Innova Thunderbird Review: Electrifying Disc Golf Driver

Hello, fellow disc golf enthusiasts! I’m thrilled to be bringing you this in-depth Innova Thunderbird review. As an expert disc golfer with over 13 years of experience, I’ve had the chance to give this fine disc a hearty throw around the course.

This product promises to deliver speed and reliability that sets it apart from the flock. But does it live up to these lofty expectations in practice?

As we delve deep into its specs, performance, and fit for different player types, get ready to discover. Whether you are a newbie or a pro, you’ll get some nuggets to hone your game to feathery perfection. Let’s go!

A Look Into The Flight Info

Blue/Purple Innova Star Thunderbird Jeremey Koling Tour Series with White Stamp
  • Speed: 9
  • Glide: 5
  • Turn: 0
  • Fade: 2

These flight numbers define the Thunderbird’s superb speed, stability, and control balance. With a speed 9, it has a moderately fast flying speed that bridges the gap between fairway and distance drivers. This means it’s speedier than average and excellent for those drives requiring more snappy throws.

The glide rating of 5 implies substantial lift, allowing it to hang in the air for extended periods. This makes it great for maximizing range on those long fairways.

A turn of 0 denotes that it exhibits virtually no turn during the early part of its predictable flight paths. This indicates high stability; it won’t veer drastically off course when tossed with force. It’s excellent for windier conditions or when you need a shot with no surprises.

Lastly, a fade of 2 means it finishes with a mild, predictable fade to the left (for a right-handed, backhand use). This gradual fade adds control, making it a go-to when accuracy matters as much as reach.

Bring The Thunder With These Dimensions

  • Diameter: 21.20 cm
  • Height: 1.60 cm
  • Rim Depth: 1.10 cm
  • Rim Width: 1.90 cm

The Thunderbird touts a diameter of 21.2 cm, making it follow a standard diameter. It sports a modest height of 1.6 cm, which is neither too low-profile nor overly domed, striking a nice balance for a comfortable grip.

Having a rim depth of 1.1 cm and a rim width of 1.9 cm, it hits that sweet spot of control and power combined. The rim makes it a light-weight disc, ensuring a smooth release with maximum control. It is easy on the hand and forgiving on the throw.

This is also available in premium molds such as Champion plastic, Star, Halo, and DX. In particular, the Champion Thunderbird exceeds expectations of player reviews with its controllable, accurate flights, becoming a consistent driving disc for many. It also comes in an abundance of colors.

I’ve used a lot of products in my time, but these dimensions are what I’d call an optimal mix. Think of it as the Goldilocks of discs: everything is just right.

Perfect For Disc Golf Pros

With its perfect blend of speed and reliability, the Thunderbird is catered to almost all skill levels but is especially favorable for intermediate and advanced players. It is moderately fast but not overpowering, turning it into a workhorse driver for those refined enough to appreciate its subtle charms.

Raw beginners might find this a tad demanding, particularly regarding its modest overstability. Some of my fellow disc golfers likened it to the stability of a TeeBird with the speed of a Valkyrie. It has also been described as a seasoned Firebird with less fade.

Several reviewers, myself included, have found this an excellent tool for recalibrating throws. It may not be the most forgiving disc, but when tossed with clean form, it rewards accurate, consistent performance, being less punishing on off-kilter releases than some high-speed drivers.

Additionally, it forgives in windy conditions—turning one of the sport’s most frustrating factors into a weapon. For instance, when faced with a headwind, it holds its line admirably with a slightly boosted fade, which is greater for distance potential.

In essence, this acts as a stepping-stone to higher-speed discs for budding players while serving as a reliable, versatile driver for the more experienced among us. Once you’ve learned to wield this bird, it will become one of your bag’s most crucial discs.

Go The Distance With This Driver

The Thunderbird shines as a long-range placement driver. It’s excellent for those shots where you must cover a considerable distance while ensuring you land precisely where you want.

This has been considered one of Innova’s best farthest flying disc golf discs, combining speed and distance to become reliable in the wind and a great long performance. Its sturdy characteristics turn it into an exceptional tool for various shot types. Here are a few examples:

Straight Driver

Need a no-nonsense, linear shot to navigate a narrow fairway or avoid scattered obstacles? Its speed, stability, and mild fade blend are ideal for nailing those straight lines.

Wind-Fighting Driver

Its stability allows it to be a reliable choice in windy conditions. Is it catching a headwind? No worries! Use this and watch it sail head-on with minimal deviation, possibly gaining some extra reach thanks to its predictable fade.

Forehand Use

Its stability and reliable fade create a trustworthy partner for those proficient with forehand (or flick) shots. Its rim width feels comfortable and allows a smooth release, turning it into a go-to for forehand.

Similar Products

Discraft Undertaker

This disc is remarkably similar to the Thunderbird in speed and glide but exhibits a bit more turn,  which renders it somewhat less stable. Still, the Undertaker could be an ideal companion if you appreciate the Thunderbird and want something slightly less resistant to turning over.

Dynamic Discs Escape

The Escape is another disc that operates in the same speed bracket as the Thunderbird. Its key difference lies in its more noticeable turn and less pronounced fade, a superb choice for those looking for a disc that offers a more pronounced S-pattern.

Gateway Diablo

The Diablo is a tad faster than the Thunderbird but maintains a similar level of stability. If you’re a fan of steadfast performance but crave more speed, the Diablo might be just the ticket.

These discs represent alternatives that mimic some aspects of the Thunderbird’s characteristics—speed, glide, turn, or fade. But remember, each disc will feel and fly slightly differently depending on the thrower’s skill and technique—this is all about finding what suits your style and disc golf needs.

Innova Thunderbird Review: Final Thoughts

Peach Innova Swirly Star Thunderbird Jeremy Koling Tour Series with Black Stamp

The Innova Thunderbird deserves a rightful spot in the bag of every intermediate and advanced-level disc golfer, serving as a trustworthy workhorse driver who excels at combining speed and reliability. While not designed explicitly for beginners, it can also act as a beneficial stepping-stone towards higher-speed discs for those ready to improve themselves.


  • Speedy yet manageable, it is a fantastic bridge between fairway and distance drivers.
  • Stable with a gentle fade, enabling straightness and accuracy.
  • Superb performance in windy conditions, acting as a reliable go-to.
  • Versatile—excels in various shot types, from straight drives to forehand.


  • Might be too overstable for beginners before breaking in.
  • Not the fastest or furthest flying driver—depends heavily on technique.