Innova Leopard Review – Forgiving Beginner Driver

For drivers of all distance, there are fewer classics that have stood the test of time like the Innova Leopard, the classic straight flying fairway driver

The Leopard tends to be one of the best choices for a beginner driver. While it might be great for beginners, it can constantly grow with players and can completely alter its flight path depending on your skill level. For this reason, it is widely recognized as a reliable and versatile driver for all players.

With its consistent flight path and a limited fade, it is an excellent choice for new players and advanced players alike.  Is this the best disc golf driver for beginners?

Innova Leopard Review


  • Diameter: 22.1 cm
  • Height: 1.6 cm
  • Rim Depth: 1.1 cm
  • Rim Width: 1.6 cm
  • Max Weight: 175 grams

Additional Information:

  • Speed: 6.0
  • Glide: 5.0
  • Turn: -2.0
  • Fade: 1.0
  • Primary Use: Control Driver
  • Stability: Understable
  • Recommended Skill Levels: Beginner or Above
  • Plastics: GStar, Champion, Star, DX, Pro
  • Beadless

Here's what Innova says 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."

The Innova Leopard is a fantastic standard for fairway drivers. It might be more geared for beginners with its reliable straight shots with great distance, but an expert can easily take this disc to a new level with rollers, turnover shots, and hyzers.

In the hands of a beginner, it soars straight and glides for a long time with a slight fade at the end. In the hands of an expert, it is incredibly accurate and can hold a smooth hyzer, or a medium to hard turnover without S-ing back.

Beginners can potentially get the most distance out of all discs using the Leopard due to its simplicity and effectiveness. Advanced players can perform a wide variety of maneuvers for nearly any situation making it very versatile.

Pros of the Leopard:

  • Accurate fairway drives
  • Fantastic distance with even weaker throwers
  • Can handle hyzer shots well
  • Dependable long range roller
  • Versatile in the hands of an expert
  • Great for throwing through obstacles and trees
  • Great first fairway driver
  • Reliable for turnover shots

Cons of the Leopard:

  • While it is a great overall disc for advanced players, it fails to stand out in any noticeable areas.

Types of Plastic for Innova Leopard:

innova leopard star plastic

The standard for Innova Plastics. Combines the durability of the Champion Plastic with the grip of the Pro Plastic.

Very reliable and simple, a great choice for all players who don’t what anything too fancy.

Have the same flight characteristics of the Champion Plastic but with better grip and slightly less firmness.

An all-round great choice for your Leopard due to its durability, grip, and performance consistency.  That being said if you're looking for the best disc golf disc for intermediate players or advanced then i'd suggest looking at our review guide.

  • Provides predictable and reliable performance
  • Long-lasting durability even on more wooded or rough course
  • Grip suited to most if not all weather conditions
  • Has the durability of the Champion Plastic with the grip of the Pro Plastic

With Champion Plastic you are provided with an extremely durable disc able to handle damage better than any other.  With Champion Plastic, consistency is the key to perfection.

As the disc degrades extremely slowly, the disc will retain the same flight patterns for longer throughout its use.

As discs made from Champion Plastic tend to be stiffer than others, powerful throwers are very well suited to it.

innova leopard champion plastic review

Overall, the Champion Plastic is considered to be the best or second-best option for advanced players looking for a Leopard as it provides great durability but requires a strong grip and throw to utilize

  • Provides superior durability and reliable performance
  • Firmness suitable for the increased throwing speeds of professional players

Considered by many to be the highest quality plastic, along with Champion Plastic, for Innova discs.

The all-weather grip present gives it the good grip and feel of the Pro while it’s durability gives it the lasting power of the Champion.

GStar Plastic also holds it’s flight path longer and better than any other plastic leading it to be considered a premium product.

Leopard GStar

Overall, the GStar Plastic is widely considered to be one of the best options for the Leopard due to its grip, consistency, and durability.

  • The most comfortable and enhanced grip of all three plastics
  • Fantastic for colder weather
  • Suitable for players with less grip strength
  • Same durability of Star Plastic but with additional flexibility.

Having the grip of the GStar but without the durability, Pro Plastic has some advantages over other plastics. One main advantage is that it provides increased glide and grip which can help in drives.

Being more consistent than the DX Plastic yet less than the GStar or Champion Plastic, the Pro Plastic provides a middle ground between the two levels.

Overall, Pro Plastic does not stand out in many areas and seems lackluster compared to the GStar and Champion Plastics but many players still love this plastic for its feel and grip. It is cheaper than the GStar and Champion but more expensive than the DX.

Innova Leopard Pro
  • Provides a better grip than the DX and Champion, in line with the GStar and Star grip
  • WIll hold its flight path longer than the DX as it is more durable but less so than the Champion
  • Cheaper than the Star and Champion

The most affordable, and thus least durable, plastic that the Shark comes in. DX Plastic is good for a wide array of weather conditions and does provide consistent throwing capabilities.

The major downfall of this disc is its durability. It will quickly take on wear and tear and its flight patterns will change faster than the other plastics.

Overall, the DX plastic is good for budget buyers and is therefore great for new players who don’t want to make a large commitment. It does still provide a good grip, but not as good as the Pro or GStar, and good all-weather capabilities. Great to grab a few of these to practice shots with your Leopard.

dx plastic for innova's leopard
  • Wears in quicker than other plastics giving new and varied flight patterns
  • Most economically priced out of all the other plastics
  • With DX Plastic, the most variety of weights are available for the Leopard

As far as plastics for the Innova Leopard go, the three standouts are Champion, GStar, and Star. That isn’t to say that the Pro and DX are useless though. The DX is cheap and great for beginners while the Pro is also cheap but has a great grip.

Champion is much more durable than other plastics but with less grip. This means its more suited to advanced players with a stronger grip and throw.

GStar and Star both have a great grip and are great for newer players. They are both durable, with the GStar being more flexible and comfortable. Both of these discs are good for all weather conditions.

No matter which you decide to go with, each plastic is great for its own purpose and player. Some swear by the Champion while others swear by the Star, everyone is different so its hard to say which plastic is the “best”.

Final Thoughts on the Innova Leopard

Being an incredibly beginner friendly fairway driver, the Innova Leopard is great at holding a line, flying far, and flying reliably. It has its uses for advanced players too with hyzer and turnover shots and it makes for a great roller.

The Innova Leopard is a disc that will grow with you as a player and learn more advanced techniques. Often recommended to be the fairway driver to start with, it is a true all-rounder.  If you're looking for a more advanced driver to spice up your bag, I suggest the Innova Destroyer or Innova Daedalus.  If you're looking to improve accuracy then I would suggest you take a look at our Innova TeeBird Review!

With a large variety of plastics to choose from, anyone from a seasoned master, to a fresh beginner can find a great driver in the Innova Leopard.  


About James

My name is James Francis, and I’m an avid disc golf player ever since I was introduced to the sport by my brother in 2008.  I fell in love with the sport because of the laid back & casual attitude, the ability to enjoy the great outdoors, and the technique needed to master the sport.

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James Francis