Monday, September 12, 2011

Unusual Darts

Over the weekend I was in Hastings playing in a Club NZ Puma Open singles and then open pairs held at The National Service Club, Market Street, Hastings. While I was there I met Peter Bennett of the Petone Working Men's Club who was also competing. Peter is an engineer by trade and made the darts in the above photo. If you look at them you will see the dart barrels are narrower than the plastic stems. Peter told me he made them from a much larger set of darts which he put on a lath and machined down. He did not intend to make them that thin but only the same thickness as the plastic end of the stem but due to a faulty setting on the lath made them a half a millimeter thinner than he intended. The plastic on the end of the stem is actually trimmed by Peter so it does not hang over the edge of the barrel. If you take the stems out where the stem screws into the barrel the metal is paper thin. The darts weigh just 11 grams.
I had a throw with them and they are very well balanced and flew nicely. I thought they might not have enough weight to stick in the board but they went in easily. Peter said when he made the mistake on one barrel he had to make them all the same size. He then after making them had a throw with them and scored 140 so decided to stick with them.
The advantage is when you get one in the treble 20 there is so much space left to put the other two. I think psychologically at least playing with these darts a player would have confidence after getting one dart in the treble of being able to fit more.
You will see that Peter uses slick sticks to hold his flights. He tells me the slick sticks shown are 5 years old. I have used these types of slick sticks myself but was put off because they would develop a bend with use and I felt it might effect their flight in subtle ways. Peter tells me he keeps his straight by every now and again sticking them in boiling water which Peter feels straightens them. It might be worth a try and save you money in the long term. It is not what the stem manufacturers would want to hear though. An advantage of the slick sticks for the poor sighted player is that it is easier to put in your flights compared to a normal stem.

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