Gateway gave their old Ninja a makeover and they’ve come out with a very reliable, slightly overstable controld driver. The original Ninja was listed as an 11 speed with a rim so wide that the PDGA would not approve it. Now, this remodeled Ninja is a moderate glide 9 speed driver that will let you slice up the course with pinpoint accuracy.
Gateway Ninja Manufacturer Notes
Here’s how Infinite Discs describes the Ninja:
The rim has been downsized to fall within PDGA limitations, and a textured grip has been added to the top, outer edge of the disc for a unique feel and great control, even in wet conditions. It is still a sharp-edged distance driver, but not the quasi weapon it used to be.
Gateway Ninja Manufacturer Page
Available Plastics: Diamond, Platinum
Flight Rating: 9, 5, -1, 2
Gateway Ninja Initial Reactions
The Ninja has a unique feel with the relatively long and sharp nose for a control driver followed by a dome. It sits surprisingly comfortably in the hand because of the low profile rim and I can get a very smooth release. The top of the rim is textured which can help add grip when the Ninja gets wet, but my thumb usually rests inside the texture so I only notice it with the pad of my palm. I’ve said before how much I like Gateway’s diamond plastic.
Gateway Ninja Flight Notes
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Gateway’s Ninja is one of the best all-around control drivers that I have thrown. Although rated with a glide of 5, I feel that is closer to 4 and lower glide than a lot of control drivers, but in a good way because this greatly increases consistency without sacrificing accuracy. I found this driver best used to maximize accuracy at 70-85% power. I can throw the Ninja 330 feet (100 meters) quite comfortably where it displays just a little turn and a reliable fade that drops instead of gliding far out. One of the best features of the Ninja is that this flight can be manipulated easily from a deadly straight liner to a pin-point s-curve or even a long slight anhyzer. The Ninja rarely skips for me when landing, rather it likes to drop and stick.
My favorite shot with the Ninja is a precision hyzer because of its ability to hold a smooth hyzer line without wavering. The Ninja resists flipping on most hyzer lines regardless of power, but when released flat I can intentionally put turn on it. Anyhyzers will work with a little extra snap and can result in very controllable s-curves. The moderate glide also helps keep the Ninja under control in windy conditions despite it not being a highly overstable disc. I can still hit nearly any line in a breeze with the Ninja which I cannot say for many drivers.
Sidearms are no problem with the Ninja because it handles torque just fine and releases smoothly with the low rim. It will handle an overhand throw decently but I find that it displays a little more side to side movement than I prefer, but I don’t think you’d go wrong throwing the Ninja overhand.
350 feet (107 meters) is about my max distance with the Ninja, but it is also controllable for shorter shots around 290-300 feet where many drivers may be difficult to control. I find it appropriate to use both as a fairway driver and as a long distance control driver. Although a very different disc than the Gateway Journey, both are extremely versatile and would make an excellent pairing.
Gateway Ninja Comparables
Discraft Undertaker – Undertaker has more glide
Westside Northman – Northman is faster
Innova Viking – Viking turns more
Discraft Flash – Flash s-curves a little stronger and is faster
Innova Eagle – Similar flight but Eagle is shorter
Gateway Ninja Final Verdict
The remodeled Gateway Ninja is an excellent disc and has a great balance of consistency and versatility. Beginners may find the Ninja a good controllable overstable option due to the moderate glide and more advanced players may find themselves throwing the Ninja more than any other driver in their bag. Gateway has a very complete control driver lineup with the Journey and Ninja.
If you’re ready to attack the course with your own Ninja, you can see your options here!
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