Darts & Stuff of Interest

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or 'Got Grip'?

I received my 'final notice' from FedEx on Thursday and in a panic (ok not totally) headed to the FedEx store to find what had arrived for me and that I might have missed. You see, we'd had a lot of wind lately and FedEx notices had apparently blown off the door at least twice earlier so I had no idea something had arrived that FedEx would not drop off. This only happens when you have to sign for it and that generally means it's something from overseas which for me means someone sent me something to take a look at. And that my friends, makes for an exciting day!

Well, you might have guessed it, from the title and all, but what arrived were two sets of Shot Darts and needless to say I was excited to check them out.

The first set I opened were the new Ronin REI's

My first impression was quite simply WOW! What Grip! These REI's are simply superb when it comes to grip! In fact, I immediately thought of Rainman (Kevin Luke) who commented last summer when he saw my custom Red Dragon's that they didn't have enough grip for him. He needs a LOT of grip and let me tell you bud, these puppies have it in spades!

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Seriously, ouch even! Holy cow! Frankly I'm loving this and want to head out to a board asap! ok, I'll be honest, I have one at home (and the office, and my cabin and some extra's tucked away here and there) but I wanted to try them out on a soft machine since that's what I'm playing these days after all. So I snuck off to my favorite watering hole and started hitting the board.

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Not the prettiest hat-trick in the world but then it's me throwing it and not the Crafty Cockney back in the 80's so forgive me ;)

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I've been fighting dartitis...
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I have to admit that I could not find these darts for sale in the US, or for that matter anywhere but the Netherlands, so they might be tough to get but I think worth the look. As I was unable to locate them for sale (other than NL) I'm also only guessing on the price of about $55. I see tungsten versions run over $100 but the brass darts of similar design and by WINMAU run $56-$64 in the USA.

These darts come with steel conversion tips which worked very well, soft tips and extra flights and shafts. They do not come with a case but then I don't use a case anyway and always just toss them out when they come (if I'm keeping the darts) so it doesn't make much sense to me to send a case with them anyway.

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The darts are larger than most modern darts, which is to be expected because they are made from brass, but they are only just barely larger than my own soft tip darts which Red Dragon made for me by drilling out the barrels of my 24g steel dart. I insisted I wanted the same barrel size and shape but light enough to play NDA Electronic darts and they made it happen.

I should note that I started with Brass darts back in 1976 but these are not the brass darts your grandad, or I, started with. Ours were big, fat and plain really and came with Turkey Feathers (that's what we called them) and these are a modern, precision machined dart well suited to today's players!

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So, the idea of reviewing these Scott Waites Onyx darts intrigued me because they were just slightly larger than my own and I like a larger dart. I tend to laugh when someone tells me they need thinner darts to hit more 180's and ask them if they've ever seen John Lowe's darts? Heck aren't Taylor Phase 5's kinda wide too? Width has nothing to do...
I received a set of these Scott Waites darts from WINMAU today and started my assessment. On first blush I was surprised how big there are and how heavy they felt! They are only 20 grams and just slightly larger than my own darts but feel bigger in the hand which personally, I like!

Too often I think darts are too darn small for my bigger hands and fingers and I need to feel the dart in my hand not some needle of a dart only elves and wraiths can throw!

So, I'll bang away with these and see how they fly and let you know my thoughts on them as soon as I have a chance to really toss them a bit.

Meanwhile, here's an interesting 140 I tossed with them almost immediately after sticking the flights on them.

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And a shot of them with my dart for comparison ...
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Stay tuned.
Hampshire's Paul 'Crocodile Dundee' Hogan is the 2017 Worthington’s Champion of Champions winner, defeating last year's winner Jonny Clayton in a nail-biting final at Cardiff's St. David's Hall.

Going into the final, Clayton looked to be favourite following an almost faultless 13 and 14 dart semi-final win. He certainly had the crowd on his side, especially when he won the bull for the throw and started the first leg with throws of 140, 100 and 140.

Hogan kept pace though, with two tons and a 140 of his own. When it came to finding a finish, nerves affected the two players, with both needing 12 darts to close the first leg - Hogan pinning double four for a 21 darter.

One nil up and with the throw in the second leg, the momentum swung towards Hogan when he hit a ton with his first three darts. Clayton responded though with two tons of his own and when he hit a 180, the only one in the final, the Pembrokeshire man looked good to square the game.
He needed just 66 with Hogan back on 164. The Berkshire Super League player hit treble 20 with his first dart and had to check his second. When the treble 18 was confirmed it seemed inevitable that the bullseye would follow. And it did - a 15 darter to wrap up the final and claim the 2017 Worthington's Champion of Champions crown two legs to nil. In typical humble style, Hogan counted himself lucky to win the first leg. "Best of three is such a tough format," he said. "You just have to take every chance you get and really go for it. No half measures.

"Jonny is a wonderful player and the defending champion, but he let me in and I took my chance. I thought he'd squared things up when hit that maximum to leave a two darter, but when I threw that final dart at bullseye I knew it was going close."

Having lost in the last eight of the 2016 tournament, Hogan is understandably delighted to go further this year. Not only did he beat last year's winner, but he also beat Tony Darlow, last year's runner up, in the last...
I've been thinking allot about practice and why we shoot certain practice games or routines and recently came across an old post here that really sums it up well for me (and I wrote it 11 years ago!)....in response to a post by user Taechon I wrote: In my opinion, for what its worth, {when shooting 100 darts at the 20's] the [score of] 107 represents your low end results and the 151 represents your current high. Both are decent scores, but the 151 suggests a capability of very high quality darts. The 107 suggests you are human and cannot always play at 100%.

The problem with darts is that we are human and we cannot throw with the precision of a rifle -- which still isn't perfect. When I was in the Marine Corps I used to be able to put rounds down range with a very high degree of accuracy, but that didn't mean that I hit the same holes each time -- though I could often 'keyhole' rounds. But that's with a rifle which is far more likely to be nearly perfect -- when compared to a dart!

With darts there are so many factors involved that even the very best dart players shoot their darts in more of a shotgun pattern -- albeit Phil Taylor's pattern is extremely tight. Thus being human, we will have good rounds and not so good rounds.

The 100 darts practice is just that, practice, and does not represent what we will do in competition, it only provides us with a means to improving our throwing mechanics, our grouping.

Think of it like choking a shotgun -- we are trying to choke it up as tight as we can, but sometimes wires, flights, barrels, elbows, shirts, smoke and who knows what else, gets in the way. So we just have to keep banging away until we get that group to the size of a quarter and try to keep it there.

Lastly, if you just happen to have a poor run it could be related to focus, luck, or just being human. It's the good runs that I focus on because they tell me what my potential is. That is better then an average in my opinion, because an average doesn't...