Wednesday, September 28, 2005

First Double Bull Out

I had a terrific night last night. Our team had a bye so we gathered at the home pub for some much needed practice and chemistry building and I had a terrific night. The others did well too, and I feel we are gaining momentum in the categories of team chemistry and confidence. Next week we play a team that by all reports (okay only one person told us this) should be in the Super division but have decided to play B League this season. So I hope that our momentum stays and does not crumble. So what made my night so good? These things:

1. An exciting finish in a singles 501 game.
2. Two 135's scored.
3. Multiple Tons (did not keep track).
4. Dominated Cricket all night.

So here is how that exciting finish went down: I had 85 left with three darts in hand and decided to go bull with the first dart. This would leave me either 35 (less likely) or 60 (more likely) with two darts and I'd be happy with that. Well I missed. I hit the single 15 and had 70 left with two darts. Then I decided to try something I'd been thinking about. I decided to go triple 20, double 5 with the last two darts so that if I were to miss into the single 20, I'd still have an out with my last dart. I missed into the single 20. I had one dart left and 50 points to go. I squared up and shot with confidence and voila. Double Bull for game.

The sweetness of that win lasted all night.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Pickup Your Game

For those who have asked who made my new darts and where they can also get some like them, and for those who have PM'd me or posted comments on the last entry about the darts pictured there, I am posting the contact information of the gentleman who made mine. And here it is:

Jeff Pickup
145 Rembrandt Pl
London, ON N6C 5G9
(519) 686-6659

The last two lines are his email address, just stick an @ between them. I did it this way to spare him any spam that might be generated otherwise.

He made mine to exact specifications. I described them as I wanted them, detailing barrel length, weight, texture, nose shape, taper points, everything. He delivered precisely what I asked for and I am very please with the darts.

He has a unique MP system. His moving points are excellent and I use them on both my sets of GTs now. You can see a cross section of one that he'd cut in half for demonstration purposes. He uses an o-ring to slow and stabalize the movement of the point. His collars are also very low profile, similar to the GT collars.

He also has a unique stem system. And it may be the most clever stem system I have ever seen on a dart. He use a section of a Q-tip stem as a spacer to hold in the rod and top of a titanium shaft. Good stuff. Perhaps he'll log in and leave a comment.

Please let him know you heard of him through Zeeple at The Dart Indoors. Cheers folks and good darting!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Darts For Sale

These are not my darts, but they are for sale. They were designed and lathed by the same guy who made my new set of darts. They are quite nice looking, in my humble opinion, and have the kind of strong taper found darts like the GT which are moving point darts (only). The darts pictured are 22.5 grams in weight and are fixed point, but I think he'd be willing to do the same dart in moving point if that is your preference. In fact his moving points are also quite special. They are his own design.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Size Matters

A lot of people have asked me about the stems they see on the blog. Especially regarding the new screw in type shafts from Bottelsen they designed for their GT line. I thought I'd snap a quick pic to illustrate the difference between 1/4", 2BA, and the GT shafts. Take a look at the barrels. From left to right they are a 17 gram no name dart, a 22 gram Halex Tungsten dart and finally, a 27 gram GT3. The leftmost dart is from a one of two sets of darts that came free with a dart board I bought once at the sporting good store. I knew nothing about dartboards then and bought the cheapest, whcih was a paper-wound job. Terrible board, but oddlly, I like the darts (bottom dart in pic). This is one of two darts I own that have an opening for a 1/4" threaded stem, and the only dart that requires the 1/4" stem. The other set I refer to has an opening on one side for 1/4" and 2BA on the other, so you could either use 1/4" points or stems and 2BA of the other. The middle dart is the most common. Almost every dart on the market is like the middle barrels in these pics and requires the 2BA stem, also pictured below it. The last barrel, form the GT3 has a very tiny opening requiring the tiny stem you see near it. I do not know what thread size it is. The next set of darts I design and have made for me will take this type shaft. It allows for a much more salient taper.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Back to Back Hat Tricks

I hit hat tricks often enough now that I am no longer tempted to take a picture of every single one. In fact not many shots excite me any more. But tonight I hit two Hat Tricks back to back. The first picture is actually from a practice session last night, and tonight I didn't whip out the camera until I hit that second Trick. So my back to back Tricks toght were both with the Red/Blue/Yellow flight combo, where as the clear flight was a previous CPC. I am not sure if these photos are oriented correctly. I think the one from yester day may need to be flipped around one way or another but I cannot remember.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Round of Nine

While tossing around with my mystery darts yesterday after work I hit a clean Round of Nine. It was not in a game, nor was it really in any kind of structured practice game, I was just aiming at triples for practice. Triple 18, triple 17, triple 16. I have hit a True round of nine before but it is rare for me. I'd say it might even be more difficult than a Ton-80 since you have to change your aim after each dart. I later played a few rounds of DartPro against an online friend from Bulgaria and did pretty well in those games too. Such evenings tend to give me a lot of confidence. Why do shots like this never happen in league matches? Last Tuesday night I had one good game of cricket but other than that I couldn't hit anything at all. At least I'm rebolstered for next match!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Perennial Posts

Has it been a year already? I guess it has. One year ago today I posted my first blog post to try to find some darts for a set in which I was missing a dart. The Mystery Darts. How appropriate for my one year anniversary post to concern those very darts. They are still mystery darts and I have not found anymore like them but I did find a guy who would make me a duplicate third dart so I could have a complete set:

Notice that there are some differences. The new dart is shinier which I would expect, but also the striations that run the length of the dart missing. He said that this was created by running the dart through a particular kind of machine which he did not have and asked if I'd like the other darts to be made smoother so they were all identical. I opted to keep the longitudinal pattern on the others because I have not given up hope for finding some more of them. The same guy in Canada who made my new set also made this one. Here is a close up of the barrels together:

Well, I hope you few who follow my ramblings have enjoyed the blog for the last year. Cheers!

Monday, September 19, 2005

CPC: Current Preferred Configuration

Hi all, time for a CPC update. As it happens I have been limiting my barrel usage to the new set (the Dagnabits) and I have put away all of the other sets. So all that is left to mess with is the stems and the flights. I have thus far tried short nylon stems and "in-between" nylon stems, both of which are acceptible but nothing else. The medium nylons are too long for a barrel that is a full 2 inches long such as mine. The flights that work with this barrel and stem combo are many and varied. I have tried the Spiraline flights which I like quite a bit, the standard dimplex, and smooth dimplex. I have also, much to my delight, found that the mini dimplx flights work nicely, leaving the darts pretty much perpendicular to the board with no left or right slant. My CPC is as is pictured to the right. Black smooth pear shaped flights with black short stems.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Quest for the Holy Grail

Perhaps the greatest aspiration for your average darter is not to master those difficult shots like the Ton-80 or a Deadeye, but rather the assembly of the perfect dart. This is the true Holy Grail of darting in the modern world of nearly infinite options. So the trick now is to break this problem down to its constituent parts and assemble the dart from front to back. Here are the components in order of appearance: point, barrel [weight, shape, texture, material], stem, flight, extras.

What are the options? Points can be fixed or moving, sharp or rounded dull, roughed or smooth, long, medium or short. Barrels, not to be outdone, have many more options. They can be tungsten, nickle-silver, brass, copper or rhenium (gimme a break already). Knurled, ringed, grooved, barbed, smooth, coated or bare. Front loaded, middle weighted, reverse tapered, fat pencil, skinny pencil, scalloped and may be anywhere from 8 to 45 grams. Stems are aluminum or nylon or plastic, short, medium, long, inbetween, extra-short or micro, spinning or static. Flights can be standard, kite, pear, heart, slim, cut-off, delta, combat or spinning. Smooth, dimplex, ribbed and with any design you can imagine. For extras you've got o-rings, stem rings, crowns, flight protectors and add-a-grams.

With all of these options there is a near infinity of possibilities. So how does your average bar room darter assemble a superior, if not perfect dart? And do not tell me there is no such thing as a perfect dart because one of the imperatives of the human condition is that there BE a Holy Grail.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Silence is Broken

In the best possible way. Announcing some new darts. Some darts which will in fact herald quite a few new posts because when I got these, I also had a couple of sets repaired and they are begging to be blogged. So here they are:

And for that matter, I think these are the finest darts I have ever seen. I took them out tonight for the first team practice and I did pretty well with them for being new to me. I was hot on the doubles and I hit a hat trick, at least one ton and sprinkled several treble 20's throughout the night.

About the darts: These are darts of my own design which I hired a master lathesman to lathe for me. I had two sets made. One for me and one for my good dart pal in my old city. I call them, as a model name, Dagnabits. So the official catalogue line item description of these darts would be:

"24 Gram Fixed Point Dagnabits, Smooth Finish."

It is hard to tell from the photo unless you zoom in on it, that the barrels are actually tapered, but it is a very subtle taper. The barrels are a full two inches long, and the alloy is 90% tungsten. They were drilled a bit to make them exactly 24 grams.