Is there anything Vibram’s X-Link Rubber Compound disc’s can’t do?
For two years now I’ve touted the durability, and the grip, and even the consistent, reliable flight path. But I always assumed that distance was the one area where the tackier material made of rubber would not be able to match the sleekness and (I thought) superior aerodynamics of plastic.
After testing the Lace, Vibram’s first true long distance disc, I think I may have been wrong. Very wrong.
When I give it some thought, though, I should have seen this coming. After all, the Obex and Ibex can produce incredible distance for mid range discs, and the Trek and Ascent both fly pretty far for supposed ‘fairway drivers’. But the Lace takes things to a whole new level. I’ll do my best to explain, but after a couple fieldwork sessions and a stellar round at DeLaveaga today (-6, thanks in part to the Lace) I haven’t quite figured out how the disc flies so fast and long, so effortlessly.
This disc isn’t available in stores until November 23rd, but if you want a chance to win the tester they sent to School of Disc Golf, read on.
Those that have read my reviews in the past know I’m not big on the technical aspects of discs. I don’t flightplates diameters and all that jazz. If you need to know that stuff it’s on Vibram’s site. And while you’re there you might read their description of the disc, which says in part that it’s “like a faster Trak with a ton more glide thrown in as a bonus.” I don’t totally agree with that assessment.
While it is indeed much faster and goes way further than a Trak, this disc is way more stable. In fact, I think it’ll act like most other super-fast discs do for players without a surplus of power. I grudgingly let me friend throw it once today (hey, by the time I realized what it could do I needed it for the long holes at DeLa), and he is an accomplished player. Even after I told him it could handle all the power he wanted to give it, he still underestimated it and let it hyzer out way too soon. It’s happened to me a bunch of times too. But even when I didn’t get the gradual S-turn I plan for when going for maximum distance, I still ended up longer than expected, time and time again.
A couple times at DeLa I even discovered new possibilities- and I’ve been playing that course for almost 20 years! It’s hard to put into the right words, but when I watch the flight of my Lace I expect to find it in one place and I end up finding it somewhere else, usually further down the fairway and closer to the hole. Case in point was hole 20, a dogleg right over and around tall trees. It was my first hole of the day with the Lace and I didn’t expect it to be so stable. It hyzered way sooner than I wanted, and I started plunging into the trees thinking it went in way short and maybe even trickled down into the canyon. Nope. It was on the right fringe, but barely, and only 40 feet short of the hole. A good throw would have blasted past the basket. It’s that glide that Vibram touts.
As far as feel is concerned, the Lace has that superior grip that just makes you feel like you’re in control. Some power discs just feel in my hand that they’re uncontrollable, but not this disc. It fit into my hand comfortably and came out smoothly.
Another thing related to the rubber compound that I like: as with the other Vibram discs, it tends to stop pretty soon after touching down, which I consider a bonus with a long range driver in certain cases. There are times when you need to get 400-plus feet yet you need that disc to stop quickly afterward. Until now that really hasn’t been an option. If you wanted that distance you had to be willing to risk the possibility of skipping and/or sliding at the end of the flight. Now, with the Lace, you can have your cake and eat it too.
I don’t hide the fact that I love Vibram’s rubber discs, and I’m mildly surprised that the rest of the disc golf world hasn’t yet gone ga-ga for rubber. I guess these things take time. But I have a prediction. In golf there is the well-known saying, ‘Drive for show, putt for dough’. Distance and power gets the most attention, and now that the Lace is here, expect Vibram to start getting LOTS more attention.
Now for the contest. Since I want West Coast disc golfers to wise up to the Vibram vibe, I’m gonna do a live contest at the next DeLaveaga club monthly, December 1st at DDGC in Santa Cruz, CA. Participants will get the chance to test drive Vibram’s other drivers or mid range discs (Trek, Ascent, Ibex and Obex) and then pick one to take one crack at a CTP contest on hole 6. Winner gets the Lace. NOTE: To get in the contest, you gotta RSVP via the comments section below.
And since I don’t want to leave out readers that can’t get to the DeLa monthly, I’m also gonna give away another Vibram disc with a School of Disc Golf hotstamp to a random person who comments on this post. Let us know your thoughts on rubber vs. plastic, or something else relevant to the topic. Good luck!
26 thoughts on “New disc review & giveaway: Say hello and so LONG to the Vibram Lace”
Thanks for the review, I’m now more than ever interested in giving the Lace a try.
Good read on the new Lace! I just started playing DG in July and haven’t thrown any Vibram discs yet, but I have a couple friends that do and I LOVE the feel of the rubber compound. I think my next plastic purchase will be one of each of their mids, I gotta see for myself what my friends rave about!
My only Vibram disc is an Ascent, which I haven’t thrown for months – its too likely to go in the river on my local course, plus its dead leaf brown… Now its cold and wet though it needs to go back in my bag. You just can’t get Vibram over here in the UK or I’d have more.
I just recently came into throwing Vibram and love the feel of the rubber my Obex has become a favorite in my bag because I have become more comfortable with the grip of the rubber and I have been waiting for the day they came out with a long range driver. November 23rd cannot come soon enough for me. Great article by the way I will continue to read your reviews, thank you. Unfortunetly I live in the Philadelphia area so I will not be able to compete in your CTP contest. Good luck to those who do as I am sure the LACE will become a favorite driver as I hope it becomes one for me
I was already excited about getting my Lace. You’re making it sound like it outperforms other distance drivers in it’s class, I can’t wait!
I am VERY excited to try this disc- distance has always been my weak point, and I have lots of faith in Vibram’s discs, half my bag (hopefully more soon) is Vibram.
I Have an Ascent & can’t wait to try the Lance. the only thing that keeps me from throwing the Ascent more is that its Nov in PA & it blends to well with the fallen leaves making it tough to find
I only have one Vibram disc in my bag (ibex) but the rubber grip is unmatched…and it doesn’t lose its shape when slammed off a tree! I will no doubt have a Lace soon enough.
I wish I could come, but I’m in Idaho 🙁 I love Vibram. I have the Trek in there soft. it’s totally taken most my mid range game. I’m getting this new disc asap, and taking it for a spin. I don’t care if there’s snow.
Finally rounding out an all Vibram bag. What are they missing now? Maybe a flippy driver?
Really excited to get my hands on a lACE. I named my Obex Vicky Valencourt because I love her and she loves me back! My midrange has completely changed thanks to Vibram and I have confidence that my driving will do the same come black friday.
I have every disc Vibram makes and love them all. I do keep some plastic for distance, but hopefully that changes soon. I have already preordered my first Lace, and will order a second one as soon as they are released.
I am looking forward to seeing if the Lace lives up to the hype. If it has the distance of the Nuke or the Cannon it can definitely find a way into bags in Fresno where we throw on hard pan all summer.
I’ve always loved Vibram and was sporting there FiveFinger shoes before getting into disc golf. Though I occasionally grip lock the Vibram discs they are the most consistent discs in my bag. I can’t wait to get my hands on a Lace.
Love the Lace!
I just got all the Vibram discs and would love to add this one. My son swears by these discs. I’m going out today to gave them a try.
Can’t wait to try it. Blizzard Boss is my current favorite for distance, so looking forward to something good in the wind – assuming the Lace has a Boss-like rim. It’s almost always wet here north of Seattle, so the Vibram rubber will be great for a driver.
I completely agree with the love for the Obex! It has been an amazing addition to my bag. I find it to fly extremely straight with a medium fade just at the end. Not as much glide as the Buzzz SS, but I can throw it harder with more predictability.
I’ll be there. Before or after the monthly round?
been looking at them all day thanks for the review who won the ctp?
CTP didn’t happen cuz the monthly didn’t happen due to rain.
Just picked up a 168 gram Lace and took it out for the first time yesterday. It’s my first rubber disc. Sunny and breezy conditions at La Raza DGC in San Jose California. I love this disc! More understable than I expected when I come over the top of it. However, throw it flat and it produces a beautiful long gentle turnover with a gentle long fade. I tried throwing it into a stiff breeze with just a little hyzer angle nose flat on release and it popped up to flat very quickly and went absolutely dead straight for a longer than my average normal distance on that hole. I look forward to experimenting more with this disc. So far, so good!
I am glad i ran across this artical before I threw the new “lace” as it was a big help to me as I tryed one out at one of the local courses here in Cincinnati. The pro shop located onsite at one of our best courses allows you to take some discs out for a test drive and I took advantage of this last week.
I have been throwing vibram since last year when i picked up a used trak and obex. I loved the feel of these discs and soon picked up the ascent and a sole. I now have two obex an ibex and 2 soles. I have an ace with the trak on a very tight 275′ woods shot that was the first ace I had in front of anyone but my dog, 10yr old son or a perfect stranger. One sole is soft the rest are medium, I would like to try out the mid ranges in the firm sometime but i throw alot of wooded courses and the medium is so resilent it nevers seems to show any where. The trak i go the ace with was run over by an escalade with both tires, it sported a nice tire track for a while but no flight problems.
I was excited to get to throw the lace and have hinted greatly to my wife what a wonderful Christmas present it would make (especially a pink and green one around the 170 weight).
I throw nukes and rpro bosses for distance and the lace should probaly replace them both.
I’ve been playing since about 1975. Started at Oak Grove in Pasadena – La Canada. One of the original members of the Oak Grove Gophers along with Mark Horn, George Morris, John Jewell, enough name dropping. Oh yeah, played rounds with ‘Ed’ (the ‘Steady guy) and Stork. I was older then and even more so now. I’ve bought a new disk out of ‘super plastic’ at a tournament and hit a tree on the first throw and it was cracked, and thought ‘why can’t they make a decent disk out rubber or something that won’t break so easy. The first shot I learned at Oak Grove was the tree shot. I’ve got it mastered. Don’t need anymore practice. I’ve just ordered my first Lace, Trak, & Obek. I purchased an Ibek couple weeks ago. I’m liken it! I wasn’t a joiner when we went down to Whammo to join up and didn’t join George got #42 and I joined at a tournament – had to be a member of the PDGA so mine is #706. Now I wish I had joined earlier. Love the game.
Barry, thanks for the comment. I always love to hear from an OG disc golfer!
I don’t know what happened to it, but I used to have an Oak Grove Gopher (the gopher was putting) t-shirt by the Good Time Charlie guy. I do still have some Good Time Charlie stuff, though! My number is 9715, so I signed up a ways after you but ahead of most of these pups! : )
There are still things the Lace can’t do. It can’t automatically give weak throwers like me more arm speed by itself. Next year I’ll be able to handle the Lace though.. I love its feel.
I discovered Vibram this year. I would drive all the way home if I forgot my Trak. Best fairway driver ever. So I was looking forward to receiving my Lace in the Mail. While at a club party one of the better throwers and plastic experts said he got two and called them meathooks. I was not happy to hear that. what I found was that it did have more fade. the more I worked with it I got it to glide the better. So I don’t power it unless I have the wind to get the s curve.