Winmau Simon Whitlock World Champion Special Edition Steel Tip Darts

They say a change is as good as a holiday, after the more recent and previous versions of the Simon Whitlock darts it appears we may have come full circle and returned to an almost conventionally shaped barrel.

As I recall when I first saw a set of Simon Whitlock darts they were similar in design to the style that Luke Humphries plays with. Simon’s dart then changed to the ones that we all saw him using on TV, the Arrowhead shaped version in all its permutations.

When these guys arrived from Deadeye I thought, oh no not another set of Ultra grippy darts.

They come in standard Winmau style packaging. The tray holds the barrels in a round Winmau point protector, 3 Vecta Shafts and a set of Prism Alpha extra thick flights.

Looking at them after assembly, out of the pack, holding them in my hands, they seemed to make sense.

The barrels of the 22 gram version are 48.4mm long and 6.9mm in diameter. There are also 23 and 24 gram versions available in the range. They have an elliptical nose and the grip is actually quite simply divided into front and rear. The two sections are divided by an almost semi-circular scallop in the centre of the barrel. The barrel is finished with a multi-coloured coating and a standard black point.

The set is finished with (in this case) Short Green Vecta Stems, and Prism Alpha Standard extra thick flights with holographic ‘Wizard World Cup Edition’ on them.

While I’m not a huge fan of coloured coatings these look really good.

Looking at the grip, the front of the dart comprises the nose and then goes straight into 4 shallow but wider than normal square cut grooves. This is immediately followed by a single but fairly wide scalloped cut. The rear of the barrel is itself in 3 phases the first two are micro shark groove sections that are 4 rings wide and again spaced like the first two is a 10 groove section after which the final millimetres of the barrel meets the shaft.

The first few walks to the Oche put all concerns that I had to rest. At 6.9mm they are definitely not a thick dart, they feel really nice between your fingers and all concerns of and over the top grip are instantly dispelled once you throw the first three darts.

Out of the box and straight to the board without modification, they are really nicely balanced. The configuration of the grooves and the location of the scallop also gives the player an opportunity to experiment with their grip.

What I mean is, I normally hold the whole barrel in my hand, what I found was, and that by using the scallop as a reference point I could experiment with where I was holding the darts. (I’m not changing to these, yet, but that is definitely an option). I play with a 20g barrel, but these don’t feel all that different, the length and thickness are just a perfect combination making this set one of the easiest to get the hang of. I did it from the very first walk.

To qualify my observations I tried to go around the clock on doubles and found the only sticking point for me was the double 3 and double 7, but that’s the same with any darts I throw (I hate 3 and 7). The other drill I like to play is 9 darts at 170, with these I managed a 4 dart out and a 5 dart out the results are great. 

I’d rate the grip at about 3 out of 5, a long way from aggressive but it’s very positive and really nice in the hand without being a sticky dart.

I don’t want to sound silly but I had a lot of preconceptions about the way they looked and would feel all of them were wrong. These would have to be one of the most intuitive sets I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing, they just work! Well, they did for me!

Whether you’re a beginner or a player looking to change or upgrade what you throw, make sure you look past the aesthetics (looks aren’t everything, in darts they mean almost nothing) and give these a second or even a third look. They’re at a reasonable price point for a quality dart from Winmau.

Overall I’d rate them at a 4.9 out of 5 (I just can’t come at the rainbow coating or it would be a 5).