Rain. Sweat. Dew. These are all real challenges to throwing and catching a disc in Ultimate Frisbee. If you’ve played Ultimate in the rain, or have sweaty hands like me, you know how difficult it is to grip a slippery Frisbee. One of the best ways to overcome these challenges, is to use an Ultimate Frisbee glove.
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Ultimate Frisbee gloves can do a lot for you when playing Ultimate. They help you grip the disc better, especially when throwing forehands. Catching in wet conditions is easier with gloves. They keep your hands dry in the rain, and warm when it’s cold out. Many of my teammates wear gloves, and swear it improves their game.
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Friction Gloves for Frisbee
The list below has a few different sections on gloves for Ultimate Frisbee. Click on a link and it will jump you to that section – or scroll down to continue reading!
- Ultimate Frisbee Gloves
- Gloves from Other Sports
- After You’ve Bought Gloves
- Other Tips for Keeping Your Hands Dry
- Other Ultimate Frisbee Gear
The Best Ultimate Frisbee Glove
In my experience, Friction Gloves are currently the best gloves for Ultimate Frisbee that you can wear. My teammates have had the most success with the Friction glove, and they offer exactly what you want out of gloves. They help you grip the disc, especially in wet conditions. Double stitched fabric at the palm makes these much more durable than other gloves. The fabric stretches in all directions on your hand, to accommodate hand sizes and reduce “webbing” that sometimes happens between the fingers with other gloves. If you need gloves for Ultimate this is the place to start.
Layout Ultimate Frisbee Gloves
Layout Ultimate Frisbee Gloves are another great option if you need gloves for Ultimate Frisbee. These gloves are made of durable synthetic leather, which doesn’t rip easily yet maintains a strong grip on a Frisbee. They are also lightweight. What sets Layout gloves apart, is they are more breathable. If you have inherently sweaty hands (like me), these gloves will improve your grip while decreasing the sweat on your hands.
Mint Ultimate Frisbee Glove
The Mint Ultimate Frisbee glove rounds out the top four glove makers for Ultimate Frisbee. Everything that has been said about the other gloves, you’ll get with the Mint Gloves – however, these are marketed as cutter receiving gloves. They improve your grip, especially on wet surfaces. They are lightweight and flexible. In my experience though, the Mint Ultimate Gloves are a bit more durable than the other brands, so if you find yourself replacing gloves often, consider trying these out!
The Best Gloves from Other Sports
Other sports offer different, but high quality alternatives to an Ultimate Frisbee glove. Each type of glove offers something great, but also has a drawback as these gloves were not designed for Ultimate Frisbee.
Best American Football Receiver Gloves
Cutters Game Day Gloves
Receiver gloves for American Football are the next best option for Ultimate gloves. Receivers in Football do many of the same things that cutters in Ultimate Frisbee do, which is why the gloves are designed in a similar way. Receiver gloves work with a “sticky” outer layer, which works wonders when catching a Frisbee! I’ve used receiver gloves while playing Ultimate Frisbee and it’s amazing how easy it is to catch. There are two problems though. The first, is that this sticky layer on the gloves rubs away over time, which means the gloves will need to be replaced in a year or less. The second problem, is that in very wet conditions (like when it’s raining), the sticky layer on the gloves actually gets quite slippery when trying to catch a plastic disc. In short, these gloves are absolutely amazing, unless it’s raining.
Best Baseball or Softball Batting Gloves
Under Armour Cleanup Gloves
When looking for an alternative to Ultimate Frisbee gloves, another great option are batting gloves from baseball or softball. These gloves are designed to grip a baseball bat, and assist with the swinging of a bat. The quick-wrist movement used to swing a bat is similar to that of throwing a Frisbee. These gloves are less sticky than receiver gloves, but hold up a little better in the rain. The biggest problem with these gloves, is that they aren’t nearly as durable. These gloves are designed to be used at home base in a baseball or softball game, not in the grass and dirt after laying out chasing a disc. If you like these gloves, you may need to replace them sooner rather than later.
Best Golf Gloves
FootJoy WeatherSof Gloves
Oddly enough, golf gloves offer a great alternative to Ultimate Frisbee Gloves. A few years ago I had a teammate who swore these were by far the best gloves to play Ultimate Frisbee with. These gloves have an incredible advantage because the soft leather on the palm offers a flexible grip with the disc that no other glove can quite match. Similar to the baseball gloves, these gloves are made for quick-wrist movement, so they work well with throwing a disc. However, playing golf is much less rigorous than playing Ultimate Frisbee, so these gloves are less durable. If you want to try them out, get a two pair, as the soft leather on the palm might not last a whole season.
After You’ve Bought Gloves
Congratulations, you’ve got a new Ultimate Frisbee glove! Here are three things you should practice or think about before using them in a game.
Practice Your Hucks
Most people look for Ultimate Frisbee gloves because the disc becomes slippery when wet. Because of this, one of the most important things gloves need to do is provide some level of friction, or stickiness, in wet conditions.
The good news is that most gloves are very good at doing this – especially the gloves made specifically for Ultimate Frisbee.
The bad news is that the extra grip these gloves can be a lot – especially when throwing hucks. I suggest practicing hucks for a few days with the gloves on before wearing them in practice or in a game. In the long run, it’s completely possible you’ll see better results with your hucks! But the change from your skin to gloves will take a bit of practice getting used to.
Similar to hucking, catching is going to feel a bit different.
Gloves are absolutely great at catching fast throws in tough conditions. You won’t need a lot of practice with gloves while it’s raining, or with throws that are 60 mph or faster.
What you’ll need, is practice catching regular discs in regular conditions.
The problem with gloves in regular conditions, is you loose just a little bit of feeling in your fingers – because they are covered in gloves. So it’s actually easy to drop the simple throws when wearing gloves.
When practicing, focus on watching the disc all the way into your hands (this is a good thing to practice no matter what). This will help you stay focused on completing the catch, before turning and ripping a huck downfield.
Have a Backup Plan
Most of the gloves you can buy for Ultimate Frisbee are quite durable. Unfortunately, gloves do eventually wear out, or even rip and tear.
The worst time for this to occur is during a rainy, high stakes game.
I highly suggest buying two pairs of gloves you love, so you always have a backup pair in case one rips (I suggest the same thing for cleats). That way, no matter what happens to your gloves, you are always covered.
If you don’t want to carry two pairs of gloves around, there are some other tips for keeping your hands dry in Ultimate Frisbee below.
Other Tips for Keeping Your Hands Dry
Gloves are a wonderful way to keep your hands dry or play in wet weather. But a few of my teammates have found other solutions to keep their hands dry from sweat, or rain. Here are a few more tips on keeping your hands dry in Ultimate Frisbee.
If you struggle to throw and catch with wet hands, but don’t like gloves, tennis grip is the solution you need.
The best thrower I’ve ever played with has used this almost his entire career.
Tennis grip is basically liquid chalk. It dries your hands to the point that even a little water slides right off. It’s not sticky, but it greatly increases the friction you get when your hands are in contact with the disc. I highly recommend at least trying this out.
Wrist Band or Arm Sleeve
One of the best ways I have found to keep sweat off my hands, is by simply using a wrist band or arm sleeve. Sweat naturally slides down your arm towards your hand. When pumping your arms during running, or releasing the disc while throwing, that sweat will end up on your hands, making your next contact a slippery one. I found that wearing a wrist band on my throwing hand disrupts this flow of sweat, and resulted in a significant decrease in the amount of sweat on my hands. A college friend of mine found that a wrist band wasn’t enough, and moved up to an arm sleeve – which solved his problem.
If you really struggle with sweating, I recommend using a sweat towel. Something like this would work, but I usually just grab a towel from my closet. The best way to use a sweat towel is to keep it by your water bottle. When you come off the field after playing a long point of Ultimate Frisbee, use the towel to dry your arms, hands, and head. Get your water, dry your hands again, and jog back to the field. Just a little extra work to dry your hands will greatly reduce the sweat that ends up there!
One final note – playing while sweaty, playing in the rain – these are all parts of the game of Ultimate. No matter what method you choose to deal with a wet disc, practice is the most important. If you want to be a better thrower or catcher, be sure you are practicing (with your gloves) in the rain, after being sweaty, or with a disc slick with dew.
Other Ultimate Frisbee Gear
Ultimate Frisbee gloves aren’t the only gear you’ll need to play. Check out more gear below.