10 Must-Have Throws for Ultimate Frisbee

Throwing is essential to the game of Ultimate and Disc Golf for that matter. But exciting and unique throws make the game that much better. Below are the 10 Must Have Throws for Ultimate Frisbee by professional Ultimate player Rowan McDonnell of the Washington D.C. Breeze and coach of American University's Women's club team 

    • 1.) BACKHAND

      The backhand throw is the first throw players are taught. Power comes from the momentum of your core, shoulder and arm, while your wrist controls the spin and direction of the flight path. The speed will impact the power of the throw, while the spin helps stabilize the disc and help flying through the wind. 

      Pro Tip: Slide your finger off the rim to reduce the friction and increase the spin. 

      You should know: You can keep your second hand on the disc until the release to make it look like you’re swinging a baseball bat. 


    • 2.) FOREHAND

      Every Ultimate player remembers learning how to throw a Forehand. While it can be frustrating, having a forehand important because it offers a counter to the backhand. Standing at 6 feet, I can comfortably throw a forehand 8 feet away from where I release a backhand. This allows you the freedom to pivot and throw around a mark. 

      Pro Tip: The most consistent advice I find myself giving from kids to my college players is keeping the palm up. The flick is not the motion of a basketball shot, but a horizontal plane. 

      You should know: In lieu of the flick, you can throw a backhand on the forehand side. Called the barbecue, it might be the hottest throw in the game ;) 


    • 3.) HAMMER

      Ah, the hammer. The most practiced throw in Ultimate. A hammer is an overhead throw held with the forehand grip. The advantages of throwing a hammer are: It’s difficult to stop from a mark It doesn’t float as much as a flick/backhand, getting to its spot quicker making it difficult to block. It pleases the fans. 

      Pro Tip: For long range hammers, release the disc almost vertically, like a blade. It will naturally flatten out on its flight path. 

      You should know: Hammer goals are the most common throw at your local pickup game! 


    • 4.) SCOOBER

      The Scoober is another useful overhead throw. It is a great option when marked backhand to get the disc to a teammate behind the mark. It has the same grip as the forehand and hammer. However, unlike a hammer which can travel upwards of 50 yards, a scoober shouldn’t be thrown over 20 yards. 

      Pro Tip: Scoobers should be thrown while your arm is going up and out, not straight ahead. This gets the throw over the mark, and lets it flatten out. 

      You should know: Off hand scoobers have started to be seen on the elite Ultimate club scene. 


    • 5.) AIRBOUNCE

      Airbounce on throws, the act of putting pressure on the top of the disc so it starts down then rises up to your receiver can be used effectively… sometimes. While great throwers can use the airbounce to get under and around defenders, keep it mind that if you can complete a throw without any airbounce, stick to that. Airbounces can get lost in the wind if they pop up too high, or go straight into the ground if thrown incorrectly. 

      Pro Tip: Slide your thumb into the middle of the disc to help push down. 

      You should know: You can add an airbounce to the hammer, scoober, bootstrap, forehand and others. 

      Watch the full video instructions here. 



      Have you ever tried to throw a flick less than five yards?  It can be very difficult to put a lot of touch on it, and often comes in too fast or wobbly. Having a lefty backhand is a very useful tool to throw a short-range throw on your naturally dominant flick side.  The best time to use this throw in Ultimate is when your handler runs upline when you are marked force forehand or flat.   

      Pro Tip: This throw is best kept within 5 yards. 

      You should know: You can cheat on the grip, and just pinch the middle of the disc with your fingers on the bottom and thumb on the top. 



      A high release flick is another short-range weapon. If you can’t figure out the lefty backhand, try this throw. Contrary to its name, the high release flick it does not share the same mechanics of a regular flick. Slide your pointer and middle finger up on the edge and rotate your wrist while moving your arm up. The fingers, not the wrist snap are the main driving force to this throw. 

      Pro Tip: Make sure the edge of the disc opposite from your grip is lower than the edge of the grip. This throw tends to come out too outside in for beginners. 

      You should know: You can pull back on the opposite edge with your offhand to give the high release flick more spin! 

      Watch the full video instructions here 



      The elevator backhand is a high release backhand that is a great choice for a mid-range break throw when being marked backhand. The high release helps get the disc over the marks hands. The nature of the release, the high arc gives the disc more touch, so you are able to lead your receiver. 

      Pro Tip: Elevator backhands tend to fall back to the left for righties, so make sure to either compensate by leading your player more, or keeping an outside in edge to it. 

      You should know: Most players yell “goin’ up” as you release this throw. Full instructions coming soon! 


    • 9.) PUSH PASS

      A push pass shares the same grip as a backhand, but we are going to bring our pointer finger to the rim of the disc. A push pass is great for throwing a short range pass on your flick side.  Avoid throwing push passes against the wind, as they don’t generate a lot of spin. Push Passes are very common in Goaltimate, Mini and hot box. They aren’t so common in disc golf. 

      Pro Tip: Put your finger on the seam of the outside rim to get more power on your push pass. 

      You should know: You can swoop your arm in a circle and to release the push pass like ‘sky hook’ basketball shot. 

      Watch the full video instructions here. 


  • 10.) PIZZA PIE

    Even if you don’t use this throw out in a game, just breaking it out on the sideline will draw some eyes. It’s a fan favorite, one of the rarest throws in Ultimate. Mastering this one will get your rep up, and honestly, that’s the reason we all play, right? 


    Pro Tip: Avoid throwing in games 

    You should know: You can catch the disc with the pizza pie grip? 

    Watch the full video instructions here.

    If these 10 throws weren't enough, checkout 42 of Rowan's throws below.

    Check out more of Rowan’s videos on his YouTube channel and follow him on Instagram for exciting new throws, trickshots, and more.

    If you liked this article please SHARE it with your friends on your favorite social media using #DiscStoreProTips

    Thanks for reading!