Swiss Point – Target
Interchangeable Point System (Steel Tip)
Elsewhere within on A.I.M: you may have come across our review for the SP03 Darts from Target. The SP Range is brand new and offers some interesting and original designs. Its most attractive feature is what those initials (SP) stand for, Swiss Point.
For many years darts players and manufacturers have sought to make the replacement, or changing, of points a simple and attractive feature. In short, they failed. It was usually a fiddly task involving quite a lot of effort and a good few minutes per point. Not exactly ideal during a game or in between rounds.
Modern point innovations have made this quest even more urgent than previously. Has the Swiss Point solved these issues and will they catch on?
As can be seen, from the shot below, the Swiss Point is an all-round system with the barrels, the points and a specific tool, all designed and made for the purpose of swift, secure and simple point change. Each point is exactly the same as a standard version until the blank near the blunt end. A unique screw-in system is incorporated to the last section.
Swiss Point barrels, regardless of model, have the reverse of the screw within them. This ensures a perfect fit and a very solid feel.
There is a slot just below the blank. This is for the SP tool to grip and to ensure that a broken point can still be swapped in and out in very quickly indeed.
The current range of SP barrels is restricted to a range of specific SP darts (01-03) and the latest Generation of Phil Taylor’s darts (Gen 6). Phil himself seems very impressed:
“Swiss point is the biggest innovation in darts since Tungsten”
16 X World Champion Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor
The retail price of around £5 per set of points and £3 for a point tool represent good value and seems to have been pitched to include all. The comparative price of player models will be interesting to note.
We subjected the SP to rigorous testing with a variety of styles and players. We have a player who wanted to change his points according to the hardness of the board. He therefore changed them twice during a practice match. It took him less than 1 minute to change all three points and he could not tell the difference between these and his normal set-up.
We then introduced an amateur, who has only played twice, to try and change the points with the minimum of instruction. They also succeeded and did so within two minutes. The SP Tool simply fits over the point and locks onto the slot end of the point. A very few turns ensure the point can be detached and then
Even world champions seem to agree;
“I use Target Firepoints; as I like that extra grip for my finger on the point. With Swiss Point I can now swap out my points in seconds.”Rob Cross 2018 PDC World Champion
We then deliberately broke a point, by dropping on hard tiled floor, and indeed we changed the point just as easily with no problem whatsoever. Every change resulted in three perfect points, the same length and fit etc. with no variations or difficulties.
All three players reported no difficulties with the feel of the point and reported that they could not feel a difference at the point/barrel intersection.
All three of our testers gave the idea and the execution at least 8/10 and one of the 10/10. All could change the darts perfectly and in no more than two minutes. Their only question was how soon we thought they would get more models, and players darts, available.
It is always difficult to predict the success of an innovation, especially when it is only available on restricted models and from one company. Target have big plans for the SP;
“Our vision is to make Swiss Point the new standard and we see all our darts coming with Swiss Points as the new standard in the future. For me, Swiss Point is the biggest innovation Target has ever done and the one I am most excited about.” Garry Plummer MD Target Darts
A.I.M can see the SP being a huge success. If it is introduced to a wider range of models as quickly as possible, and not over-priced, we predict very high demand. Our only question mark is how the system/points will wear over a long period of time. Will the internal screw loosen, if changed often will the points wobble and clink. The build quality appears to be very high indeed and thus the problems are unlikely. But as with all things, the more moving parts, the more there is to go wrong.
We look forward to reporting back with a Swiss Point update in 6-12 months.
Article and testing produced for Darts World Magazine 2019.