Part of our mission here at DiscGolfDash.com is to inform you about courses, products, and discs. In this review we take a look at the ever popular Latitude 64 River fairway driver. Our disc reviews try to cover topics such as the flight numbers of the disc, use cases for the disc, player skill level for this disc, and possibly compare it to an alternative or standard. Let’s start with a bit about Latitude 64 and then get into the flight numbers for the Latitude 64 River…
If you’re new to the game let me start you out with a brief background on Latitude 64. Founded in 2005 the Swedish company has become a staple in the disc golf scene. The four main founders are still heavily involved in the company and production of quality discs.
Latitude 64 Mission:
“To make the best discs in the world! We constantly strive to develop and improve our innovations and customer service solutions. Everything we do is characterized by quality, commitment and expertise – research and development is in every employee’s DNA. Our ambition is to be the world leader in the disc golf industry – in both production and development of the sport. “
Latitude 64 has a wide selection of discs in their lineup and co-produce other lines with Dynamic Discs and Westside Discs. Combined this makes them one of the largest manufacturers of Disc Golf Discs and related products.
Some of their more popular discs to highlight include the Diamond, Bolt, Saint and now the River. But, make no mistake, they have plenty of others that have a large following in the community.
Latitude 64 River Disc Golf Dash Review
The River came to me as a recommendation from a friend because I was looking for something with a lot of glide. I didn’t really understand what that number meant for the actual flight of a disc and wanted to test out some discs with a high glide. I don’t know for sure that the River has the highest amount of glide for any discs on the market today, but it certainly fits the bill of being up there.
Latitude 64 River Flight Numbers: Speed: 7, Glide: 7, Turn: -1, Fade: 1
With a speed of only 7 and such a high glide, I thought for sure this disc would be a winner for my weak beginner arm. My first impressions of the disc, right out of the box, was quality. The plastic felt grippy and the disc felt solid. Sure, I was comparing that to the plethora of used donated discs and several starter packs, but still, I was excited to get this thing out to the field and let it rip.
Field Testing the Latitude 64 River
In theory, based on the flight numbers, this disc should be fairly easy to throw. With a slower speed than the typical driver and a little understable turn, I was hoping for some extra distance. My first field test resulted in less of a distance gain and more of a frustrating experience. The River wouldn’t turn for me…therefore resulting in a quick fade at the end that sharply floated off to the left while using my right hand backhand throw (RHBH). The videos I had watched didn’t show this as much and I chalked it up to two things. One being a bit of a beginner player, and two being a brand new disc.
After a few rounds at the local course and several more field tests I was finally getting what I wanted from my River. I was seeing it turnover more and glide a lot further than expected. My range went from a dismal 150ft up to 250ft. I also noticed the fade reduced a bit at the end and instead of dive-bombing into the ground it was starting to arc less. The disc itself started breaking in more and more and was quickly becoming my go-to for shots that I actually wanted a bit of a fade or arc at the end. I was able to cut through a head wind with it as long as I kept the front edge down. But perhaps the best part was it was teaching some things….
What the Latitude 64 River Taught Me
Sure, I had other options in my quiver to choose from, but I like to compare new discs to a set I am both familiar with and would be a beginner starter set. Thus, busting out the old but reliable Innova Starter Set, and a heavy but newer Disc Craft Buzzz.
- Lesson #1: Not one disc to rule them all. The River is not for every shot. This won’t be a disc you pull out on the fairway when needing to thread your shot between a group of trees or fade quick and straight.
- Lesson #2: Embrace the characteristics of a new disc. Once I got over the fact that it wouldn’t turn over for me as easily as other discs, I started noticing the value the River brought to my arsenal. When I had a shot that needed a slight hook to the left at the end of flight, or to “swoop” up and around objects, this was the disc to pull out of the bag and use.
- Lesson #3: Trying new throws and succeeding. Out of practical needs I decided to spend a day in the field working my forehand. Arguably the weaker of my throws, it needed much attention. Ironically, that is when I discovered the power of the Latitude 64 River. It is now my go to forehand throwing disc. So much so that I bought a higher end Opto plastic version of it and that has become a frequent flier for me.
Latitude 64 River Plastic Types
The River comes in multiple plastic types from Latitude 64: Opto Line, Gold Line, Opto Air, Opto Moonshine, Retro. Below we break down the characteristics for each. My Retro Burst is nice to start with, but the Opto feels way grippier and seemed a bit more flexible while at the same time having a sense of being higher quality.
Latitude 64 River: Retro Burst
- What LT64 Says: “Great grip and beginner friendly flights. This is the perfect plastic blend for your first disc. This is also our most affordable plastic. For a long time we have had requests to make discs that brake in more easily. Test after test led us to this plastic blend that we have named Retro.”
- Disc Golf Dash Review: I would agree with the ratings LT64 gives their Retro Burst plastic. Although I might bump up the stiffness that half circle they leave off, mine still feels stiff compared to other discs I have had the same amount of time and used the same amount. In all honesty, I wouldn’t recommend this line of plastic to anyone, not even a beginner. Sure it might be a bit cheaper, but they are right about the durability. Mine is starting to look like the dog got ahold of it. When I got the Opto version of this disc, that’s when I fell in love with it.
Latitude 64 River: Opto Line
- What LT64 Says: “One of the worlds most durable plastics, it comes in a variety of beautiful translucent colors. The Opto Line plastic has been developed to withstand severe punishment and extreme conditions better than other plastics.”
- Disc Golf Dash Review: Don’t believe premium plastic makes a difference? You will! I can’t say enough about my Latitude 64 River Opto. I really didn’t think a plastic type could make that much of a difference and yet it does. I would agree with their ratings on the plastic and feel like it gives a good benchmark to understand the other plastic types in their lineup.
Latitude 64 River: Opto Air
- What LT64 Says: “For the Opto Air we use the same material as our durable Opto Line plastic. It is however slightly modified with a different process to achieve a stunning result of lighter weight discs, but keeping the same weight distribution as close as possible to the Opto and Gold Line discs.”
- Disc Golf Dash Review: Full disclosure, I don’t have one…but looking forward to buying, trying, and comparing to my regular Opto. Does this lightweight version allow me to get more turnover? That’s the question I am begging to answer. If so, does this disc go from being my favorite forehand to a reliable backhand? Stay tuned because this might be the ultimate compromise for those of us with slightly weaker arms.
Latitude 64 River: Opto Moonshine
- What LT64 Says: “For a few selected disc models in the Opto Line plastic, we have added a translucent material for a glow-in-the-dark effect. When playing disc golf during night time, all you need is to grab your flashlight, or any other strong light source, and charge up the glow properties of the plastic, making it easier to find your disc even on nights when the Moon doesn’t Shine.”
- Disc Golf Dash Review: It glows, it flows, it doesn’t get lost at night…enough said. If you have one of these, feel free to leave a comment on how long the glow effect seems to last.
Latitude 64 River: Gold Line
- What LT64 Says: “Gold Line is our premium blend plastic. The start of the mix has been the same brand plastics used in Opto Line but we added a different polymer to give it better grip without losing the excellent durability of Opto Line.”
- Disc Golf Dash Review: You get a “half circle” improvement over the Opto Line with less stiffness and durability. I am certain this is a great piece of plastic. Especially considering it is basically the Opto line. I haven’t tried a Gold version yet, but can’t see how you could go wrong. Essentially, if the Opto is out of stock, or just not in a color you want, I see no reason to not get the Gold.
Latitude 64 River vs Innova Leopard
So why did I choose to compare these two discs? Well first, the Leopard is community standard (#discgolfcommunity). Just about anyone who has played the game has used a Leopard or is currently using one. Second, I love my Leopard, it is one of my most reliable, trusted, and easy to use discs in my bag. Finally, the Innova Leopard is a Fairway Driver with some similarities to the Latitude 64 River. So enough with the banter, let’s compare.
Flight Number Characteristic Comparison Chart
|Innova Leopard||Characteristics||Latitude 64 River||Characteristics|
|Speed: 6||I would agree with this rating on the speed of the Leopard, it’s easy to throw as a beginner and get it up to speed in order to match the remaining flight numbers.||Speed: 7||The River is definitely a bit harder to get up to speed but that might be more due to the weight in comparison to the Innova Leopard.|
|Glide: 5||A reasonable amount of loft provides the beginner player with some distance, but the River is going to go farther if you can get it up to speed.||Glide: 7||Ideally, you have a strong enough arm and good technique to take advantage of this awesome Glide rating. If so, it should stay aloft a bit farther than the Leopard.|
|Turn: -2||Both discs are understandable and should turn over for the beginner. I have no problem getting the Leopard to turn over even as a complete beginner. Again, one of the easiest discs in my bag to throw.||Turn: -1||The operative word being “should”…I personally could not get my River to turnover. As my arm got stronger and throwing more confidently, it was turning more, but still not as easy as the Leopard.|
|Fade: 1||I would agree this is an accurate rating of Fade for the Leopard. Pretty consistent too. Rarely have I had it spike down into the ground or arc hard at the end of flight.||Fade: 1||I would give the River a Fade of 2 – 3. Again this could be because I wasn’t getting it up to speed at first with my RHBH throw. The Forehand being my preferred method for this disc shows more of a 1-2 Fade rating for me personally. Still, there are times when it arcs hard and spikes a bit at the end of the flight.|
|Max Weight||175g||Max Weight||178.5g|
Player Skill Level For The Latitude 64 River
I would suggest the Innova Leopard be one of your first discs to purchase and use. Regardless of the plastic type and grade it is a great fairway driver to learn from and yet has enough characteristics to make a comparison.
The Latitude 64 River on the other hand might be best for the beginner transitioning into intermediate player or full on intermediate player. Advanced players will appreciate the higher quality plastics and know exactly what to do with this disc. But, as a beginner, you might find yourself a bit frustrated. While the extra glide is nice and will give you some distance, the lack of turn and harsh fade made it seem inconsistent for me at first. Again, now using it for forehand throws, and since my arm has gotten stronger, I am starting to really enjoy throwing the River, and my distances have increased.
Every new disc deserves a dedicated review. Though you might see these discs in our collective posts (Most Stable Mid-Range, Best Disc Golf Drive For Beginners, Best Disc Golf Putters), I think some discs deserve an in-depth review…especially since I own and throw them 😁 . At the end of the day, the Latitude 64 River is not going to be for everyone, but if you can learn to accept the flight patterns it can become a useful tool in your quiver. Once I stopped trying to make it fly straight and embraced the arc/fade, lack of turnover, and high glide, I found value in having it in the bag.
So, pick one up for yourself and share your opinion with the community on it below in the comments.