What Equipment Is Needed for Ultimate Frisbee?

Ultimate Frisbee is a fun and energetic sport that requires minimal equipment to get started. The essential gear you'll need includes an official Ultimate disc, which is a specific type of frisbee designed for this sport.

Additionally, you'll want comfortable athletic clothing that allows for easy movement, and proper footwear—typically cleats or athletic shoes depending on the field surface. While not necessary, some players also opt for gloves to enhance grip and protective gear like knee and elbow pads may be used for added safety.

As you delve into the world of Ultimate Frisbee, you might also find other accessories helpful, but these basics will get you off to a great start.


Ultimate Frisbee, known officially as Ultimate, is an adrenaline-fueled sport that combines elements of football, soccer, and basketball into a fast-paced game that's played with a flying disc.

With its roots in the counterculture of the 1960s, it has grown into a globally recognized sport, played in over 80 countries by thousands of people of all ages.

The simplicity of the game and the minimal equipment needed has contributed to its widespread popularity. All you need to get started is an open space, a group of friends, and the right equipment.

Main Equipment for Ultimate Frisbee

The Frisbee

When it comes to Ultimate, the most crucial piece of equipment is, of course, the frisbee itself. But not just any frisbee will do. Ultimate games require a specific type of disc.

These discs are generally made of plastic and weigh around 175 grams. They are designed to be stable and predictable in their flight, allowing players to throw and catch with accuracy.

An official Ultimate disc should have a diameter of approximately 10.75 inches and a height of 1.18 inches. The edges are slightly rounded to make it comfortable to grip and safe to catch.

The best-known brand is Discraft's Ultra-Star, which is the official disc of the USA Ultimate Championship Series. However, there are other brands available that also meet the necessary specifications.

The frisbee is more than just a piece of equipment in Ultimate; it's the heart of the game. Every pass, catch, and score revolves around this simple, yet specially designed disc. Therefore, choosing a high-quality frisbee that meets the regulated standards can greatly enhance your Ultimate experience.

Footwear for Ultimate Frisbee

The Importance and Types of Suitable Footwear

Footwear plays a critical role in the game of Ultimate due to the sport's high-intensity nature, which involves plenty of running, jumping, cutting, and pivoting. An ill-fitted or inappropriate shoe can not only hinder performance but also increase the risk of injuries.

The most common footwear choice for Ultimate players is cleats, as they provide excellent traction on grass and turf surfaces. Cleats are particularly beneficial when playing in wet or muddy conditions, where regular sneakers may not offer enough grip.

There are various types of cleats suitable for Ultimate, including football, soccer, and lacrosse cleats. Popular choices among players include the Adidas Copa Mundial Soccer cleat, known for its comfort, and the lightweight Nike Mercurial Victory cleat. When choosing cleats, look for those that offer a good balance of traction, durability, and comfort.

For indoor games or games played on hard surfaces, players often opt for athletic shoes or specific indoor Ultimate shoes that provide good traction and are designed for quick movement and agility.

a male player throws an Ultimate Frisbee

Clothing for Ultimate Frisbee

Appropriate Clothing Options

When it comes to clothing for Ultimate, comfort and freedom of movement are key. Players typically wear athletic shorts and a light, breathable jersey or t-shirt. These should be made from moisture-wicking material to help keep you dry during intense play.

In colder weather, players may layer up with long-sleeved jerseys and thermal leggings. Regardless of the weather, remember that Ultimate is a high-intensity sport, so dress in layers that can be easily added or removed as needed.

Some players also wear compression gear, like arm sleeves or calf sleeves, to aid in muscle recovery and reduce the risk of injury. However, this is optional and largely down to personal preference.

Remember, the goal is to be as comfortable as possible while playing. So choose clothing that fits well and allows for easy movement, so you can focus on the game and not on adjusting your outfit.

Optional Equipment

Gloves and Other Optional Accessories for Ultimate Frisbee

While the frisbee, proper footwear, and suitable clothing are the essentials, there are other optional accessories that some Ultimate players choose to use. One such item is gloves. Ultimate Frisbee gloves can enhance grip, provide additional warmth in cold weather, and protect your hands during dives and catches.

There are a variety of brands and styles available, with some players preferring gloves with a tacky palm for enhanced grip, while others prefer a thinner, more flexible glove for a better disc feel. Popular brands include Layout, Friction, and Mint.

Other optional accessories include hats or visors to protect against the sun, sweatbands to keep sweat from dripping into your eyes, and disc bags to carry your gear.

Protective Gear

Is Protective Gear Necessary?

Ultimate is generally a non-contact sport, but that doesn't mean injuries can't occur. Protective gear isn't required, but it may be beneficial for some players, particularly those who play aggressively or who have a history of certain types of injuries.

Knee pads and elbow pads can provide protection during falls or dives, and mouth guards can help protect against accidental hits or falls. Additionally, some players may choose to wear compression sleeves or athletic tape to provide additional support and stability to joints.

However, it's important to remember that while protective gear can help prevent some injuries, the best protection comes from proper technique, warm-ups, cool-downs, and conditioning.

Equipment Maintenance Tips

Prolonging the Life of Your Ultimate Frisbee Equipment

Proper maintenance of your Ultimate equipment can significantly extend its lifespan and ensure it performs optimally during games. Here are a few tips:

Frisbee: Clean your disc regularly with warm water and mild soap to remove dirt and grime. Avoid using it on hard surfaces like concrete, as this can cause scratches and dents that affect its flight.

Footwear: Always let your cleats or shoes air dry after a game to prevent odors and bacteria growth. Regularly check for wear and tear, especially on the cleats themselves, and replace them when they become worn down.

Clothing: Wash your jerseys and shorts after each game to remove sweat and dirt. Use a sports detergent to remove odors and avoid using fabric softeners, which can damage the moisture-wicking properties of athletic clothes.

Gloves and accessories: Clean gloves after use and allow them to air dry. Store hats, sweatbands, and other accessories in a cool, dry place to prevent damage from heat and humidity.

Where to Buy Ultimate Frisbee Equipment

Buying Online and In-store

There are numerous places to purchase Ultimate Frisbee equipment, both online and in physical stores.

Online: Websites like Disc Store, Discraft, and Amazon offer a wide range of Ultimate equipment, from discs to clothing to accessories. Online shopping allows you to compare prices and read reviews from other players.

Physical Stores: Sporting goods stores often carry Ultimate equipment. Stores like Dick's Sporting Goods and Academy Sports + Outdoors typically have a selection of discs and athletic clothing suitable for Ultimate. Additionally, some specialized disc sports shops may carry Ultimate equipment.

Always remember to research before purchasing to ensure you're getting high-quality, durable equipment that will enhance your performance and enjoyment of the game.

Cost of Ultimate Frisbee Equipment

An Overview of Potential Costs

The cost of getting fully equipped for Ultimate can vary widely depending on the quality of equipment you choose and whether or not you opt for optional accessories. Here's a rough breakdown:

Frisbee: A professional-quality Ultimate disc typically costs between $10 and $20.

Footwear: Cleats can range from $30 to over $100, depending on the brand and style. Athletic shoes suitable for indoor play or hard surfaces can also fall within this range.

Clothing: Expect to spend around $10 to $30 for jerseys or athletic shirts, and about the same for shorts. If you opt for compression gear or thermal layers for colder weather, these can add to the cost.

Optional Accessories: Gloves for Ultimate can cost anywhere from $20 to $40, while other accessories like hats, sweatbands, and disc bags will vary in price.

Protective Gear: While not necessary, items like knee pads, elbow pads, and mouthguards can add an extra $10 to $50 to your total cost, depending on what you choose.

Remember, while it's important to have quality equipment, don't feel compelled to buy the most expensive gear. Start with the basics and invest more as your love for the game grows.


Ultimate Frisbee is a sport that combines fun, fitness, and camaraderie. Whether you're playing a casual game in the park or competing in a league, the right equipment can enhance your performance and enjoyment of the game.

While there's an initial investment involved in getting equipped, the benefits of playing Ultimate - the laughter, the adrenaline rush, the satisfaction of a well-executed play - are priceless. So get out there, get equipped, and enjoy the fantastic game of Ultimate!

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