How to: Throw a Frisbee

By Cristina Aguirre

Chicago’s parks and beaches are starting to fill up with active 20-somethings, and one way to get in on the exciting action is to learn how to throw and catch a Frisbee. Wesley Jerden, Columbia Renegades’ ultimate Frisbee captain, has played in all kinds of weather and said dealing with Chicago’s wind is no problem for him. Jerden has played for three years and remains undefeated in tournament play.

“You can play in all weather,” Jerden said. “I’ve played in hail, thunderstorms, lightning, a foot of snow, and when it’s windy, you just have to arc it.”

According to Jerden, learning to throw a Frisbee can take approximately 30 minutes, and it is worth the time. This is a fun activity you can do your whole life.

1) Hand placement

According to Jerden, there are 27 ways to throw a Frisbee, but the first step for every kind of throw is where the hands are positioned.“Put your thumb over the top of the Frisbee, and your hand is either extended or closed underneath it,” Jerden said. This allows for you get a solid grip on the Frisbee, so you are ready for the next step.

2) Pull back

In a Frisbee throw, you want to wind up your body to give it leverage.“You want to pull your arm back and turn your upper torso in the direction you want the Frisbee to go,” Jerden said. “There are many ways to angle the Frisbee.” Because there are so many variations to the throw, a lot of the technique has to do with comfort level and experimentation, he said.

3) Wrist flick

“The more you flick your wrist and spin the Frisbee, the farther it will go,” Jerden said. A flick is a quick sudden movement and will make the Frisbee go as far as the length of a football field depending on skill level, according to Jerden. The flick involves rotating the wrist from left to right or right to left, depending on the type of throw, and the motion ends with the fingers pointing in the direction the thrower intends the Frisbee to go.

4) Follow through

Wherever you point at the end of your throw is the direction the Frisbee will go, Jerden said. The follow through, like in many other sports, is a key component to a successful Frisbee throw. It is the final element that directs the Frisbee, controls its stability and determines the height it attains. “Ultimate Frisbee is a sport anyone can learn and anyone can play,” Jerden said.