This Flashback Friday features the early DGA “Soft Chain” disc golf basket chain design. The soft chain design created a disc catching area about 15% larger than the traditional parabolic shaped disc golf basket chain design. This flashback picture is of a DGA Mach 2 sporting a “Soft Chain” configuration featured in a 1999 advertisement.
“Steady” Ed Headrick was always looking to improve the way DGA baskets caught discs and he was very excited about the early “Soft Chain” design. For a while DGA provided a soft chain after-market kit and the DGA Solar Dome (discontinued), and some DGA Mach V and Mach III Disc Golf Baskets featured the “Soft Chain” design.
The original “Soft Chain” design was made up of enough chain links so that the outer chain hung down almost vertically from the chain hanger. The outer chain and the inner chains linked together in a way that relieved the outer chains of some of their weight, enabling the chain to hang further from the center pole and create a unified chain design. The advantage of taking weight off the outer chains provided a “soft touch” for a disc that hit the chain slowly instead of a wall of chain that would deflect a softly thrown disc. The “Soft Chain” design caught discs thrown at the left side area of the target extremely well. The unified chain design aspect of the early DGA “Soft Chains” also created a single body of chain with the idea of creating weight and resistance to high speed disc impacts.
While the goal of the original “Soft Chain” deign was sound and caught discs phenomenally well in many ways the actual performance of the original “Soft Chain” was too soft and suffered from disc blow through. The “Soft Chain” design has seen various revisions at DGA over the last decade but none of the various revisions have made it into to a production model until the DGA Mach X Disc Golf Basket.
With the Mach X, DGA has found the sweet spot of melding the “Soft Chain” and Unified Chain design” concepts together.
Re-examining the “Soft Chain” concept DGA determined that the principle still has merit when used with other Mach X features. The DGA Mach X “Soft Chain” creates an outer barrier of chain that doesn’t stop the disc, but slows it down just enough to envelop it. From there the firm inner chain stops the disc. The Mach X implementation of the unified chain design works together to stop and catch the incoming disc. This “Ying and Yang” of soft and firm chain unified chain design is the perfect marriage of the original “Steady” Ed concepts.
DGA Mach X – Unified Chain Design (Featurette 1 of 3)