Darts World lets our readers have their voice heard and, it’s fair to say, our reader *Elias Wilhelm has gone from gentle homage to the Winter Gardens, to a full blast at some of our senior Pro’s:
In recent years, many young players, such as Aspinall, Dobey or De Zwaan, have attracted a lot of attention. Slowly, but surely they supplant themselves into the world’s elite. Slightly older players just can’t seem to keep up.
How can it be that these are being harassed by young players from their place at the top of the world? Terry Jenkins, Ronnie Baxter, Mervyn King, Kevin Painter, Andy Hamilton, Robert Thorton. These were all players who have played in the Premier League in the last ten years. Now some have almost completely disappeared, while some have to fight to keep their spot on the tour.
Raymond van Barneveld ended his career simply because he no longer had the ability to win. He was in pain. It was too hard for him to endure, to go to tournaments, and hardly ever to win.
In addition, many trips were a problem for him. His departure was then at the end of last year full of disgrace. That’s exactly how many older players feel. The whole trips back and forth is much too exhausting. The tournament calendar is getting more and more crowded.
The tournaments are indispensable for them because otherwise, they would drop in the rankings. That’s why they have no choice if they want to stay successful, they have to play and play and play. On top of that, strong young players join in. Especially the players, like Nathan Aspinall, who are almost unstoppable. Full of energy, they’re pushing up the rankings. Also players, like Humphries or Van Den Bergh, who beat big players every now and then and score good results.
All this makes it difficult for the older players, which is why it is no wonder that they are slowly being ousted from the world elite. Experience no longer plays such a big role and young players have a lot of self-confidence and no respect for,(or perhaps, fear of) the older players.
Many are happy when players like Steve Beaton or Mervyn King can still keep up. But it is obvious that time is running out for the veterans.
Elias Wilhelm (@ewh27) is a Darts World reader and budding darts writer who appears to be getting the hang of our ‘Talking Points’!
*Reader’s writes is Darts World’s area for our reader’s voices to be heard. Their views are their own and do not represent the opinions of the magazine or its staff.
Product: Darts (Steel Tip) Brand: Target Model Name: Swiss Point Model / Edition: 03 (22g) RRP: £75+
Swiss Point 03 isa superbly engineered, and finely tuned, addition to Target’s premium range. Straight barrelled and dual gripped to appeal to a wide audience. They feature the brand-new Swiss Point, an interchangeable point system patented by Target.
The colour scheme and styling, (silver/grey combinations) ensure that the dart is visible in the board but not glaring/distracting. For such a heavily machined dart it has a remarkably slim feel and looks. The grip is strong, impressive and original.
The SW03 will suit many players but especially those with a lighter grip who like a sharp feel. Relaxed, stylish throwers will be intrigued! The SW03 features the Swiss Point changeable point system, more of which later, but is a fine dart in its own right.
At over £75SW03 are a premium piece of design, production and performance for the higher end of the non-player market.
In the Box:
3 x Swiss Point 22g Barrels, 1 x Swiss Point Changing Tool, 1 x Extra Set Swiss Points, 3 x Pro-Grip Stems ( Medium) & 3 x Swiss Point badged Flights.
“A seriously solid but stunning looking dart that combines solidity with ease and urgency of grip”
“I love the grip, the front section is superb looking, but feels less likely to stick than deep/sharp old fashioned rings”
“….Great combination of style and performance, best I have seen for ages”.
A.I.M used different players; elite, strong amateur, youth and a lady player. We subjected the SW03 to a variety of throw styles, conditions and set ups. In total at least one hundred legs and close to two thousand darts were thrown. Our testers used the dart in competitive practice, training drills, over a weekend for social games, even an open knockout.
In addition to the supplied set up, Standard Shape Target Swiss Point Flights and Pro Grip Stems, players were asked to try their own or any other set up they felt might complement this type of dart.
First Impressions: All three of our testers were very impressed with the general look and feel of the SW03. The milled and cut grips intrigued them whilst the subtle black/grey colour was deemed attractive and not “over done with gold and stuff”. Our players mostly liked the initial feel of the dart in their hand. The words stylish and weightywere used. Two players thought the dart would be heavier than the 22g it actually was. One player was weary of the grip, the new feeling felt sharp and he was doubtful as a result.
Performance: Our youth player was most strongly positive about the SW03. In his view, the dart performed very well and felt very comfortable in the hand and was impressed by the styling. He felt his consistency level improved. In addition, our more social player liked the grip style as it “seemed grippy but not sticky” for their very loose hold on the dart. Both these players are quite relaxed (long) throwers and it seems the SW dart compliments this very well. Our female tester also liked the darts performance while having reservations over the grip level.
Downsides: Our elite level player was intrigued by SW03 overall. However, as he uses a very strong grip, he did not find it as easy to get a regular, comfortable feel from SW03. After a while, he found a better holding zone, more toward the front of the dart and was much happier.
The Tech Bit: For such a heavily engineered dart SW03 come in at a slim 6.4mm wide. The subtle cosmetics and grip pattern combine to create the impression of an even slimmer model. The 51 mm length is the middle point in recent times and allows many different throw styles to feel comfortable. The slightly rounded ‘nose cone’ area is essential on a dart with pronounced grip. The stem join area is superbly engineered, as is the nose area, allowing various Swiss Points point to be fitted whilst still allowing the “rested finger” to be consistent. The “Dual Force Machining” results in a square cut grip that acts more like a texture.
Durability: Swiss Point (03) stood up very well over the 100+ legs that we subjected them to. Our strong amateur barely made a mark on them over a whole weekend. Our youth player is very direct and caused the usual surface marks. Our elite player maximised the contact between the arrows. Yet, due to the colour scheme and styling, no difference was noticed to the appearance of the dart in the board. In the hand, the darts simply slightly used but not in a way that affected their appeal. It is possible that a worn set of SW03 may well be even better with those who hold the dart firmly being happier when they are slight worn in. It should be noted that the grips do seem to increase wear and tear on the flights. Two of our testers reported using extra flights over an extended period of use.
After looking long and hard at these darts, and studying the players who tested them with us, we have concluded that they would be excellent for those who have a long throw and light or very light grip. If you think you’re a bit of a Barney or even a Terry Jenkins style thrower, then these may well work for you.
Traditional style setups, medium stems and standard shaped flights worked best with the SW03. Shorter or more slimline setups seemed to affect the stability of the dart in flight.
N.B. We will be looking at the Swiss Point System separately. Check-out our stand-alone review.
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