You don't need to spend a fortune on Ultimate Frisbee Gear to enjoy one of the greatest outdoor sports/games ever invented. In fact, you can play this game on a shoe-string budget if you'd like; or, if you're a serious player looking to enter tournaments or play in organized leagues and want some a greater "competitive advantage," I'll show you some great ultimate frisbee equipment that can help push your game to the next level.
Let's start with the only piece of ultimate frisbee gear that's actually required...
At the most fundamental level, Ultimate is simply a game of throwing a frisbee, or "disc." Therefore, it makes sense that you'll need one in order to play, right? You couldn't play football without a football, or baseball without a baseball; so barring any other piece of gear you might want to amp up your Ultimate game, you'll need a frisbee.
What's The Best Kind Of Ultimate Frisbee To Buy?
You can go one of two routes here. For beginners and casual players, any type of frisbee disc will suffice. As long as it flies, you're good to go. You seriously don't need to spend a fortune on brand names or specific designs, any "disc" will do. You shouldn't have any trouble finding a reliable, cheap frisbee at any department store for under $5, especially during the spring and summer months. Sporting goods stores will also have a great selection, but they tend to cost a little bit more; the trade-off being that their frisbees are probably better built - the choice is up to you. Either way, you should be able to buy a frisbee for under $10 with no problems at all.
ironically, hard-core Ultimate Frisbee Discs aren't that much more expensive than a cheap store-bought toy frisbee. Most cost about $10 if you buy them online (Amazon usually has the best prices and selection). Given the fact that these are so cheap, I'd highly recommend that players of all skill levels skip the cheap toy brands and go straight for the real deal.
So what's the difference between the two types? Actual "Ultimate Frisbee Discs" are designed to fly farther, faster and straighter than their cheaper counter parts. Those attributes come in really handy during games, when players are zooming around at full speed and straight, accurate throws can mean the difference between winning and loosing.
You can play Ultimate with nothing more than a frisbee and your street or workout clothes, there's no need for the casual player to start outfitting himself or herself with sports gear unless a high level of performance is desired. And if that's the case, then your first order of business should be finding a pair of great fitting cleats.
What Are The Best Cleats To Buy For Ultimate Frisbee?
That largely depends on the surface you're playing on. Since most games are played outdoors on grassy fields or parks, I'd recommend a pair of soccer cleats. Why "soccer" cleats? Because these types of cleats are designed for the type of footwork common to Ultimate: Fast cuts, twists, sprints and everything else. If you've ever watched a soccer match, you'll see that those athletes are constantly pivoting, twisting and planting in ways very similar to playing organized frisbee. Other sports-specific cleats offer advantages for their particular sport, but soccer is by far the best "comparison sport" to this game.
The good news is that soccer cleats aren't very expensive. In fact, they are almost always cheaper than other types (baseball and football, specifically).
You can start your search at your local sporting goods store or shoe store. Or if you want to get super low prices, you can order them from Amazon. It's true what they say, Amazon does seem to have everything! They've got a huge selection of men's and women's soccer cleats, so you're sure to find something in your size. They even have every brand and model I can think of, and some that I didn't even know existed.
A good frisbee disc and a solid pair of cleats make up the basic level of Ultimate Frisbee Gear. But there's one more piece of equipment I'd recommend looking into, especially if you plan on playing at a very competitive level (or just want to beat your friends and family during those "friendly" games).
Gloves For Ultimate Frisbee
Gloves perform two important functions, especially during intense games: 1) They protect your hands and fingers from fast-moving discs; and 2) They can actually help grip the disc better!
A couple of specialty companies make "Ultimate Frisbee Gloves," they tend to cost quite a bit of money (they're niche marketed towards the highest-caliber players, which in all fairness is a fairly small market, so the prices reflect that).
My recommendation: Football "Receiver" gloves. You know, the kind that wide receivers wear to help catch passes during games and practices. These offer some really good grip, and protect your hands incredibly well. And anything built to withstand the rigors of that sport will stand up to pretty much anything you'll find on the Ultimate playing field.
More Ultimate Frisbee Gear
After this, the equipment becomes more stylistic rather than necessary. But that doesn't mean you won't find something that helps your game. For best results, I'd experiment with different combinations of:
- Athletic shorts
- T-shirts and tank tops
- Athletic socks
- Headbands and wrist bands
Try experimenting with different materials and styles; you'll probably find certain types that feel better and allow for greater range of motion. There are no hard-and-fast rules here, if you find something that seems to work, by all means keep using it!
In conclusion: You don't need to spend a fortune to play Ultimate. In fact, part of the allure of the game is that it's very easy to organize a game. It's a great outdoor sport for the warmer months, and is very popular for non-competitive and highly competitive levels of players. Many cities have organized leagues that compete on weekends; and on the other end of the spectrum, many family reunions and picnics throw together a "chill" game to take advantage of the weather.
Either way, next time you step onto the field, you'll be equipped with some really great Ultimate Frisbee Gear for cheap!