Saturday, June 20, 2009

Personal Stats 2008/9

The past 4 Seasons' Stats

My personal win rate continued to improve in the season just gone, and I'm really pleased with the increase in both Doubles and Singles games wins.

I just felt generally more relaxed when playing, and even when I took a bashing (for example against Davey Gill in the Singles Cup - my 60 / 59 / 45 shots were no good against his constant 100+'s) I felt good and wanted to keep on playing. This is a big difference from previous seasons where I became discouraged too easily.

DartPro Practice Stats

I think practising a bit less has helped, as sometimes when I was practising several times a week it all became a bit of a slog, and by the time Tuesday night came along I wasn't enjoying the game as much.

The practice stats are far more constant however. Each of those orange bars represents a month's average 501 SS/DF and there's no improvement there. Just a strange pattern of peaks and troughs.

I can only conclude what we all know already : There's no substitute to playing competitively, and practice is just an opportunity to experiment with equipment, stance, and finishes. Its nice to be able to swear loudly in the house too - I'd be thrown out of the pub if I chuntered on like I do on the practice board.

Finals Night again showed the standard required. 15 and 18 dart finishes are very rare from me, but they were the standard currency from all of them last Tuesday.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Finals Night 2008 / 2009

Finals night was again held at Leadgate Cricket Club last night. The big screen was not in use this time, but there were plenty of great darts to see if you got near enough to the board.

Davey Gill and Timmy Richardson won the Doubles final with a strong 3-0 victory over Chris and Sean. I got to mark the board for this one, and thanks to Macca for asking me.

The Singles final was a tight affair with Davey Gill coming from 2-0 down to even it up for a tense final leg against Dave Dodds. DG would have been a very popular winner but he seemed to lose his way a little after a big finish to make it 2-2 and his first shot throwing first in the decider seemed to immediately hand the throw back to DD. From that point DD kept his nose in front and took the title after a night of great darts from him.

Congratulations to all who took part though. There were a couple of 180's on the night and some long strings of 100+ shots. It was all played to a very high standard as always

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Evolution Darts - My Verdict

Pictured : Switching to 19's

Firstly, sincere thanks to Zeeple and all the other people in the Shoot It Forward chain for allowing me the chance to try out something different, and these darts have been unlike anything I've thrown before.

As a thrower of 27g darts I found the step down to 17g to be a step too far, but I can still appreciate the quality of the Evolutions. The picture shows how I often needed to switch to 19's because the angle of the first dart would cover the T20, but I must stress this would have happened to me with any light dart. I might have fared better with something nearer the 20g mark.

I had no problem at all in finding the T20 with these, and it felt great when the first dart hit the T20 right in the middle of the bed. Strangely from this point 100's and 140's weren't as numerous as usual with such a good marker, but that would've come with more time.

  • Very high quality machining.
  • They feel absolutely superb in the hand.
  • The grip is the best I've thrown with. Those lugs allow you to position the dart perfectly in the hand. I don't get this consistent address with my current set.
  • The all-in-one design means you just need to replace flights - not stems.
  • They're different. No mean feat in dart design.
  • At 128 Euros they are a considered purchase which may deter people from experimenting with them. When you see the tolerances they are produced to on the Evolution site you can appreciate why they're not cheap.
  • They are only available in one weight, and a very light one at that. This is because they are a hard point version of a successful soft tip model, where heavy darts are not allowed. I'd love to see a tungsten version of these steel darts.
The Evolutions are fully recommended to throwers of light darts. If you play soft tip too you will be able to have a similar Evolution dart in this format to give you consistency across both disciplines.

Don't be put off by the price - If they are right for you they are worth it, and I really wish I threw lighter ones after two weeks with these. I've enjoyed my time with them, and now I'll post them on the to next person in the chain.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Evolutions at Practice Night

Sadly the Evolution darts didn't make much of an impression with the team at last night's practice. The main complaint from them was the light weight. Alan throws a light dart but even he found the Evolutions to be just too light for him.

I watched the darts hitting the board as they were thrown and they didn't look that bad to me but a couple of the players mentioned the darts veering in flight. This may be due to the grip, which takes a little more time than they had on Tuesday to become accustomed to. In contrast to this I have found the Evolutions have helped with my problem of veering into so many T5's and I'm a big fan of the grip.

It was a different story from Peter though. His first throw was millimetres away from being a maximum (T20, T20, S20), and the next two throws were both high scores with the T20 being found with ease.

Monday, June 08, 2009

The Evolutions - First Impressions

A ton forty

The Evolution darts certainly are unlike anything I've thrown before. They're a very dark “gun metal” colour with what appears to be an oxidised finish which I'm hoping will provide a good grip.

They spin perfectly true in a point protector block, indicating they've been well machined and pointed. Cheap darts don't do this, and give a wobble as you spin them in the block. I've often wondered if the wobble of cheap darts would give the benefit of a rifled effect when thrown (gyroscopically stabilizing them during flight), but I certainly feel better about darts which don't have the wobble.

They are shorter than my usual 5cm darts with Medium nylon stems attached. They're probably the same length as my usual darts with Short stems fitted, and of course with the Evolutions there is no option to alter the length due to their “all in one” design.

The first thing I checked was the flights end of the darts to see if there'd been any damage from incoming darts. They are fine though, with no damage at all. I must admit I'm nervous about causing any damage to them myself, as in the past I've wrecked a set of shafts in a single week. This isn't happening to me any more though, so maybe a combination of switching to 19's when the T20 is blocked and a better throw has developed over the last year.

At 17g (steel) They're a fair bit lighter than the 27g (95% tungsten alloy) I usually throw so they may not benefit me personally, but I'm going to give them a full and fair assessment.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

"Shoot It Forward" comes to Ebchester!

Evolution darts Picture courtesy of Zeeple

This morning I received in the post the set of Evolution "all-in-one" darts from Zeeple via Chavis Mutschler (spelling?) as Zeeple's "Shoot It Forward" concept comes to our small part of North East England.

You can read about Shoot It Forward here.

I'll post them on to the next person in the list when I receive instructions, but in the meantime I'll put them through their paces and post the results on here.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Chopwell 8 - 2 Chelmsford

[L to R] Mark, Kris, Jean, and Roger

Oi, get those glasses away from the table!

We signed off the 2008 / 2009 season with an 8-2 defeat up at Chopwell, on a warm evening. The games progressed pretty much in the same manner as last week, but this time we were unable to take enough of our chances in what turned out to be 10 evenly matched legs.

Top marks to Lena and Alan P though, scoring our only two points of the night in their Singles games to put us on the scoreboard and avoid a whitewash.

We had a great time up there to round off a really enjoyable season which should see us finish in roughly 6th place from 15 teams, and I'm really not going to read too much into last night's defeat. We did enough over the season to allow us the odd off night.