Our Ultimate Flights and Stems Experiment Pack

The Darts Performance Centre has brought out a new upgraded flights and stems experiment pack. Here you can find two reviews.

Experiment Pack Review 1
We have upgraded our Experiment Pack and Barry G reviewed it for us!
I was asked by Paul of the Darts Performance Centre if I would do a review of their recently expanded and remodelled Experiment Pack. This has been updated to have a much more comprehensive range of flights and stems and an improved instruction/feedback manual! This is billed as the Experiment Pack to help you "find the flight and stem system that works for you".

As with the DPC you are not just provided a range of different flights and stems and left to your own devices to work out what to do. Oh no, they very smartly and kindly provide an instruction and feedback manual to guide you through the process. (I won't show the entire manual as you should buy the pack to see this ;) ).

There are 4 different stages in the instruction manual to work through for each flight and stem combination and then a final decision stage to help you choose the best combination that works for you and your darts of choice.

What you get inside the pack is 3 separate bags containing flights and stems and of course the instruction/feedback manual shown above. Here are the flights in my pack.
In total, what you receive is 17 different sets of flights and 7 different types of stems.

The flights include standard (couple of different sizes), kites, pears and slims. The flights are of varying thickness (microns) and you also get dimplex flights which are designed to increase the surface area of the flight of that size. This provides many different combinations of flights to work with, so it is not just flight size you get to trial, but also how the thickness and weight of the flight affects how your darts fly, enter and sit in the board.

The stems include 4 sets of nylons; medium, intermediate, short and extra short and 3 sets of aluminium; medium, intermediate and short.

As you can see you are provided with many many different combinations of flight and stem to trial and experiment with.

What I would recommend is that you split your experimentation up over the course of a few different sessions in order to gain a true feel for how the combinations perform. This is because we all know that each day is different and some days on the board are better than others and also because trying to use all of the combinations provided in one session would take a very long time!

After a while of experimenting you will be able to narrow it down to what combinations feel better, fly better and give the better results as you will have noted on the instruction/feedback manual provided. You can then concentrate further on those combinations to narrow it down further until you are settled on one particular setup. At this point you can be confident and certain that you have worked and determined the best flight and stem combination for you and your darts.

After this it is down to you to put in the hours on the board to reap the rewards. (The DPC also provide help in this area with one particular system being their "Practice Makes Progress Practice Plan" which you can also buy from their shop and which I would also recommend).

In conclusion I would highly recommend this pack. In general it may seem that it is more aimed at the beginner who is just starting out and wants to try a range of equipment to find what suits them best, however in my experience I would not only recommend this for beginners, but I would recommend this for all levels of player. This provides a very cost effective and suitable method to trial and confirm the best flight and stem combination for you no matter what stage of your darting life you are at!

In terms of beginners this pack really is a must have as you begin your darting journey. There is all you need in this pack to allow you to experiment and trial many combinations until you find the best system for you.

In terms of the more experienced player, it does no harm in my view to spend a few sessions out of your normal practice regime to re-evaluate your setup to determine that you truly are using the flight and stem system that is best suited for you, your throw and your darts. Over time our throws change and evolve, whether we notice this or not, and therefore, every so often we should spend a little time confirming our flight and stem system of choice.
As you get more experienced you can narrow down the combinations quicker and spend less time out of your normal practice regime. I wouldn't recommend you do this every week or month, but maybe once a year, have a quick re-evaluation and then get back to work!

Experiment Pack Review 2
The Rev - Adrian Underwood is a keen student of the game of darts and he agreed to review our new experiment pack.
Maybe you like me you have a constant sneaking suspicion that tweaking your darts set up will help you towards an elusive personal best average or even a perfect leg. Maybe you're simply looking to choose the perfect stem and flight combination for your new darts. Well, whatever the reason you have for switching around your stems and flights the opportunity not to do it in a random, hit and miss, frustrating way has arrived in the form of the new improved Ultimate Experiment Pack from the DPC.

The pack contains almost every conceivable length of nylon stem (X short, short, intermediate and medium) as well as 17 sets of flights in a range of shapes and thicknesses (including standard, kites, pears and slims). A really helpful addition to the previous incarnation of this pack (still available on the DPC website is the inclusion of three sets of aluminium stems (Xshort, short and medium). Unlike other such packs I've seen, the DPC's offering is full of good quality items, which means they serve their intended purpose well.
In addition to the collection of goodies listed above, you also get the fantastic Experiment Pack leaflet which features:
  • clear step by step instructions,
  • diagrams of the 20 segment of the board with which to evaluate your current set up.
  • tables in which you record your results as you work through
  • helpful advice on how to finally choose your ideal set up.

This leaflet really does showcase the DPC's approach to improving darts playing performance, and in my opinion is worth the price of the pack alone.

I admit that to begin with I was a bit daunted by the prospect of sacrificing 4 or 5 hours of precious time in an already busy schedule to experiment with this pack because believe you me if you work through all the flight/ stem combinations made possible by this comprehensive set it's a time consuming business. I was also sceptical about the benefit of such a product. I was pretty sure I knew exactly what effect many of the different combinations would produce. I was also a bit wary of the fact that changing a piece of kit can give you an initial boost in performance that all too soon soon diminishes.

However, I was wrong to be so sceptical. I completed the whole experiment over a two week period, using any spare twenty minute periods I had. This meant it didn't effect my regular practice and meant I actually enjoyed the process. In addition I found myself often surprised by the results especially those produced by the aluminium stems which I've never used seriously before. These added stability and the extra weight actually complemented the natural straight travel of my DPC Elite darts.

It was also good to try different flight thicknesses and feel how the slimmer flights improved accuracy at the expense of a little stability and consistency. As the process went on it very quickly became obvious which flight and stem combinations I would keep to test against one another in making a final selection and which I would discard and never ever try again.

The real surprise though was that the process taught me or reminded me of quite a few important things. For example firstly, I now know at exactly what angle I want my darts to enter the board. Secondly I found several combinations which allowed me to relax and lessen the effort of my throw, which of course improves accuracy and consistency. I also found that experimenting with my set up highlighted flaws in my technique, such as a sluggish release and an occasional lazy snatch.

If I was asked how this great piece of kit could be improved, I'd say, "with difficulty". However, if there is was one thing I'd add to the third addition of this pack it would be an additional column on each of the recording tables which would enable the player to give the setup being tested a score out of 5 for how well the setup cause the dart to fly.

In the final analysis this pack provides a great learning experience and I'd highly recommend it

Adrian Underwood 29th March 2016

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