AW promotion: Coach Stuart Carlaw talks through some of the key points in discus selection

Choosing the right implement in the throws disciplines can be a nightmare. Let’s be honest, we’re all initially attracted by the paintwork, and surely paying more will get you better equipment, right?.. Wrong. Throwing the wrong discus, shot, hammer or javelin can knock metres off your result, and at worst can result in injury.

So how are you supposed to know the difference between the many choices, especially when the product descriptions all say ‘this is a precision engineered implement and when thrown correctly can add x% to your distance’. Of course the answer is complex, personal and largely down to experience. Equipment supplier Neuff Athletic has been working with some of the top UK coaches to shed some light on the conundrum.

READ MORE: How to choose the right shot put

READ MORE: How to choose the right hammer

READ MORE: How to choose the right javelin

In the first of a four-part series, here Stuart Carlaw, who is head of England Throws Camps and the UKA event lead for shot put, talks all things discus.

Carlaw believes the key questions for athletes choosing a discus are:

1. Hi rim weight or low rim weight?
2. Hi-spin or low-spin?
3. Rim finish and rim profile?
4. What plate finish?

To decide your answers, you need to consider a host of other questions:


A general rule of thumb is that the higher the rim weight is of the discus, the higher the spin rate but also the higher the force that needs to be generated by the athlete to get the discus spinning at an optimum rate.

Understanding your distances and what your throw looks like is critical in understanding what discus is probably right for you.


Discus throwing is a personal thing and comes with lots of factors that are discreet to each individual. A good discus thrower will intuitively like the “feel” of a disc. You need a good, comfortable contact between your fingers and the rim in order to effectively transfer energy, break inertia and get the discus spinning. The profile of the rim, the finish of the rim and the contrast between the rim and the plate are all crucial factors.


  • How long have you been throwing?
  • What level of competition am I entering?
  • What is my budget?

Carlaw gives more details about all of these questions in his guide to choosing a discus, available at

Do you need help choosing the right discus, javelin, hammer or shot?

Ultimately, to choose the right throwing equipment, you need advice from your coach and the chance to try a few different implements. Not everyone is lucky enough to have access to a good coach, so the authors of this four-part series – coaches Stuart Carlaw, Paul Wilson, Gary Herrington and David Turner – have agreed to help you with your decisions by offering video consultations. Take a video of you throwing your current implement and answer a few questions about your training and one of these expert coaches will review your throw and suggest 2-3 implements, along with reasons, to help you spend your money wisely.

Visit to take advantage of this fantastic offer.

Also, feel free to drop by and try the feel of different implements if you are in the South West. Neuff are able to host customers by appointment in a clean, socially-distanced manner. Contact [email protected] for more information.

» Click here to learn more about equipment supplier Neuff, which is continuing a long line of service to aspiring athletes

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