Innova Leopard | Fairway Driver

Just how many people started their disc golf journey with an Innova DX Leopard? We wouldn't be surprised if it's as high as 20% of all disc golfers! The Leopard's inclusion in Innova's starter pack is largely to thank for this. Innova knew what they were doing too, the DX Leopard is a great beginner driver thanks to its low speed, high glide, and understability!

As our arm speed increased most of us tearfully retired our DX Leopards. But there's a secret! Have you ever tried a premium plastic Leopard?

Not only are the starter pack Leopards more understable out of the box, due to the plastic, they are also very lightweight. Innova does this intentionally to make them easier to throw for newer players. Thanks again Innova for getting us into the sport! 

That leaves the question... How do Innova Champion Leopards fly?

Innova Leopard Review

The first thing we want to get clear is the difference between Champion and Star Leopards and DX Leopards. DX Leopards are true to Innova's flight ratings, but quickly beat in to become considerably more understable! They're the best choice for beginners, or players looking for an easy roller disc. 

Premium-grade Leopards are another kettle of fish! There are a multitude of reports stating that Champion and Star Leopards have flown more like TeeBirds! It's no joke, these Leopards are actually overstable out of the box! This is partly due to a more domy shape.

While this inconsistency may sound negative it offers you the perfect opportunity to do some disc cycling! When you wear the Leopard in it will become true to flight numbers! Bagging Leopards in multiple stages of wear will allow you to throw different shot shapes, with the same comfortable mold! 

The Innova Leopard offers something unique to your bag, being a speed slower than the majority of fairway drivers. It's like a midrange fairway crossover! The slower speed makes it incredibly accurate and controllable! It's a go-to on technical courses with hazards such as OB and tight lines!


If you're looking to focus on control and slow things down, but not all the way to a midrange try out a Leopard! They fly like a slower TeeBird out of the box, with a little extra glide! As they season in, which doesn't take too long, they become dead straight! With a little more seasoning you can expect smooth controllable turnovers!

Backhand Rollers

If you bag a DX Leopard you've just unlocked a secret weapon! The key is having a roller disc that gets to the ground really fast! Usually, in tricky situations, players will throw forehand rollers. But what if you need it to move in the opposite direction? 

When you're in a tight spot with an awkward stance that won't allow a full throw try this out! You can use the understability of the disc to throw a softer shot that still hits the ground on a roller angle! This is a cheat code to get added distance from awkward lies! It's time to save the par!

Having a disc that wants to hit the ground instantly is also handy on low-ceiling drives. You can throw a DX Leopard hard and flat, and have it quickly turn into a roller, avoiding any overhanging branches!

Pro tip: Using a lightweight DX Leopard will help it hit the ground at a roller angle even quicker! 


While the Leopard certainly isn't the perfect forehand driver, it can serve the purpose while you're learning! If you bought the Innova starter pack work on your flick shots with the Leopard and the Shark.


The Innova Leopard has a very smooth rim, with no sharp edges! The smaller rim makes it a very comfortable fit for most hands, especially younger players. The dome on the flight plate is a little obnoxious for sidearms, but feels good in a backhand grip! 

Side profile of the Innova Leopard

Image source: PDGA

Innova Leopard Flight Numbers

Flight Numbers 

Speed: 6

Glide: 5

Turn: -2

Fade: 1

These flight numbers are a little deceptive. A new DX Leopard will fly as suggested, but after hitting a few trees it'll be drastically more understable, which is why it's such a great beginner disc!

Higher-grade plastics completely transform the Innova Leopard! Rather than being flippy, it's actually moderately overstable! Something like a slower TeeBird!

Innova Leopard Flight Path Chart

Here's a chart to give you an idea of the Innova Leopard's flight path.

Innova Leopard flight path chart for both forehand and backhand shot shapes


Champion: This will be the most overstable Leopard you can buy. The Champion versions tend to have the most dome to them. 

Star: An Innova Star Leopard is also surprisingly overstable! They do wear in a little quicker though. With some seasoning, you'll have a slightly slower understable fairway driver.

Gstar: These are the flatter and the flippier out of the box when compared to the previous plastics. They have great grip and a comfortable flex to them!

DX: These are true to the Innova flight numbers out of the box. Once they've beaten in they become sweet rollers! This is also the best option for new players!

See this Innova plastics guide to learn more!

Note: These characteristics can vary from run to run. Keep an eye out for domy Leo's when you want more stability and flatter ones for less!


The Innova Leopard goes a long way back! It was PDGA approved in 1999. It's most notable for its inclusion in the Innova Starter Pack, alongside the Shark, and the Aviar. There isn't a single disc golf course that doesn't have a lightweight DX Leopard lost somewhere in the rough!

See the PDGA-approved Leopard here.

Manufacturer - Innova

The company behind the Leopard? Innova Disc Golf. They've been in the business since 1983! They have a wide range of disc golf discs, that cover every flight and speed you could possibly need! The Leopard is one of their best beginner drivers.

See all our Innova discs for sale here.

Learn more about the Leopard on Innova's site here!

Here's what Innova has to say about the Leopard:

The Leopard should be everyone’s first fairway driver as it has excellent glide and is easy to throw straight and far. The Leopard is a great turnover disc for players of all skill levels. More experienced players can use the Leopard for throwing distance stretching “Hyzer Flip” shots. The Leopard makes a dependable long range roller.

See Nate Sexton giving you the rundown on the starter pack Leopard on the Innova YouTube channel!



Skill Level Recommendations

Beginners - Beginners will love their lightweight Innova DX Leopards! It has understability, glide, and just the right amount of speed. Focus on keeping the nose down!

Intermediate - Bag a DX Leopard for rollers. If you want a slower TeeBird get a Champion or Star Leopard.

Advanced - Once again we recommend a DX Leopard as a utility roller disc. With decent arm speed and form premium plastic Leo's will turn and fade back for distances as much as 350 feet. As you season them you'll get straight, and turnover flight paths.

Pro - Most pros wouldn't use a Leopard, although Barry Shultz does.


Here are the dimensions the Leopard was registered with at the PDGA.

Max Weight: 176.0gr

Diameter: 21.2cm

Height: 1.6cm

Rim Depth: 1.1cm

Rim Thickness: 1.6cm

Inside Rim Diameter: 18.0cm

Rim Depth / Diameter Ratio: 5.2%

Rim Configuration: 29.25

Flexibility: 7.60kg

Pros and Cons


  • DX is perfect for beginners
  • DX makes a great utility roller disc for advanced players
  • Champion is like a slower TeeBird
  • Great glide
  • Blend between a midrange and a fairway driver
  • Comfortable rim that's smaller for younger players
  • Beats in to a straight/turnover disc


  • Stabler out of the box than expected in premium plastics


The 6-speed slot is a gap that many players forget to fill! The Leopard fills it perfectly with a refreshing blend of control and distance! You can also use disc cycling to achieve a variety of lines! They start stable, but beat in after a few rounds to be dead straight! A little more and you'll be throwing buttery smooth turnovers!


Ratings are on a scale of 1-10.

Stability: DX: 3, Prem: 7

Consistency of Flight: 7

Consistency in Wind: 5

Beginner Friendliness: 10

Distance Potential: 7

Control: 7.5

Utility: 8 

Fun Factor: 9

Comparable Discs

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Leopard good in the wind?

Champion Leopards are actually pretty good in the wind! Consider using one instead of your midranges on windy rounds!

Is the Leopard good for backhand?

Innova Leopards are amazing backhand discs, especially for beginners! New players can perfect their backhands with DX Leopards. Advanced players can season premium plastic ones for a range of shot shapes!

Is the Leopard good for forehand?

The Leopard is not ideal for Forearms. If you're a beginner don't let that hold you back! It's a great disc to learn how to sidearm with.

What are the Leopard's flight numbers?

The Innova Leopard has a speed rating of 6, a glide rating of 5, a turn rating of -2, and a fade rating of 1.