Month: May 2016

Supporting American Darts

In my last blog, I talked about how many new dart companies are gaining cheap advertising by offering a product sponsorship to many players. I felt that it was also time to take a look at how we, the consumer for dart related products, are spending our money and what we are getting in return for it. I know the mentality, it’s my money and as a consumer I should be able to spend it when and where I want. I get that. I am looking at this from the perspective of players getting something in return for their business. I am not saying that companies are not allowed to make a profit, but at some point we as players need to make a stand and band together. We all know that the almighty dollar dictates the growth of anything. As a mass, we have more power to dictate the growth of darts in America than any other entity.

We now have multiple companies from Asia in the market, which are making a lot of money off the American consumer and are taking all the profits and giving nothing back in return to grow darts in America. For the paltry sum of sponsoring a couple of players and offering a product sponsorship to a few other players, they are earning thousands upon thousands of dollars and using American darters, while not giving anything back to grow darts here in return. Where are the sponsors adding money to tournaments to increase payouts and attendance? Where is the (big name dart company) $10,000 USA Open? Where is the (big name flight company) $10,000 North American Classic?

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The second part of the conversation covers the topic of American based companies. Do people ever wonder how come there are very little USA based dart companies in existence? Are you spending your money to get supplies from England because you save 20 cents on a set of flights? Players should be taking the initiative to support those businesses struggling to succeed in the American market and are willing to put their money back into America via players and events. You have people like Ken McCowan of NineDartOut and Bill Penn of The Dart Zone both working hard to make their mark on America’s dart scene and doing everything they can to support events and the players, yet we have thousands and thousands of players who go online and buy their products from UK based stores because they can get a lower price. Do you really think those stores are then going to turn around and put that money back into the American market for darts? No. I would imagine that should those same thousands and thousands of players who make purchases through American based companies, and then the prices would lower to be competitive with those UK based stores. It’s simple economic logic. Now imagine the possibilities of support for players and events if those same thousands and thousands of players started putting their money to work here in America. It is something we as players should seriously consider. We are a nation of strong consumers for dart related products and as a whole, if we all banded together to take that strength of numbers and dollars to move it to the American market, we could see many more advantages being thrown our way. Then people like Ken and Bill would have the opportunity to leverage those profits into improving the American market.

So next time are you looking to buy products, think about the companies that are making those products available to you. Take the time and make it a point to offer your business and support to a company that is going to, at some point, offer something to you in return for that business and support here in America. Take a stand and do something to support darts. It may seem small and insignificant to you, but it is up to each and every one of us to use commerce to make our collective voices heard.

Anne Sleepy Kramer
www.sleepykramer.com


The Advice Corner: Paul Lim

Many players today know Paul Lim as one of the premier soft tip darts players in the world, yet so many have had only a small glimpse of the man’s career in darts in recent years due to his continued success while competing at Dartslive international events. In the second edition of The Advice Series, I am sharing with you some of the introduction in his interview, as well as the player advice that he was gracious enough to take the time to complete for me for my book, The Ultimate Book of Darts.

Paul is a former military policeman and a former chef. He served his National Service in the Singapore Army between the ages of 18 to 21. He arrived in Britain for a course in cookery, studying at Battersea and Westminster Colleges in London and became a chef at the Chelsea Hotel in Knightsbridge. It was whilst he was in England studying that he was introduced to the game of darts. A few of the chefs were sharing an apartment, and they would go down to the local pub for a drink or two, and since he was not much of a drinker, he would throw some darts while we were there.


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Paul has been playing darts since 1976 and credits his actual start in the steel tip game when he used to play in a pub called the Robin Hood, near Gunnersbury Station in London, Chiswick. It was not a league, but just a weekly knockout tournament. Players would buy in for 50 pence and the winner would get a bottle of whiskey, which gave him a lot to have in stock for Christmas and New Year’s.

Paul Lim, nicknamed the Singapore Slinger, will forever be remembered for being the first player to hit a perfect nine-dart finish during the Embassy World Professional Darts Championship (steel tip) in 1990 against Jack McKenna. It remained the only televised nine-dart game to have been achieved in either version of the world championships until 2009. The bonus prize of £52,000 was more than eventual tournament winner Phil Taylor claimed for becoming world champion. Paul is more well-known nowadays as one of the best soft-tip player in the world, even having a dart game programmed with his voice called "out on a Lim".

Paul’s sponsors include DMC, who features his Paul Lim Signature dart; L-Style-he uses the carbon shaft and tear drop shaped flights; Doron, NKW.gram (shirts) and iDarts Fame. Paul is also a consultant for Dartslive, as well as one of their sponsored players.

When asked what advice he would give a new player, Paul shared 10 points of interest, as follows:

“Throwing darts is not a difficult thing to learn and do. But it is definitely tough to be good at. There are various points you need to look at if you are a beginner and want to learn the game or if you are an intermediate player and want to get better AND finally if you are a good player and wants to compete.  But please bear in mind all these 3 steps (of want to be) strongly base on the foundation of your basic fundamental of throwing darts. 

  1. Be comfortable in all sense (i.e. the grip, the stance, the balance and the throw) you have to feel comfortable.
  2. Cut down, as many movements of your body as possible, do not use your body to help throw the darts.
  3. Learn the basic fundamentals of a simple throw, using your upper hand, the throw with the wrist break and follow through with the palm facing down at the finish point. The follow through is the most important.
  4. Practice the follow through routine as much as you can, so that the throw becomes a memory (muscle memory). This will build consistency.
  5. Understand the line of throw and the flight path of the dart to the target on the dartboard.
  6. Do not find excuses of having no time to practice. All you need is 15 to 30 minutes of throwing and you can do it at home, so there are no excuses.
  7. When playing a match, throw the same way like you do during practice whenever and whoever you are playing against.
  8. Watch how your dart lands on the dartboard, because you can tell if you are releasing your darts properly or consistently from the way it sticks in the dartboard.
  9. Do not try to be too careful throwing because in doing so you will throw differently.  Just look at the target, set up and throw. The more you think and analyze your throw, the more damage there is. More simply, do not think too much.
  10. And last, enjoy the game. Have fun regardless. This is supposed to be fun from the start, so have FUN…and enjoy the game.”

 

Anne Sleepy Kramer
www.sleepykramer.com
The Ultimate Book of Darts