Aerobie and Frisbee are 2 of the best known flying disks and are used as toys or sports items. They can be played in variety of ways like children games, Ultimate games, disc golf, disc-dog sports, recreation at the beach, etc. But each one has their own unique characteristics and advantages/disadvantages.
The term “Frisbee” is generically used to refer to all flying discs but in reality, it is a registered trademark owned by Wham-O toy company.
Frisbee and Aerobie are both flying discs with very different designs and capabilities.
Aerobie is designed like a ring, with a hollow center, making it easier to grasp. It measures 15 X 11 X 1 inches and weights 110 grams. It has a spoiler rim which helps make it stable during flight. It can travel over unusually long distances and flies faster than regular Frisbee discs.
Frisbee is a solid disc resembling a plate. It has an airfoil in cross-section, helping it to fly when you spin it. The standard size of a Wham-O Ultimate Frisbee is 10.8 X 10.8 X 1.2 inches and weights 175 grams.
Frisbee was invented by Fred Morrison in 1938 when him and his future wife was tossing back and forth a cake pan and she suggested that they make a business out of them. Ten years after that, Morrison experimented on several prototypes of the discs made of plastic, began producing them and called them “Flyin-Saucer.”
In 1957, the brand name “Frisbee” was introduced by Wham-O company who bought the rights from Morrison. The name came from Connecticut pie manufacturer, Frisbee Pie Company, which is what the college students began calling the disc.
The disc was redesigned by Edward Headrick on 1964, making it thicker and heavier resulting to it being easier to control.
It was then marketed as a sport and Headrick was hailed as father of Frisbee sports.
Aerobie, on the other hand, was designed in 1970 by Stanford engineer Adam Adler in his attempt to improve the existing Frisbee design. He streamlined the shape of the Frisbee, making it fly a longer distance than traditional discs. He got his inspiration from the ring shape of Chakram, a weapon used by Sikhs of India.
He added a spoiler rim to make it stable and travel longer distances. Aerobie has the Guiness Book Records for two times as “the longest throw of an object without any velocity-aiding feature.” A record of 1,333 feet was made by Erin Hemmings at Fort Funston, San Francisco.
Aerobie is made of flexible (polycarbonate) plastic and has soft rubber rim, making it easier to catch.
While Frisbee is made of a thermoplastic called polyethylene. It is derived from ethylene, a colorless and flammable gas.
Aerobie Advantages and Disadvantages:
Aerobie flies further and faster than regular discs so it is more suitable for playing on a bigger space, thus perfect for outdoors and big fields. The disadvantage is that it is harder to retrieve than Frisbee and does not float on water so not recommended for the beach, pool or lake games.
It is easier to catch than Frisbee because of its ring-shape and can be caught using the wrist, head or even by foot.
Frisbee Advantages and Disadvantages:
Wham-O Frisbee was the top pick of American Ultimate players until 1980’s. But they got overtaken by other brands when they changed their plastic composition, making it more rigid. The wider lip makes it harder to throw and catch. Best for dog sports and grown-ups.
The disc is not recommended for young children and beginners as the disc can be a bit heavy and intimidating for them.