The History of the Buzzz

The History of the Buzzz

The dream of being No. 1 exists in anyone with a competitive spirit. Turning that dream into a reality is something experienced by a select few.

But Discraft has done it with the best-selling disc of all time: the Buzzz.

The Buzzz didn’t just appear out of nothingness to conquer the disc golf world and rise to the top of retail charts. In fact, during one of the sport’s initial popularity booms in the late 90s and early 2000s, there was no Buzzz at all.

To understand how the Buzzz came to be, you first have to understand its predecessor: the Wasp

Discraft’s goal was to create an overstable midrange. The project lasted many years and went through many variations, finally culminating with the production of the Wasp. The new disc was PDGA-approved in 2002, but it didn’t catch on because of its controllability for newer players. With the largest percentage of disc golfers being amateurs or brand new faces to the sport, an overstable midrange that was too fast for their arm speeds was never going to sell as well.

So Discraft pivoted.

Using the Wasp mold as a platform, the World Leader in Disc Sports set out to create a midrange that was more neutral in flight and could be enjoyed and utilized by players of any skill level. They removed the bead from the rim of the Wasp mold and changed the wing of the disc slightly in the process, altering both the stability and the feel in a player’s hand. The flight plate of the disc remained untouched.

Because the mold used to create the Buzzz was quite literally a modified version of the Wasp mold, the first run of Buzzzes have tooling on the inner rim reading, “WASP.”

The First Run Buzzz officially hit the market in the Fall of 2003. It came in Discraft’s Elite Z plastic and sported a stamp to commemorate the influence of the Wasp reading, “First Run Discraft Mid Range BUZZZ Super Straight Modified Wasp.”

Discraft ran these Wasp-tooled Buzzzes for less than a year in Elite Z plastic (and a special Elite X plastic run for the holidays) before the popularity of their new disc brought in enough support to fund the creation of a Buzzz-specific mold. In the summer of 2004, they began producing the new Buzzzes with raised lettering reading “BUZZZ” on the inner rim.

But Discraft did not dispose of the original modified Wasp molding. 

To help market and promote the 2006 Players Cup, they released limited-edition Buzzzes using the original Wasp-tooled mold. This unique run came in three specific colors and four special stamp foils (black, gold, silver, and ghost). Discraft used the same 3-level bar stamp as the First Runs from 2003, but tweaked it to read, “2nd First Run Discraft Mid Range BUZZZ Super Straight Modified Wasp.”

Discraft ended up producing more of these 2nd First Run Buzzzes for the 2006 Players Cup than they actually stamped and sold. They held onto these unstamped, Wasp-tooled Buzzzes in the warehouse and gradually stamped them and sold them along with regular, Buzzz-tooled runs after the Players Cup. These Wasp-tooled discs with the standard Buzzz bar stamp are informally known as “Bootleg Buzzzes”.

Riding a few years of tremendous success with the Buzzz, Discraft created two new variations in 2008: the Buzzz GT and the Buzzz SS. The groove top (GT) version added an indented thumb track to the top of the Buzzz flight plate and gave players a natural place to grip the disc and increase comfortability in the hand. The super straight (SS) tweak slimmed down the rim to provide a skinnier-feeling grip. This added understability to the standard Buzzz’s flight and provided a flippier, yet similar-feeling compliment to the Buzzz.

In 2013, for the Buzzz’s 10-year anniversary, the modified Wasp mold returned again after a 7-year hiatus to celebrate the decade mark of the most popular disc on the planet. However, the Wasp-tooling was different this time. The raised letters were slightly taller as Discraft changed the way they did tooling. This 10-year Buzzz run is the most collected run of Buzzz (though the 2019 McBeth 4-claw run has secured a significant collector’s market as well). 

In 2014, six years after the successful implementation of the Buzzz SS into their lineup, Discraft completed the Buzzz family by adding the missing piece: an overstable version. The Buzzz OS became exactly that. It is more overstable than the Wasp and, more importantly, has the same beadless feel and grip in a player’s hand as the Buzzz.

Further nods to the original First Run Buzzzes have continued over the years in the form of a Wasp-tooled Buzzz SS. These are not made from the original, modified Wasp mold and are standard Buzzz SS runs, just with commemorative tooling reading, “WASP” on the inner rim. Shop Ledgestone has several of these unique discs available for purchase here.

The original, wasp-tooled mold did, however, make a celebrated return in 2023 in honor of the Buzzz’s 20th anniversary. Discraft released a one-time run of 20,000 discs to commemorate the completion of two decades of the best-selling disc of all time. The 20 Year Anniversary Buzzzes were produced with the old-school Buzzz bar stamp in varying foils on Elite Z plastic in a nostalgic callback. But there was also an even smaller number created featuring a 3-foil, custom Big Bee stamp with a “20” on the eye. The Big Bee designs were stamped on Z Glo, UV, Midnight, and Jawbreaker Z plastics and sold exclusively at Discraft-sponsored events.

The Ledgestone Open has released some of the most special runs of Buzzzes over the years, including the 20 Year edition. Tens of thousands of the world’s most popular midrange disc have gone through Ledgestone. Since 2015, over 75 unique runs of the Buzzz, Buzzz GT, Buzzz SS and Buzzz OS have been produced specifically for the event.

Some top sellers include the full-foil Grateful Buzzz with Michael Barnard art, the Z Glo Flx Buzzz, the Fly Dye Buzzz, the ESP Swirl Tour Series Buzzz GT, and the Midnight CryZtal Buzzz.

Blog by: Jacob Arvidson

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