Thursday, March 16, 2006

Harkening Back to Simpler Times

Lately I have found myself reverting back to behaviors and preferences from a couple years ago. There are two things in particular I am thinking of, the first is that I seem to be migrating back to spinning shafts and the second is that I seem to be preferring to carry almost nothing with me to dart night in the pubs.

When I first started playing, I found the Dynastar shaft and flights on some website, probably edarts, and I ordered some. I stuck them on the darts I had and by gosh I thought they were the cat's meow. Eventually of course I started prefering a completely solid, non-moving dart, so I started using the non-spinning nylons and aluminums. I broke the dynastars back out and I am using them again:

Also, other than the small Unicorn Jiffy dart sharpener I put in my pocket, what you see above is all I ever take with me these days to league when I shoot.


Anonymous said...

Couple things... 1) You can probably economize even more on the stuff you carry by switching from a fancy dart sharpener, to a small piece of sand paper (about 320 grain - very fine). Most times I only need to take a burr out of the tip and then occasionally I'll wrap the paper around the ends just to "rough em up" a bit. I find it amazing how much better my darts will stick in to the board with a little abrasion rather than sharpening away on a stone. 2) I also started carrying less items with me to darts. Unfortunately the last time I went, I broke a nylon shaft right at the base of my dart and didn't have a spare with me. I couldn't get the little bugger out of the end either. Frustrated I managed to borrow a fellow team members spare darts, but it wasn't the same as throwing my own. Boy did that throw me off. Now I carry at least a dart tool for removing the broken pieces, and a spare set of flights and shafts.

Anonymous said...

Looks pretty straight forward. Do you hang that around your neck? Or maybe you use the rope to loop it around your belt?

To the anonymous poster - There is another way to remove the broken nylon shaft without the tool. Take one of your other darts and grab a lighter from someone. Use the lighter to get the point nice and hot and jab it into the broken shaft. Let it cool for a few seconds and back the broken shaft out slowly. One of these days I'll buy that tool. I'm gearing up for another order shortly

Anonymous said...

Yup tried that trick with the lighter and another dart... that little devil was burried in there pretty tight. Didn't work so well.

Zeeple said...

On the subject od sandpaper:

I have heard before of the practice of using sandpaper to roughen the points on your darts. The idea being that they would grip the bristles inn a loose board and help prevent "fall outs" (as opposed to bounceouts, which roughness will not help). I have mixed feelings on this and I have never done it.

First and foremost, having rough tips, similar to having a burr on your point will cause the board you are playing on more damage and will tear and weaken the sisal fibers that much more than a non-rusty or non-roughened point will. If you are playing in a bar with crappy old boards fine. But what about that quality board you spent so much money on at home?? The only way you could justify doing this is if you hade two sets of identical darts. One for use on good, newer boards, one for use on crappy old boards.

I have hear that you should never use black coated points for this same reason. Points that are carbon steel will eventually rust a little bit thus providing the rough surface you are looking for. I have some points from Jeff Pickup and this is his philosophy. Still, I like my Eclipse and my 'rare' dartboards so much that I refuse to use sandpapered darts on them.

Zeeple said...

mcvickj you beat me to it. I was gonna mention the lighter trick too, but I have this to say about it: I don't smoke, and I surround myself with people who do not smoke most of the time so this is not a realistic option for me. Besides, if I were going to carry something else in my pocket, I would certainly carry one of those little tools for digging out a broken nylon stem. They are much much smaller than a lighter. I have only ever seen that trick done once and I have never tried it myself. The onle and only time I have broken a nylon stem off at the threads I happened to have one of those little tools handy that one of my teammates had accidentally left over here.

Zeeple said...

Oh, and mcvivkj, The cord is for hanging the holder around my neck.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you've given the sandpaper question some serious thought. I can understand your concern for your dartboard and the possibility of ruining it with "scuffed" darts.

I can only speak from experience. I found that the stone is great for removing stubborn burs, as for the advantage of preventing bounce outs... i can only speculate on the advantages over paper. If you hit a wire straight on, I doubt there is much you can do to keep your dart from bouncing out (whether or not you use a stone or sandpaper). If you are trying to keep a glancing blow from falling out completely then I would hesitate to say that both the stone and the paper work equally well. I can say however, that using the stone has greatly reduced the life of my points. Of course to be fair, this could be in part, based on how I used the stone.

When it comes to my experiences with using sandpaper, I have found more positives than negatives. I have spent a few dollars on my board at home, and use it quite often. I have yet to see any of the fibers pull out from using sandpaper on my darts. Other than discoloration that comes with wear, I'd say my board is in as good as condition as it was when I bought it over a year and a half ago. My darts still bounce out, but when they deflect, they hang in there just as well if not better than those I've used a stone on.

Just my 2 cents of course.

On a side note: I actually do keep an identical set of darts matched to the ones I use regularly. In fact I use them interchangeably. I can't say that I bought them for testing purposes though. A short while ago, a friend of mine was throwing darts at a community hall and (don't ask me why) they have vents under their dart boards. To me - heating vents under dart boards is wrong on so many levels - but that is another story. Anyway, my friend bounced a dart and it fell straight through the vent - never to be found again. Needless to say it was his favorite set, and I believe the darts were custom made. Unfortunate for him as now he is missing a dart to complete the set.

After seeing this, I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to own a second set. Now I leave a set at home for practice, and I carry the other set with me all the time (just in case I'm out somewhere that has a board to play on).

Zeeple said...

Holy cow! I am sorry to hear about your friends loss. It seems to me I have heard a similar story about a dart missing the board and then being lost forever. But the story I read involved the dart disappearing through a hole in the wall! Talk about never being able to get that dart again.

It is good to hear that your board at home does not suffer greater wear from scuffed points. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that I am wrong about that and I may consider using that trick in the future. I have plenty of sandpaper in my basement so I should be able to come up with some high grit stuff. I use sandpaper on the tungsten barrels but never yet on the points themselves. I use a drill and a very very very fine sandpaper to clean the barrels sometimes. This is on non-coated darts of course.

Anonymous said...

You might have been trying to remember my story. This happened during my first season.

We just finished our match for the night and I waiting for a teammate to finish his last beer so I decided to throw a few games of 01 to kill some time.

I didn't realize that one of my flights was loose until it was too late. The flight popped off the dart in mid flight. The dart took a horrible bounce off the board and started rolling on the hardwood floor towards the stage.

I took my eye off the dart for just a second and then I lost it. Come to find out that it managed to roll into a crack between the baseboard of the stage and the floor. I tried for a good 30 minutes to fish it out but I was unsuccessful.