Monday, July 10, 2006

New Boards Coming In


I have not posted in quite a while. This is for many reasons the first and formost of which is the awesome weather, and not the least of which is the tireless adventurousness of my dog, Sequoia.

There is also the fact that my darts interest has been ebbing low lately. :(

However some exciting news. I have had a number of really interesting boards come in lately that I have not blogged yet and hope to blog soon. Here are some of the boards I have received, and have in my possession waiting for a blog entry:

1. Winmau Casino 301
2. Snooker by Marks & Young
3. Harrows Quadro
4. Blade MX by Unicorn
5. Unicorn Eclipse Pro

And I am also waiting for a Blue 12-Bed Euro Board which my friend Beni Petris sent me from Switzerland.

One reason I am holding off on blogging these boards is because I want to be able to mount them and take good pictures of them. And I will soon be getting some sort of fancy Wall Clamp from either Unicorn or Winmau courtesy of the sweeps over at www.paulwilliamsdarts.co.uk. Thus I won't bother until I have that also in my posession (also to blog about).

More to come!

16 comments:

Mike said...

I eagerly await your opinion. I just got an Eclipse Pro board myself and right from the first throw my darts pick up a sticky residue. Do you know if this is common?

Also, I am very surprised by the level of wear. Each dart leaves an impact, on the white wedges anyway. After a week those segments have a marble appearance. I had been throwing at a Winmau Blade II for two years and I never even rotated it once! This board is going to be rotated very often.

After two weeks, I think the Blade III is a better board, but I've only seen that board up close on a trip to Boston.

Zeeple said...

Well I can start off with a few comments about the boards I have owned and used. I am currently throwing on a Unicorn Eclipse that my wife bought me for Christmas. It is NOT the 'Pro' variety, but rather the generation before the Pro was released. I specifically wanted a non-Pro Eclipse but for the wrong reasons. You see, I believed that the non-Pro had painted white blades and numbers and that they were moving away from that with the Pro. I had it backwards. But in retrospect, I am glad I had it wrong!

I also recently won a Pro in a trivia contest. I took it out long enough to look at at but I didn't thrown on it yet. I like my non-pro quite well. But from what I have read on the forums Unicorn has started painting the light color wedges white! This of course causes the holes to stay for a while. I would imagine that as the wedges loosen up the holes will start to heal normally, but with the non-Pro version of the Eclipse I simply do not have that problem. And I love my Eclipse. It is a solid board.

Before I had the eclipse I thre on a used bandit for several years and it was also an awesome board. In fact as far as I am concerned it still has life left in it. I only retired because I got a new toy for Xmas and wanted to hang it. But the Bandit was also a solid well built board. You hear complaints from time to time of darts just "falling out" of a Bandit. But this is BS. I have never ever seen that happen. Not once! But Mike, thanks for the comment, and good luck with your Pro. Rotate it as often as you have to to make that marble effect more uniform.

Anonymous said...

I just picked up a Puma Bandit and was wondering if you've had a chance to play on one of these boards?

So far I'd have to say I'm impressed with it. Embeded wires that are painted white which makes it easier to see them. Plus the fact that the wires are almost flush with the surface of the board, means I won't be seing the wires flip sideways or move beyond the painted areas. I hate that about the Unicorn boards. The outside number ring is also painted white which I think is a nice touch too. I also found the white parts of the board itself more vibrant (probablly 'cause they're painted too). I haven't had a single bounce out yet, but I've only been playing on it for about a week now. Overall it's one of the better boards I've played on.

Zeeple said...

As a matter of fact, yes, I have played on a Bandit board. I played on a bandit board for several years with great joy in the doing. In fact, if you go through all of the photos in all of the archives in this blog you will find that the vast majority of the shot pics are on a Bandit board.

I remember the first time I'd ever seen a Bandit board. The bar owner of the bar I played for in Seattle is a Dart Afficinado just like me. He has four really nice areas in his bar for playing steel tip darts and he always hung good boards back when I played for him. And in those days, during one season he hung Bandits. Brand new, bright white blades and numbers. I knew I had to have one right away. Now this is not the first time I'd ever seen a _bladed_ board, mind you. I had bought a fully bladed Sportcraft board for use at work which was a terrific terrific board, and on which I gotten many compliments. But it did not have the shiny white appeal that the Bandit had.

After one season of play on the Bandits he decided to take them down and replace them with Nodor Supawires. He had gotten too many complaints from league members that the darts were just "falling out" of the Bandits. So one day me and my good buddy Barn wandered into Coopers for a night of play and we saw the Bandits in the corner labeled $15. We both bought one immediately. This was a good three years ago or more. I played on it constantly since then up until just a few months ago when I got a new Unicorn Eclipse for this last Xmas. In all those years of heavy play at home, the Bandit performed beautifully. It is pretty beat up now but it is still, in its current state, a better board than many brand new ones. The only reason I retired it at all was so I could hang the Eclipse (also a completely awesome board!!!).

To this day I have never once had a dart just fall out of the Bandit. And I have a medium throw at best in terms of hardness. I have thrown darts at it of many weights from 10 grams to 28 grams. So I cannot imagine how people would have to throw for their darts to just fall out.

Zeeple said...

I should also point to a couple of links on my blog to see what dartboards I have. If you click on the 'My Boards' link in the upper right, you will see thumbnails of _some_ of my boards. If you look at the June Archive you will see full write-ups on my boards and a list at the bottom of other boards I own but have not yet blogged.

ny81him said...

Zeeple, I always enjoy reading your blog.

Recently I purchased a Blade III. I think it is on par, if not better then the Badit.

I did not like the Blade II as much as the Bandit, but the new Blade is quite a bit nicer.(although I have only been shooting on it for a just over a month)

No white wires. But more solid wires then the Bandit.

I am not a board collector, but I shoot a lot in league and have purchased quite a bit of Bandits for bars. (which in my opinion do get warn down in the bull after quite a lot of League use, as all boards do)

Zeeple said...

Very awesome. Thanks for the comment ny81him. I have never thrown on a Winmau Blade board of any generation. I used to think I owned one but that was due to poor memory. Looking back at the pictures from those days I finally saw what kind of board I owned and alas it was not a Blade. It was a fully bladed sportcraft board.

I would love to have a Blade III for purposes of comparison but I think my next board purchase will be a Nodor Supamatch (if I am correct in thinking that this is their fully bladed offering). I say this because I have thrown many times on new or newish Nodor spidered boards and they have a solid and satisfying sounding "thunk" when the darts hit them I am hoping their bladed board is as solid.

Thanks for the comment, and if you look closely at some of my pics that show hat tricks on my old Bandit you will see that yes indeed they wear down pretty badly at the bull.

Anonymous said...

I have heard about bounce out problems with the bandits but mostly from the female players for some reason.

The friend of mine that arranged to get me the bandit had spoken to one of the Puma distributor agents, and I guess the original bandit boards had a much tighter packed playing area. Now their boards are supposed to be 10 times better so that even a weak, limp wristed throw, should not fall out.

I have also heard lots of good things about the durability of the Bandit boards and that quite often they will outlast a regular board by almost 3 times. I don't imagine my home use will come close to league play "work loads" and so I hope to have the bandit for a very long time.

Zeeple said...

That is good news about the Bandits now being improved to combat their fall-out reputation. Could be that I had one of the originals that had a tighter packed area but I don't think so. It always seems to have very loose and easily separable fibers to me. But it was not a problem as I mentioned. My darts never fell out.

ny81him said...

Puma Bandits I thought were only available in the overseas market. I looked to get one when I was first looking for a nice board. I have actually purchased the Bandits directly from the warehouse in PA in the past. And with literly 100's games a night at the bars over a season of about 16 weeks, no board stood up to it. But that is normal!

I could detail some of the difference of the Blade III board that I like. But I truly dont know how durable it is, I am only using it at home, I have not seen it in league or bar use.

I was happy to see two or three Bandit boards when I was in Spokane fall of 05. But no one using them! And did you know bars close early out there... lol.

Getting ready to leave work and find a good board to shoot on in the big city!

Anonymous said...

I think the Puma Bandits are sold in the US under the DMI brand. I was looking at both side by side and they are essentially the same board with different markings.

Unfortunately for me, we didn't have anyone that distributed Puma boards here in Western Canada until recently. A friend of mine was trying to get a hold of a few and ended up bringing in a pallet to sell through one of the dart stores here. Lucky for me they partnered up and I managed to get my hands on one.

I think those babies will sell like hotcakes especially if they keep the price point lower than the unicorn and nordor boards.

ny81him said...

Anonymous, does the person you know with the Puma Bandit have any more to sell?

Anonymous said...

Yup - the shipment just came in, so I think he still has a bunch not spoken for. Right now he has them priced at $60.00 canadian.

You can contact Dale at Britcan Darts here in Calgary.

403-235-2748 or email at
britdart@telus.net

Tell him that Darren's friend - Jason - sent you.

Thanks
Jason

Zeeple said...

Awesome. I love it when a plan comes together. Let us know if you get the Bandit from Canada and also let us know how you like it!

Dart Talk said...

A great dartboard just showed up on ebay.com
You may want to have a look! Check this thread at sewa-darts.com

http://sewa-darts.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=76001#76001

Zeeple said...

Thanks for the tip Dart Talker but I am saving my pennies these days for other purposes. I have seen that board before. I love baseball as a sport so I am suprised I am not more enthused about collection baseball related dart boards. I am not a golfer yet for some reason I buy up all of the golf related boards I can find... Hm. I'll have to reconsider my choices in the future. Anyway, to date I have only been collecting bristle boards and most of the baseball boards are paper-wound which doesn't really interest me. The one I have in my collection was bought by me before I understood the difference. Thanks again!