Darting Equipment

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Finding a barrel that's right for you can be a process, with many people playing for over a decade and still not finding the barrel they can truly settle on.

Darts can feel good, but don't offer the natural control you're looking for or they feel horrible all together. Sometimes you get lucky and you pick up a set that you can both settle with and play at a level you're happy with.

I've done everything to find and perfect the equipment I use, even going so far to try and make my own darts.

The set I used for a majority of my career I borrowed from a friend and I still recall complaining about how horrible they felt when I first threw them.

My friend was quick to point out I hadn't missed a treble 20 in 10 sets so they can't be that bad, give them a shot. After a week or two practicing with the darts I settled with them and started to feel comfortable.

As I always do, I brought another 2 sets of the darts to give me 3 sets of the same dart. Why 3 sets?

I have always practiced with 6 darts when starting out with a new barrel. Throwing 6 darts helps me build rhythm and I learn quickly how to throw the darts in traffic to test how well my barrels group. Having the confidence to play aggressive lines when needed or when you want to push your limits is well worth investing in.

The third set is rotated in regularly to ensure the 3 sets wear at a similar rate. Barrels will last longer and you have the added security of having a spare set up your sleeve should a dart go missing or you have a point break in your barrel.

This safety net was realised in 2012 when a defective point machine broke 2 points off in my barrels a week before the Australian Championships. Fortunately I had spare sets to take with me, ensuring my preparation wasn't impacted.

Peace of mind you have a backup plan should the darting nightmare occur is something that I am always mindful of. Sadly I have had sets stolen, a single dart go missing and points break in darts a week before major events. I was down to 4 darts of a set that is no longer available anywhere in the world outside of collectors.

Settling on my new barrels, it will be safe to say I will be stocking up with enough sets to last the rest of my playing days!


Best of darts!

Raymond Smith

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