Rowby-John Rodriguez - Araw - 25 gram Steel Tip Darts

For those that haven't heard of him until now Rowby-John Rodriguez has been around since 2014 when he finally got his tour card to play in the PDC. Since then his luck has been a bit up and down. 2022 saw his most successful tournament when, in the European Matchplay he defeated Danny Noppert, Gerwyn Price, Gabriel Clemens and Nathan Aspinall to get to the final where he met Luke Humphries who beat him 8-7 in the final. For those still wondering Rowby-John Rodriguez is an Austrian National.

The darts are shipped in what I would term as typical Shot livery. The preformed layered foam tray sits in a themed outer wrapper. In this instance the case identifying with an image of a relatively obscure player.

Both the packaging and the darts themselves point toward the Pilipino heritage of Rowby–John.
So let’s look at the makeup of the darts. The barrels are 54mm long and the 25g version is 6.5 mm in diameter typically a pencil shaped barrel however this set is just that little bit longer than standard that may put it on the outer with some players.

Simply put the nose is a bull nose, from there the barrel grip gets complicated, made up of a double cut ring section that's 13mm long and is pretty grippy and a similar style on the rear 17mm. The really intricate part is about 20mm from the front of the barrel and takes the abstract form of a stylised sun. The sun is a stylised representation of the 6 rayed suns on the Philippines flag and it's repeated six times around the barrel’s circumference. The rays of the sun form axial grooves around the barrel in gold, contrasting against the blue filled grooves on the barrel but getting a little lost against the natural machined tungsten surface. Again the dart in real life looks very different to the promotional photos on the Shot Darts website. The barrel ends in a plain 5mm long section upon which the Tao symbol is laser etched on one side and three five pointed stars on the other. They come with Shot Koi Carbon Shafts, Araw themed dart flights

In honesty I could go on for a while about the symbology that is involved in the machining and laser etching that has gone into these darts and accessories.

But seriously is that why you want to buy these? The Symbology is reference to the player. It won’t make you play better. You either want to play and improve your game (hopefully), or you’re a fan of the player or you may even be a collector, and that is one reason why I have such a dislike for “coloured darts”, these in particular take it to a new level.

The colours represented on the manufacturer’s website look nothing like what came out of the box, for that matter if I bought them (for their looks) and the product was that different to the advertised product, I’d complain to Shot, the blue on the review set is closer to black.

The machining that went into the barrels is intense and the barrels are very grippy probably a 3.5 to 4.0 out of 5.0.

Throwing them is an experience and I had to focus on releasing the barrels evenly or I would get caught on the sharp edges in the machining. I found I was constantly reviewing my grip the feel was so distracting.

To be honest, I was in awe of the machining of the Sun, but disliked the darts completely, it looked great, but the throwing experience left a lot to be desired.

This isn’t a super expensive dart as far as price point goes, but like a lot of Shot Darts it seems to be more about the look and the narrative of the dart than the experience of the purchaser about to play with them.

I found them ungainly, uncomfortable and didn’t like them at all; Shot have done much better in the past with the Tribal Weapon darts for example or even with the Kyle Anderson range. Darts that were impressive in looks and playability like the Zen, Birds of Prey to name a few. I feel that sometimes they just lose sight of what these items are really for.

Over all I’d give these a 2 out of 5, I’m looking to re-home them but people keep giving them back.