Author Archives: aimadjuster

Snapshot Review: Winmau Pro Line 25g.

A sjort and snappy look at the tungsten part of the Winmau Pro-Line range. The range seems to seek to provide high end but usable products without the player premium.

  • Product: Steel Tip darts
  • Brand: Winmau
  • Model: Pro-Line 25g
  • Material: 90% Tungsten
  • Variation: Black Onyx Coated
  • RRP: £34.90

General:

An excellent tapered dart with a high level ringed grip. The Pro-Line are a non player dart in a classic tapered shape made distinctive by a black onyx coating.

Image 5
Grab a set of Winmau Pro Line

As is the case across the board Pro line are simply packaged with three barrels, a Winmau point protector and a complimentary set up. The Prism Force Flight & Stem set is premium quality and coloured to match.

Specs:

  • Length: 50.8mm
  • Width: 6.7mm (Widest)
  • Material: 90% Tungstem (Black Onyx Coated)
  • Point: Black Steel (Standard)
  • Grip: Ring Cut (Fine) Double Spaced Pattern.

Player Quotes:

” There is something of the RVB style in these but more aggressive grip”

” Very nice balance and the Onyx seems to make the grip more comfortable even with a strong grip”

” Very good dart for a mid barrel thrower”

Debbie Downers:

Although these look a simple dart they are a bit more complex than first glance suggests. The grip pattern and the deep cut grooves near, the stem end, seemed to limit the areas that the dart can be effectively held. The simpler your grip and throw the better.

Variations:

Pro Line is a major Winmau range of high-quality non player items to cover almost all your darting needs. There are shirts, hoodies, bags and many other ‘Pro Line’ ranges. Unusually the darts themselves are available in both odd and even weights from 21-26g. This is a superb touch for those discovering their ideal weight or those thinking of tweeking. They are a superb place to start.

Set Ups:

AIM: tested two different weights (22 and 25g) with the original Prism Force set ups and found them to be very effective for a direct thrower. switching to a tweenie stem and a thinner flight allowed more arc to the flight and a very relaxed, almost dropping, technique proved very effective indeed.

A brief test with a moulded flight system did not seem to suit this model and was soon abandoned.

Durability:

The grip style and the Onyx covering seem to go well together and after 50 or so legs there was little sign of use. As with all coatings there will be wear and tear but this may actually be a positive as it will soften the feel of the dart. The aggressive grip and solid build leads to some flight and stem damage but this is well within the normal range. With traditional flight and stem sets this will not prove a burden.

Snapshot:

AIM: testers liked this dart and, for the price, all agreed it was well worth a try. It is simple and once you have located your grip zone Pro Line do not require a lot of getting used to.

If you have a simple throw and a perhaps a relaxed ‘dropping throw’ somewhat like Barney or even a ‘mid career’ Taylor then you may like to eperiment with these.

£34 (Plus postage, order here) for a 90% coated dart with this design and finish quality is very good value and with the selection available you would struggle to go wrong with Pro Line.


Pro line can be ordered from Red Dragon Online here

Payne Moves To Red Dragon

Red Dragon are not resting on their laurels or letting the grass grow under their feet. Instead it seems they are trying to identify talent that they can develop and improve. In doing so they seem interested in a group of players who could be classed as a lost generation. Another such player has just been announced:

JOSH PAYNE, Darts’ Hot-Stepper, joins Red Dragon darts on a 5-year deal that sees him join darts coolest brand until 2026.

Fighting hard from a very young age Josh made steady progress on the World’s toughest stage at the PDC where the young, charismatic player has already amassed a great level of experience and several wins in the professional game. 

Earning his PDC Tour Card back in 2013, Josh finished in the top 2 of the Youth Tour and has retained his place on the PDC Pro Tour ever since.

Payne, a multiple event winner on all the tours that the PDC offers, Development, Challenge and Pro is one of the game’s best young talents.

Speaking with Red Dragon about his recent signing, Josh said, “I’m very excited to start this next stage of my career with Red Dragon. I have spoken with the development team and their attention to detail is amazing, I really think I can kick on in my career now, like many of the top Red Dragon players that have developed over the years”.

Josh’s new deal will see him working with Red Dragon until at least 2026 and Simon Hall, Marketing Director for Red Dragon added,

“We are so happy to add Josh to our brand as he is not only a fantastic person but a super darts player with great ambition who has proven he has what it takes to win. With our technical and mechanical expertise, we’ll be doing everything we can to help Josh reach his potential.”

There is little doubt that Josh has the ability to resurrect his top flight career. Often a change in routine, personnel and a general reset can assist and its possible that Harrows was almost too comfortable for Josh. What remains to be seen is whether Red Dragon can add those extra ingredients and whether the young man is willing to make the changes needed?
—–ENDS—–
Lead Image: Red Dragon

The Myth Of Adding Gramms

​NO this is not another article on the dangers of obesity, nor is it a guide to healthy eating for darts players. Instead, we’re taking a look at one of the most popular techniques adopted by players who seek to improve their game or restore former glories.

Over the past decade, AIM has encountered a number of professional players who have either endured a tough spell or who think that they need to add something to their game in order to improve their performance at the higher levels of the game. Almost all of them have flirted, at minimum, with increasing the weight of their arrows. When asked they all repeat the same mantras: “It will increase my consistency, I need to add some stability” “A little extra weight will help me increase my doubles percentage” or “As I have gotten older I feel I need more solidity” Personally, we blame Phil Taylor!

The Power made a quantum leap late in his career by adding at least 2 grams to his standard weight. But those who cite Phil’s incredible effort forget the most important part of the change. Taylor not only changed weight but also transformed the shape of his arrows and his entire setup. Instead of a heavily gripped parallel barrel, he adopted a bomb shape similar to that of John Lowe.

Using the Stoke legend’s remarkable reconstruction as an excuse to go from, say, 20 to 23/24g, for no reason other than hope, is doomed to failure. Players who have achieved great success with 18-21g darts suddenly seem to think that adding multiple grams will improve their consistency and remove some of the small errors that have crept into their game. Often we find that this is merely a way to avoid tackling actual problems. Such issues can be technical or psychological but are rarely solved with such a blunt tool as weight.

We do not oppose change; indeed equipment assessment is a very early part of working with any new player. We have found that subtle changes in grip, flight shape, and even point type can assist players or add a small percentage to their performance. But we always ask: What is the perceived problem? What do you want to change? Why do you want to change it? How will you measure its success?

Older players may find that the sensitivity in their fingers has dulled and thus they may benefit from increasing the grip on their barrel. Elite players may benefit from using older darts in floor events and brand new sets on stage, or the other way around. Newcomers to the game should experiment with various weights and styles during practice and then play matches with the darts that feel most comfortable.

Dennis gently moved up, from 13g to 17g, throughout his storied career.



Like all rules or guidelines, there are exceptions. If you use a very light dart (12-17g) you may find that adding small amounts adjusts for natural changes in muscle elasticity due to age. Dennis Priestley (Above) gradually increased the weight of his darts, from around 13g, over more than a decade, to 17g. Wayne Warren added two grams in the months before his World Championship win; his form had dipped severely over the previous 6 months, although this was prompted by a wrist injury.

So, before you take the easy option and ‘blame your tools’, try smaller steps first. Make any changes one at a time and give every change a fair opportunity, in all conditions, to succeed or fail.

Our experience of working with highly talented players has shown that subtle grip changes, minimal profile adjustments, and working on confidence and relaxation are far more effective than dramatic weight gain. Again, in darts, as in life.

—–ENDS—–
Article originally appears in Darts World Magazine (Issue 574) order yours now!

Diamonds, Gold and Tungsten: Peter’s Perfect Combo

AIM were asked to contribute a few thoughts toward this very good overview of why Peter Wright’s eye catching new model had proved such an instant success:

Peter Wright credits his resurgent performances to a small addition of one of his favourite dart models. The new World Matchplay champion has credited the addition of a gold coating to his Euro 11 Element diamond gripped barrel. 

Fellow dart professional Josh Payne, himself a Pro Tour winner, suggested the change during a recent practice session. Although it was merely a suggestion as to improving the darts cosmetic appeal. Peter was taken with the idea and even made a DIY version with some gold paint! 

Soon enough the folk at Red Dragon, Peter’s darts manufacture/sponsor, had found a better method of adding a coating to the production process and the initial prototypes were made and it’s fair to say that they have done OK so far!

No, you may think to yourself that ‘just a colour change’ can’t make all that difference. However, history, tech, and analysis would suggest it may well well have been the final piece of the jigsaw. Did we ask our team why and how?

The Wright Hybrid:

One of Darts World’s Coaching Corner members has long argued that the diamond fusion grip offered by Red Dragon (on their Element range) could be close to the perfect grip.

” The surface provided by Diamond fusion and the player’s fingers is absolutely ideal for a smooth release or ‘launch’. The only downside is that for many, it needs to be worn in. Peter has had high-level success with a very worn set of ‘Diamond’ gripped darts that became the Melbourne Special Edition.”

Our contributor thinks it’s possible that adding the gold coating has softened the grip, or at least its feel, much earlier in the darts life. Thus it has become the perfect hybrid for Peter’s priorities. The feel is similar to that worn diamond, the base model is one he has huge success with (Euro 11) and the look matches Peter’s need for a dash of flamboyance.

Psychological:

Darts World’s product tester and contributor Joe Reid feels that the psychological element plays a big role in Peter’s decisions. 

” Peter has said in the past that part of his frequent changing of equipment is to keep his focus. He said that using the same set he becomes lazy. I feel that the coating could be a psychological change. The dart will have a familiar feel but with a big enough change to ensure that he adjusts and re focuses in order to use them”

Strive for perfection, achieve excellence:

Accuracy ‘Supercoach’ Steve Feeney suggests that its a combination of that heightened sense of feel that Peter clearly possesses with a ceaseless quest to achieve even the tiniest improvement:

 “As well as the visual aspects that we’ve seen Peter work on, he has a heightened sense of feel. Players such as Peter can feel or sense every minute change or fraction of a gram difference. Feel is so important to Peter, the dart must feel perfect and if it does not he will continue to strive for perfection.”

“We know from all sports and other research that striving toward perfection can lead to excellence.”

Historical:

Our testers at AIM180 reminded us that this is not the first time player has recaptured their best by adding gold to their tools. Their analyst said:

” In the very late 1980s, John Lowe started to use a gold-coated dart. He said publically that he was delighted with it as it gave him all the advantages of tungsten – with the weight and density – but the feel was more reminiscent of the brass darts from his very early day. This hybrid suited Lowey perfectly and enjoyed great success with them. A surprise World title in 1993 and some remarkable efforts against Taylor et al. in the PDC years.” It’s noticeable that he never went back or altered anything else during the rest of his pro career.

Peter’s Preference:

Over the years it’s clear that Peter has had a preference for the design used in the Snakebite Euro 11 Element PC-20 Gold. Initially, it was a standard ring gripped dart, similar to MVG’s, later the element grip was added. There followed a string of models such as the Mamba and Viper designs that were variations on the theme.

Despite the runaway success of his World Championship winning design, it was clear that Peter could, not shake his instinct for the Euro 11 design. Indeed Wright had smashed the average record on the Pro Tour with a set only weeks before winning that World title with a different design. Finally, has he found the perfect version of his preferred weapons?

Perhaps we should leave the final word to Joe Reid:

“The gold perhaps reflect that he is a champion, and that, for Peter, it gives that extra confidence boost, evident from his Matchplay success”

—–ENDS—–

Article originally appeared at dartsworld.com
Images: Red Dragon Design​

Not ‘just a Virage’ – A snapshot look at superb value dart

We couldn’t help but notice the latest ‘Deal of the Week’ from Red Dragon. The Virage rang a bell and we looked back through some testing reports done a little while ago. We came across some notes that had not been made into a review at the time. We have tidied them into a snapshot for anyone considering parting with their hard-earned:

Dimensions:

Red Dragon Virage 21g. (Also available in 22 and 23g)
Material – 90% Tungsten.
Finish – Bronze/Natural
Langth & Width – 50.8 mm 6.2mm

Open The Box:

Virage comes simply presented in Red Dragon retail packaging. The three barrels, in this case 21g, are coupled with Nitrotech stems in black and a bronze-colored set of hardcore flights. The points are standard silver stainless steel.

The supplied setup works well and is stable for newer players whilst firm enough to allow for direct throwers to benefit. An interesting alternative proved to be an in-between stem and a smaller std shape flight.

Testers Views:

The general approach was that Virage is a very good dart. If you are a straight barrel fan then these could be for you. The coating is excellent, combining the natural look & feel but with the subtle colouring that stands off the board.

“Imagine a ‘Bristow Barrel’ with a little more feel to the grip. The switch in grip, after the name blank, is handy for rear grippers who like purchase for the thumb or fingers.”

“The slightly shaped lower 2/3 of the barrel has additional grip compared to the usual ring grooves….. Very handy if you like to rest the dart rather than grip it.”

“The rounded nose is halfway between a full nose cone and a snub or bullnose. It works really well and is comfortable while assisting in grouping and limits the damage from deflections”.

Snapshot:

All-round this is an excellent dart. 90% and a silica style coating for the current offer price of less than £25!

More details of the Virage offer and order here

—–ENDS—–

Original appeared here at Darts World

Original Column appears in Darts World 575 OUT NOW

A Golden Matchplay: Sunshine, A Stirring defence and Peter’s New darts

The ingredients that lead to a memorable sporting event are many fold. The three mentioned in the title played their part in a tearful Peter Wright claiming the 2021 Betfred World Matchplay, on Sunday night, ending Dimitri Van den Bergh’s hopes of back-to-back titles with a sensational 18-9 triumph in Blackpool.
 
World number two Wright had lost in the Winter Gardens final four years ago, but this time lifted the trophy named in honour of his conqueror in 2017 – Phil Taylor – to cap a memorable tournament.
 
Wright had won through to the final with a stunning defeat of Michael van Gerwen in the semi-finals, and treated a capacity Winter Gardens crowd to another superb performance in the final:

“That one was for Jo [Wright’s wife],”said an emotional Wright. “She’s been through a lot over the last year or so, but she insisted she would be here for the final.

“I’ve backed up what I said to everyone a month back. “A lot of players have commentated saying I should leave the talking to my darts and that’s what I’ve done.

“I used to watch the World Matchplay as a kid and now my name is on the trophy forever and that’s special.

“It was amazing to lift that trophy in front of this amazing crowd. “As soon as I walked on, the crowd were behind me and it was a real goosebumps moment, the hairs stood up on the back of my neck.”
 
Wright averaged 105.90 in the final and claimed a £150,000 prize, denying Van den Bergh – who spent three months living with his opponent during lockdown in 2020 – the chance to become only the fourth player to retain the title
 
Wright was clinical in punishing early Van den Bergh misses to open up leads of 3-0 and 4-1, before reeling off four straight legs – including breaks of throw in 11 and 12 darts – to move 8-2 up.
 
Van den Bergh stepped in following five uncharacteristic misses from his rival in leg 11, and produced a 12-darter to reduce the gap to 8-4.
 
Wright, though, restored his cushion with a 13-dart leg and produced a ten-darter to move 10-4 up and close in on glory.
 
Van den Bergh rallied, finishing 87, 96 and 84 in winning four of the next six to pull back to 12-8, only for an 11-darter from Wright to halt his momentum.
 
The Scot then took out 62 to lead 14-8 and punished misses from the reigning champion in the next two legs as he edged clear.


After Wright then took out 84 on the bull to create a 17-8 cushion, Van den Bergh landed the game’s only ton-plus checkout of 105, but it proved to be only a consolation as Wright sealed the deal with a 13-dart leg on double nine.
 
Van den Bergh picked up £70,000 as runner-up following a stout defense of his title, which included a victory over World Champion Gerwyn Price and a second-round record 14 180s in his defeat of Dave Chisnall.

The popular Belgian remained upbeat despite a frustrating final, with his run on his Winter Gardens debut seeing him become just the second player in the tournament’s history to reach the final in his first two World Matchplay appearances.

“Every game I’ve played, I’ve dug deep and played my best but tonight Peter was just outstanding,” said Van den Bergh.
“Of course it was a disappointment [to lose] but I can say that I gave everything and never gave up.

“I said to Peter that I’ll be back stronger. I’m number five in the world and I’m only 27, so I’ve got time on my side.”

2021 Betfred World Matchplay Final
Sunday July 25
Peter Wright 18-9 Dimitri Van den Bergh
—–ENDS—–

Lead Image: PDC (L Lustig)

Mark Webster: Diamond SE

​A new mark Webster dart always serves to remind us just how good Mark is and what he managed to contribute to the game at such an early stage. Webby was Lakeside World Champion and twice third in the PDC version and provided a welcome contrast to the perception of dart players.

Mark Webster’s weapons of choice have undergone a radical reformation over the past few years. The 2008 World Champion began his career using a very simple tungsten barrel with a snub nose and a few grooves on the lower sections. His latest weapons are about as far away as you can get. Winmau have leveraged much of their technical know-how into this elegant but unfussy dart.

General:

This latest edition has just been released, for the 2021 collection, by Marks’ longtime manufacture. Two sections of ‘black diamond’ grip have been added to the dart on either side of the lightly grooved centre section. This addition has transformed the dart.

Open the Box:

The three, 90%, tungsten barrels come tucked into a branded point protector and a colour coordinated set – up of Vectra stems (3) and Prism Alpha flights. Black steel points are supplied and fitted.

Testing feedback:

The difference, from previous Webster signature models, is remarkable. The revamp gives the appearance of real muscle while retaining their precision instrument performance. The ‘black diamond’ grip sections give almost every type of thrower a way to get the most out of them. You can even use the two sections as a guide of where not to hold them! The simple barrel design still does its no-fuss job but the new grip zones seem to add assured confidence that was not there previously.

Set-Up & Durability:

We have always found the diamond range to be exceptionally durable and, for some players, the more worn in they are the better they’re liked. With the supplied set up Mark’s dart suits most conventional throwers. Rear holders added more tapered stems and a smaller sized std flight to get a less direct flight path.

Snapshot:

The Mark Webster (2021) signature dart is a premium dart with a no-nonsense look and feel. There are no unnecessary cosmetics and, as a result, the dart is as reliable as it is impressive. They can be used to great effect by a wide cross-section of throwers although we expect that they will prove exceptionally popular with methodical players who like to power score and not mess about. At around £55 they are good value and slightly less than some premier models.

Marks: 9/10

The marks ranged from 8.5 to 9.5 for functionality, looks, performance, and value. 9/10 seems a fair result for this excellent addition to the 2021 player market.

——–ENDS——-
Originally published in Darts World Magazine (573)

Testing by: AIM:180 Ltd​

Board Room News – Spring 2021

A society and darts are making swift progress toward some form of normality need only to look at the activity emanating from darts’ boardrooms, and head muckety-muck’s offices. New ranges are being prepared, production plans are being laid down and opinions are being sought from almost every corner. Perhaps the most obvious indicator comes in what we term ‘the transfer market’.

Talent signing:

The snapping up of new talent or those who may have made a step change during 2020, in addition the retention of ‘brand assets’ seems a weekly event currently. As good as new. Usually, when football fans hear these words it means upcoming disappointment in the next transfer window. However, the extension of Jonny Clayton’s contract could indeed be the equivalent of signing a major winner. The popular Welshman represents a tribute to Red Dragon’s ability to nurture ‘homegrown’ talent and maximize its potential. Gary Anderson extending his arrangements with Unicorn, for a further five years, seems to confirm a steady as she goes approach from the grand old lady of darts.

Management Capital:

The management sector has seen the likes of Adam Gawlas join TSMC whilst Micheal Smith has joined the reassuring arms of Darting Promotions. Whilst others are shedding players or holding their horses, the West Midlands area is fast becoming a stronghold in this area of the darts ecosystem. TSMC has a phenomenal group of major winning talent (see cover story) and along with Darting Promotions are seeing the rewards from a player-centred approach.

On a Mission:

Mission darts have stepped up their player involvement. Since their launch in 2019 Mission had seemed to concentrate on reproducing popular models and focusing heavily on what could be described as premium generic ranges. Late in 2020, they seemed to switch approach and move into the player-endorsed equipment market. Wayne Mardle gave them a star name/ ambassador and the signature of breakthrough star Alan Soutar may signify a new boldness. The Boardroom team will be keeping a close eye on the insurgent brand.

Broadcast News:

MODUS has stepped forward again to initiate a new innovative series of live darts events. Their ‘Live League’ is full of star names and performances are beginning to match. Fallon Sherrock, Martin Adams, Richie Burnett and our own Colin Osborne make regular appearances and seem to be relishing new opportunities. When, in 1995, Barry Hearn talked of 250 hours a year of TV darts many mocked the bold pronouncement. Across all platforms even that figure now seems almost derisory. As he steps into retirement even ‘Uncle Barry’ might be impressed.

Thank you, sir.


—–ENDS—–

Featured Image: Barry Hearn (PDC)
Original article appeared in Issue 574 of Darts World magazine.
Grab your copy (subscription or back issues bundle) here

Herewini Weapons

WORLD CUP winners don’t grow on trees​. In darts, as in any sport, they highly rare and possess a combination of talent and toughness that sees them perform with distiction on many other occasions. Darren Herewini claimed the WDF’s World Cup singles in 2019. Like all of us his momentum has since been arrested by Covid and related issues. The tide may however be turning for the New Zealand thrower as Winmau launched his signature barrel last week.

NEW ZEALAND star and World Cup singles winner Darren Herewini has designed his latest barrel to suit his technically perfect and modern throw. The mesmeric Maori has captured many fans with his exciting and flamboyant style, many have been awaiting his signature darts with anticipation.

First Impressions:

Darren has gone for a dual-grip front weighted style that he feels helps him get the smoothest trajectory to the board. They look to be almost a hybrid of classic design barrels from the past. The darts feel long in the hand with a stronger grip at the rear which is reminiscent of Bob Anderson, the stem join has no blank similar to Wez Newton and is and soft control at the front with wide-spaced grooves, this area looks more a tribute to Rees or Lowe.

The bronze-coloured onyx coating is an underestimated finish that has proven successful at every level and in a variety of designs. The colour contrasts against both board and wires but does not glare or catch the eye in between darts.

Open the Box:

To complement the bronzed dart Winmau has selected short Prism stems and flights in black and black/grey. Mounted in the Winmau point protector and the usual retail packaging the overall impression is of high quality and intriguing item.

Available online from reddragondarts.com

Dimensions:

The 24g edition are 50.8mm in length with a maximum width of 6.8mm. The barrel is 90% tungsten and coated in bronzed coloured onyx.

It will be interesting to see how Darren returns to competition after the lockdown and if he can resume his career with at least some momentum remaining. His new weapons and a chance to defend/regain his World Cup singles title and then perhaps seek more majors and even a PDC career.

Will he go on to emulate previous winners such as eric Bristow or Raymond Van Barneveld? Darren may instead reflect the efforts of his immediate predessessors Jim Williams and Jeff Smith who, although not reaching the starry heights, both reached World finals and are enjoying fine careers.

In the meantime, we shall have to satisfy ourselves with a full review of his new darts. Our testers are very impressed and can’t wait to give them a full workout.

——ENDS—— ​

100 Pages That Sum Up An Unforgetable Year – Free 2020 E-Magazine

Our friends over at Darts World magazine have covered almost significant moment in our sports modern incarnation. But even in their 49 years they can not have seen anything like 2020.

So, perhaps, to draw a line under the events during the twelve months from January 2020 they, with the help of Red Dragon darts, have produced a superb scrapbook style e-magazine. Even better its downloadable FREE of charge to all darts fans.

Simply click below the image to read or download your own FREE copy:

Download or Read

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