the stars shine brightly, a million points sprinkled across the blue-black dome. a lone cricket's chirp breaks the dark silence. the gentle glow of street lamps and headlights illuminate the far off horizon, but nary a ray breaks across the over grown field. dew covered grass trembles as a cool breeze tickles it just so. suddenly, the whshh whshh whshh of quickening feet build to a crescendo. eyes snap to the sky as a brilliant willowisp dances through the air, arcing 'tween the young, taut bodies. two leap in unison, each fending for their trophy. a nudge and a snatch, one comes down victorious...

 

The Orby is a frisbee produced by Plastic Injection Command, constructed specialty for night-time play. It is a custom-made disc of translucent plastic and embedded with four small LEDs. Three of the lights are equally spaced around the edge and one is placed slightly off center on the topside. The edge lights are connected to the battery by thin wires embedded in "wire guides" which radiate straight out from the central battery compartment. The LEDs are fairly bright and when thrown, produce a whirl of color that is impossible to miss when playing in complete darkness or fading light. If you think it's still not bright enough, you can insert another flat battery (model: CR2430) in the battery compartment and it will glow twice as bright in any of the three offered colors: green, blue and red (with corresponding colored LEDs). The lights are activated with a little switch located on the disc's underside. My suggestion is to use a piece of masking tape to hold the switch in place during night play, so as to avoid accidentally tripping it and then losing the disc.

On the website1, the makers say that it is a regulation Ultimate frisbee weighing 175 grams, but to my touch it is a bit lighter. Also, the website2 I ordered it from flat-out lists it as lighter, around 170 grams. The same website also states its diameter as approximately 10" (25 cm).

Compared to a regular Discraft Ultra-star (my preferred disc), the Orby is a little flimsier and feels a bit cheap. The plastic is slick when covered with dew or sweat, thus making it hard to throw accurately. However, it seems to be extremely durable. During play, I have seen it hit pavement, trees, benches etc. with few scratches and no effect on the operation of the lights.

The only drawbacks I could find were that it lacks "ridges" and that it has the aforementioned wire guides. The ridges are commonly found on the topside of most discs, a few centimeters from the edges. They are essential for gripping the disc, getting a feel and touch that gives that added bit of control that is crucial for precise disc placement. The wire guides are simply annoying because they are not usually present on a normal disc, so even an experienced player may bruise his or her fingers when trying to catch it. Or worse, cause them to drop it.

The Orby retails for US$19.99 on the manufacturer's website1, but sells for US$19.95 on the website2 from which I ordered mine (I got the red).


Information attained from:
1. http://www.orbydisc.com

2. http://www.discshoppe.com

3. personal night-time experience in a nearby park

Orb"y (?), a. [From 2d Orb.]

Orblike; having the course of an orb; revolving.

[Obs.] "Orby hours."

Chapman.

 

© Webster 1913.

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