How to Mac

Paul Kenny teaches us how to perform a MAC (Midair Attitude Correction). Note that in the video, we erroneously identify it as a SUB (Speeded Up Brush). What Paul is demonstrating is actually a MAC. Here’s a video on the SUB, and another video of Tom Leitner’s SUB throw.

A MAC is when a player touches the frisbee in flight to change the angle or direction of flight of a flying disc. It can be done by touching the disc on top, or on the outer rim (a brush), or the bottom of the rim (a cuff). Does a tip qualify as well? Chime in if you know.

The top touch MAC as Paul demonstrates is useful to cause a disc to airbounce as it passes by you, or to flatten it if it’s too steep.

To perform a top touch MAC, touch or hit the disc on top as it is in flight. Paul demonstrates hitting a disc as it flies by. Where to touch it depends on spin of the disc and the desired outcome. To bring the nose up, hit a clock disc at 3 o’clock and counter at 9 o’clock. To bring the nose down, hit counter at 3 o’clock and clock at 9 o’clock.

Also, note that using downward force will aid gravity in pulling the disc to the ground. So, care must be used as to when and how hard to use a top touch MAC. A top touch MAC makes the most sense when its use will cause the disc to airbounce into the wind. Otherwise thetop touch MAC will just push the disc to the ground. Of course, that may be a trick of its own…MAC it down fast and then kick tip it back up. Or MAC it down and cuff is up. Or…let you imagination run wild.

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  1. Is the Name “Sub” a shortcut for something?

  2. Sub, is short for speeded up delivery and just as a side note a mac is short for mid air collision, often ultimate players confuse brushing with with the term.

  3. I wrote a pretty complete article about attitude change in Frisbee World (Jan/Feb) 1978 (the Sammy Schatz cover). The piece described the early development of skipping off of body surfaces (which I had first seen done by Juna Bodá. This was always done on the underside of the disc. In about ’74, at Rutgers, we started experimenting with top work and calling the technique a MAC, for Midflight Attitude Correction. I think that I first showed it in competition at Octad 77, playing with the the magnificent Mutant from Modesto, Andy Yates. It was a big hit.
    The article in ’78 featured some cool pictures of Freddie Haft and me playing on the beach. The article also discussed some of the fun and challenging variations from constricted positions. What I’ve always enjoyed most about the MAC is how well you can tailor a flight for your playing partner. In particular, once you get the hang of it (a very light touch is often enough) you can vary your contact point to curve the resulting flight as well as adjusting the attack angle. A real challenge is using a reverse position MAC to create a skip flight by pushing the nose of the disc down. This usually requires a very smooth playing surface, like in a gym. I know that I said that it’s a light touch move, but the MOST fun is to deal with a red hot screamer shot that is very close to the ground. If you bang it hard and at just the right spot, the disc noses right up into the wind and hovers over your receiver. Not much more fun to be had than that. The MAC line has long been a popular game with 5 to 10 players lined up, each trying to slightly adjust the disc. This game also has been a part of ultimate sidellne play for quite a while. It’s fun to know that the move is still being explored and enjoyed. Thanks for highlighting it, Paul.

    • Wow, thanks Stork for all the detail. I wonder if someone can find a copy of that article. Maybe all those old Frisbee Worlds should be put online.

      Anyhow, I have been experimenting with a top touch MAC as well. I use it in a strong beach wind. I brush the disc into to the wind too steep on purpose. As the disc blows back and tries to escape, I try to find just the right place, pressure, and body part to touch it to nose it down and make it sit for me again. Every so often I do it just right with my nail so the touch can be extended into a micro top side delay.

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