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Steel vs. Soft Tip?

Look I’ve played this game for many, many years now (and still rubbish btw) and I have always been a player of steel tip darts. But the recent game between Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld from their respective homes in the UK and the Netherlands was pretty exciting….and it was soft tip darts they were playing. See below a link to the epic half hour game from last week:

Click the image below to watch the video!

Research shows that soft tip darts is pretty big in North America. In fact, it was developed in the US way back in 1977. In Asia the majority play soft tip over the steel version of the game. More as the lure of the flashing neon lights, automated scoreboard and the ability to link players on one board with another in a different city or even county gives it the edge. It started many years ago in Japan which was big on soft tip darts, so much so that Sega Corporation started a business in 2003 to grow it throughout the region. It quickly spread to Hong Kong and the rest of South East Asia and remains the preferred version of the game throughout.

In New Zealand, my professional guess puts steel tip darts still at about a 95%/5% advantage over the soft tip version. This mainly based on our sales as we’d sell only a handful of soft tip darts per 100 sets of darts sold. There are pubs/clubs throughout the country with a few in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, one in Rotorua and even Palmy (Palmerston North) has venues that play soft tips darts. (sorry to those centres I missed)

So what’s the difference? Clearly the point is made of hard plastic and holds into the plastic board through its many holes in the soft tip version of the game. But the landing areas are also bigger, so theoretically easier to hit higher scores giving the player more of a chance. Hence makes the game easier and more appealing for the general dart chucker as opposed to those a little more serious on the game. The other difference is both the inner and outer bull are counted as 50 points which makes the bull used a lot more in soft tip darts, especially for finishing. This does change the game considerably for the more seasoned player as out shots average a lot higher in the soft tip version.

So when the lockdown ends and we are able, whatever the version you prefer, pop down to your local and give the other a go. If you can’t locate a venue, contact us here and we can point you in the right direction. A dart board will only be small throw away from you anywhere in this country.

Be safe and straight arrows everyone.

Paul Webber

Owner – Bullseye Darts


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