Disc Golf Speed & Precision: Innova Cheetah Review

Ever wondered why the Innova Cheetah is one of the most recommended discs for beginners? Why do experienced players still keep it in their bags? I’ve been playing disc golf for well over a decade, and I’ve got a few thoughts on the matter.

In this Innova Cheetah review, I’ll be diving into the ins and outs of this versatile disc. Over the years, I’ve thrown countless discs, but the Cheetah holds a special place in my bag and my heart.

Whether you’re a rookie starting your disc golf journey or a seasoned player searching for that perfectly balanced driver, stick around. Let’s discover if the Cheetah could be your secret to better performance on the disc golf course.

Unleashing Speed

  • Speed: 6
  • Glide: 4
  • Turn: -2
  • Fade: 2

The speed number shows the disc’s capability to cut through the air; a score of 6 indicates a moderate pace—it’s neither the slowest disc out there nor the fastest, making it a solid choice for a broad range of players. The glide is rated at 4, meaning this disc keeps aloft quite well, providing that nice, floating sensation we all love so much.

The turn rating of -2 tells us a bit about the initial path of the Cheetah. It shows this disc is prone to turning right (for right-handed backhand throws, reverse for lefties) in the early stage of the flight—ideal for navigating obstacles or shaping creative lines.

Now, onto the fade. A rating of 2 suggests that this disc has a gentle left finish at the end of the flight (again, for right-handed backhand throws). While the turn might give you that early rightward mobility, the fade brings it back to the left as the disc slows down.

Sleek Design

  • Diameter: 21.10 cm
  • Height: 1.90 cm
  • Rim Depth: 1.20 cm
  • Rim Width: 1.60 cm

Starting with the diameter, the Cheetah comes in at a comfy 21.10 cm. It fits like a dream in the hand—not too bulky nor too small. A kind of Goldilocks situation, if you know what I mean.

The 1.90 cm height gives the disc a typical and familiar feel, not deviating much from most discs in its class. Likewise, the rim depth of 1.20 cm ensures it’s easy to grip and release, contributing to its user-friendliness.

The Cheetah’s 1.60 cm rim width makes it slightly slimmer than some other discs. I find this feature a pro, as the sleek rim allows for a cleaner, faster release that, coupled with its speed rating, makes disc flight feel almost effortless.

This disc strikes a nice balance between being comfortable to hold while maintaining the aerodynamic integrity it needs to carve through the air. I particularly like how its dimensions allow for multiple grip options. 

Whether you prefer a power grip, fan grip, or modified power/fan grip, the Cheetah accommodates all. By owning it, you’d be owning a disc that beautifully marries comfort and performance. Just last week, I tested it with a few friends new to the sport, and they couldn’t stop raving about its easy handling.

Beginner Must-Have

Light Blue Innova DX Cheetah with Rainbow stamp

The Innova Cheetah’s flight characteristics make it one of the best drivers for newer disc golfers. Many disc golf enthusiasts, myself included, appreciate its predictability, especially at lower speeds. Its controllable nature leads to consistent S-Curve flights that help build confidence on the course.

It’s important to note that the disc may initially feel unstable for extra new players, even tending to flip up. Don’t fret, though—this is a sign of form improvement.

Also, despite being the “ultimate first driver,” the Cheetah isn’t strictly for newbies. Even experienced players with larger disc collections have the Cheetah as their go-to driver because of its versatility. They appreciate its mild turn and decent fade on a hard rip.

Another bonus for more seasoned players: this disc is flat enough for forehand throws comfortably and handles well in wooded environments. As some experienced players put it, “The Cheetah is a highly underrated disc”—a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with!

Conquer The Fairways

Now, let’s talk about shot types. The Innova Cheetah is highly adaptable and responds well to different throws.

Hyzer Shots

The Cheetah is excellent for controlled hyzer throws, reliably turning before it fades. Perfect for circumventing obstacles to the right (for right-handed backhand throwers).

Straight Shots

For those straight, tunnel-like shots, the Cheetah’s stability comes into play. It holds a tight line, and its moderate fade ensures it stays true to the course. I recall using it on a narrow, straight wooded fairway, where the predictable flight gave me the birdie I needed.

Anhyzer/Roller Shots

With its mild turn and ample glide, the Cheetah excels at anhyzer shots when thrown flat or with a slight tilt. I also find myself occasionally using the Cheetah for roller shots, especially when the fairway calls for dips and rises.

Hunting For Alternatives

Discmania Magician

The Discmania Magician mirrors the Cheetah in terms of speed and glide but tends to be slightly more overstable. While it provides somewhat similar flight characteristics to the Cheetah, I’ve found that the Magician requires a slightly stronger arm to get the same “magic” out of it.

Innova Gazelle

The Innova Gazelle is often touted as the slightly overstable cousin of the Cheetah. They share similar speed and glide characteristics, but the Gazelle has a stronger fade. This difference means you won’t see as much turn with the Gazelle compared to the Cheetah.

Innova Leopard

The Innova Leopard is frequently compared to the Cheetah. They share a similar turn characteristic but with a slightly different fade—the Leopard tends to have less fade than the Cheetah, making it finish straighter. Most players find the Leopard to offer a longer flight, especially for newer arms, but the Cheetah is like a Leopard that fades out, making it perfect for shaped shots and playing the fade.

Innova Cheetah In A Nutshell

The Innova Cheetah is a stable fairway driver that weaves a perfect dance between speed, glide, initial turn, and end fade. It’s an excellent choice for beginners and less powerful players looking to step up from mids to gain extra distance.

However, in the hands of the most powerful throwers, the Cheetah might demonstrate the tendency to turn into a roller. Given the slight difficulty in sourcing these discs in Champ plastic, it could be harder for some to experience the Cheetah’s full potential.


  • Beginner-friendly due to its ease of control
  • Consistently delivers S-Curve flights
  • Versatile: Hyzer shots, straight shots, anhyzer/roller shots, it does them all!
  • Excellent disc for wooded environments


  • Might roll when thrown at full power
  • Less readily available in Champ plastic versions