatness. In 2003, he won the Junior World Championship under 19. The following year in the Amateur Worlds he placed fourth. In his first professional season, Sexton finished 32nd at the United States Disc Golf Championship.
Still early in his professional career, Sexton signed with Innova in 2006. He was drawn to the team and its brand for its legacy and popularity.
“I had a few offers from other manufacturers but my dream company was always Innova,” Sexton said. “I mostly threw Innova discs, and I had recently met Dave Feldberg and Avery Jenkins who were superstars for Innova at that time. I love their products, and they are the biggest name in disc golf, so it was a perfect fit for me.”
Sexton is part of a team with a long-standing tradition that dates back to 1983 when Dave Dunipace created the first disc designed specifically for the sport of disc golf, the Eagle. Defined by its distance and reliability, the Eagle broke barriers in disc golf.
Since then, Innova has been working to maintain its legacy. According to a survey conducted by Infinite Discs, almost half of the respondents would throw discs manufactured by Innova if they could choose only one brand.
This speaks to Innova’s selection, which includes 13 different plastics with a variety of different benefits. The Star, StarLite, and EchoStar are characterized by their durability and superior grip. For even more grip, check out the GStar or Driver Pro. The Champion, Metal Flake, and Blizzard Champion are known for their firmness and reliability. XT plastic is super tough. The KC Pro, R-Pro, and JK Pro plastics’ grip improves with each use, but the most popular plastic would be the DX; it offers the widest range of models and weights for the lowest price. Most discs at Walmart or other sports-based stores are going to be in the DX plastic.
Innova has a wide selection of models, too. For Sexton, who shares what he carries in his bag in his annual Bag Check videos, there are some that have stood the test of time.
“Lots of them have stayed for years and years,” Sexton said. “Firebird, Dart, Destroyer, Sidewinder, Orc, Xcal come to mind as discs that I have almost always carried during competition. They all have their own uses, but I carry them because they feel great in my hands, and I can always trust their performance to be what I expect on the course.”
The Firebird specifically, is one of Sexton’s favorites as he created his own in 2015.
“For me creating the Sexton Firebird was about asking for a disc that I really wanted in my bag,” Sexton said. “A softer firebird with a slightly more mellow flight path than the Champion Firebirds of that time. I wanted to have it made in color glow plastic because it was new at the time and felt really good to me being slightly more supple than normal Champion plastic.”
Since 2015, Sexton has worked with Innova manufacturers to create a Sexton Firebird Tour Series disc every year.
And we can expect more to come, as Sexton recently signed a contract extension with Innova that extends through 2023.
“I’ve never had another major sponsor,” Sexton said. “I know everybody at Innova, and I love the discs. They have always taken great care of me and I couldn’t imagine leaving.”
3 thoughts on “Discs, Dynamic Players, and Designs Day One: 2017 USDGC Champion Nate Sexton talks about Innova Disc Golf’s Legacy and Tradition”