Innova, more than any company, popularized disc golf. It was Innova that came up with the first bevel-edged disc, and decades later it developed Blizzard Technology — injecting air bubbles into plastic so discs can be lighter and hence thrown farther. By noodle arms like me.

I was at the European Overalls (seven frisbee disciplines) held in Essex, England in 1983. An American named Ron Kaufman, who has since written books that concentrate on something I’d have to call spiritual business ethics, was selling them, and basically introducing them to Europe.

Anyway, there was a big debate about whether to allow this newfangled disc at the tournament. Practically identical to today’s Innova Aero but back then it was called the Eagle. It was immediately the farthest flying disc, in Europe at least, surpassing the Wham-O Moonlighters, the heavy lid-like glow discs with a number on top indicating the model which were the only discs we used previously for disc golf OR distance.

People didn’t want to allow it. Then people threw it and got hooked. The argument instantly became, “Yeah, but it’s unfair that Wham-O makes the only discs that are allowed in disc golf.” This was a good point.

Throwing with greater distance and accuracy was another. There simply was no going back. So duly appointed team representatives voted to allow it in disc golf but not in distance or any other event.

There was no turning back after that, and the California upstart never slowed down. It’s the biggest disc golf manufacturer in the world. The four numbers we use to define the flight of discs originated at Innova.

Innova has hosted the United Stated Disc Golf Championships, one of the game’s major Tournaments, every year since 1999.

I could go on and on, but suffice it so say that without Innova the game of disc golf wouldn’t be nearly as far along as it is today.

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