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Barry Gribben tests drives our new Optimum Darts!

Darts Performance Centre Optimum Performance 22g Darts Review

Posted: 06.07.17 in Darts Product Reviews category

Barry Gribben tests drives our new Optimum Darts!

Once again a big thank you to Paul from the Darts Performance Centre for very kindly sending me this set for review.  The darts I am reviewing are the recently released DPC Optimum Performance darts, with this version being 22g. They were designed by David ‘The Phantom’ Gill, who plays as part of the WDDA and is also the official photographer for the BDO.

The darts come in 22g and 24g, are 90% tungsten and retail for a very reasonable £24.95 at the Darts Performance Centre Shop - http://dartsperformancecentre.com/shop/performance-darts/optimum-performance-darts/

It has taken me a while longer than usual to put this review together because I have probably spent more time with this dart than other dart I have previously reviewed before writing up the review and my thoughts and that is because, quite frankly, these darts surprised me…a lot.  More on that later!

The darts come packaged in the now recognisable and stylishly designed DPC packaging.  This consists of a plastic clam shell outer, with 2 card inserts; the front a highly stylish opening to showcase the darts themselves and the back providing some details on the darts and the man behind the design.

 

Inside the clam shell you get a little hard plastic case that contains the 3 darts in a point protector, a set of two-tone blue to clear polycarbonate stems and matching two-tone 100 micron standard shape flights. The darts come fitted with 28mm silver points as standard. Not my favourite points, but they do the job. The DPC also do a free repointing service when you buy a set of darts from them so you always have the option of getting them pre-fitted with a set of points of your choice.

On first viewing the darts remind me a shorter Target Fitton or Deller dart and also a little of the Unicorn Gripper Shumway darts.  They are a torpedo shape dart, which is very eye-catching.

The picture below gives a close up of the dart and the grip. There is a lot going on to talk about. At the front of dart we have a long tapered nose with some of the DPC’s lovely micro grip. The main body of the dart is made up of standard ring grip, until we reach the rear taper which then has micro grip added to the rings for extra grip and feel. The dart then finishes with a smooth section that marries up with the stem and has the DPC logo laser etched.

Plenty of grip all over the barrel for any style of grip really.  Judging by the design of the dart I would suggest that David has done so for a rear thumb placement with a front finger on the micro grip section on the nose.  This is not my usual grip, I am more of a front-centre style gripper and the standard rings provide plenty of purchase, enhanced by the shape of the dart itself. A lot of thought has clearly gone into this and it has paid off.

 

The darts are marked as being 22g and on my scales they come in at 21.9g, 21.9g and 22.0g. Pretty spot on!

The darts come in at a length of 45.28mm with a thickness of 7.72mm at the fattest part of the barrel. The nose tapers down to a skinny 4.84mm and they are drilled out 12.62mm in the rear.

Now let’s talk about why these darts surprised me so much.

Going by the specifications alone I would not have considered buying these darts as generally I prefer a longer and slimmer barrel.  So when it came to throwing them I was surprised at how nice they felt in my grip, how easy it was to get a repeatable grip and most of all how my natural front grip subconsciously migrated back on the dart to a much more balanced area.  I was gripping them just at the start of the rear taper, on the first couple of micro-gripped rings, which felt balanced and comfortable as well as giving a reference point for grip and an area to push off against. With this my front finger fell onto the front micro-grip section which provided all the support needed to keep the dart in control. I am not sure why this happened, but it just felt right! With the darts also being shorter than I would normally be accustomed with it didn’t feel like I was gripping them too far back – all in the design principles of the dart I guess!

 

For me, with the supplied setup, the darts landed slightly tail up in the board.

 

 

Although the darts could be considered on the chubby side, due to the long taper of the nose you can get them to group really really closely as demonstrated here:

 

Therefore, with this design you get a dart that is chubby and so feels nice in the hand, but one that also doesn’t take up too much room in your desired bed so you can still get the high scores you need.

What these darts remind me of is little homing missiles as they find their way towards that T20 bed.  The shape, the flight path, the unnerving accuracy they provide, the way they settle in the board and look so at home all nestled together tightly because of the long naturally tapered nose. There has been a few times I’ve been expecting a bang as they hit the board!!

Now I am not saying these will become my match darts, but they have certainly given me lots to think about and I will definitely be using them more to see how they fair up over time and once the so-called honeymoon period subsides!

What a lovely dart from the DPC and one that fits perfectly into their expanding range.

One final picture of the dart in all its stylish glory 

 

 

Author: Barry Gribben