Jose de Sousa’s superb efforts throughout 2020 have increased interest in the equipment used by the Portuguese. Along with Devon Petersen, Jose uses a combination of Trinidad barrels and Condor AXE set-ups. Our testers have been getting to grips with the Jose (Type 2):
Product: Steel Tip Darts
Materials: 90% Tungsten
Dimensions: 55mm x 6.2mm
The Jose (type II) is the signature dart of the latest PDC major champion Jose De Sousa (Portugal). They are a parallel barrel with two main grip zones and a slight snub/curve at the nose. There are small centre name blanks and an even smaller one at the stem junction.
Open the Box:
The type II are supplied as three barrels etched with the Trinidad name and mounted in a branded point protector. Inside the standard retail packaging are three Trinidad phased colour poly stems and three Trinidad standard shape flights. Standard stainless steel points are fitted and are a good place to start before any personalization.
“These are a very unusual dart, I love the grip contrast between the section” (Elite player)
“ I throw quite a soft dart so these seem to work nicely for me, once you get used to the length” (Serious amateur)
“You can hold them in so many different ways and places, it takes quite a while to work out what’s best” (Youth player).
The grip zones, on this unusual dart, are excellent. The higher zone is grippy but creates an impression smoother than reality. This allows for either firm or light holding styles. The lower section is more aggressive and is handy for light grippers or those who steady the dart with a lightly placed guide finger. Both are superbly machined and the overall impression is one of excellent manufacture and design.
The standard supplied setup works ok but the Jose seems to come to life when you start to adjust them to your style. Direct throwers used a short stem and small standard flight to great effect and the more arc style players found a molded fixed flight set up to be the best by a long way.
The Condor AXE set up that Jose puts his name to was outstanding and seemed to have been made for the light but long dart. We recommend at least trying this if possible.
After over 100 legs the darts have very few wear marks and event the more delicate grip zone appears in perfect condition. The lower grip zone can cause flight and stem wear but only in similar ways to many other similar models.
The length of these can be difficult for those who use a wristy technique as getting over the dart before release can be hard to master. Also, the fact that they can be used in so many different ways leaves some players struggling to pick a method and stick to it.
Our testers were very impressed with this dart most had not used or seen Trinidad dart before and were happy to consider them in the future. The overall quality was excellent and the packaging and presentation, while simple, was professional and effective.
The grip zones were universally praised with the stem/top section being especially admired. The lower section was more individual and may suit some more than others. The blanks and grip areas were well located and suited to many types of throw.
The length and width of the dart gave it a surprisingly solid feel for such a light end dart. Players who usually use 21 and 22g models were quite happy to throw the Jose II and one or two used them in practice and match scenarios.
At almost £70 these are toward the premium end of the market and there was some debate at whether this represented value. Much of this concerned cosmetics and was really opinion. For a specialist style, highly unusual dart, with a high design and machining spec, we feel you could not expect to pay much less.
The four main testers were split between eight and the maximum ten, and thus the overall score averaged out at nine, put simply if you can find your way of throwing these you will love them. If not you may be less keen but still appreciate their quality.
The testers agreed that Jose II is an impressively designed and manufactured barrel. The length to weight ratio is an unusual and welcome addition to the market. Although at the higher end the manufacture and originality of the dart and the machining and design standard justify the costs. The player who will benefit most is the lighter, more direct style with less loop in their trajectory.
Testing and report by AIM:ltd (@aim180ltd)
Appeared at dartsworld.com