Element 6 darts have been in development for over 2 years.
The development process involved extensive testing at our workshop by top professionals using lots of different levels of grip determined by diamond particle size, depth of the diamond within the barrel and amount of diamond exposed.
Each factor had an effect on the level of grip ranging from fairly smooth to a level of grip where the dart was actually difficult to release.
Diamond particles ranged from 2 microns (0.002mm) to 200 microns (0.2mm). Diamond particle sizes are determined using highly specialised mesh to sift out the correct size.
Once we had decided on the ideal level of grip we had other design considerations to make such as developing the coated area and leaving the nose free of diamond to prevent flight damage.
The coating is fused into the tungsten barrel – not on top of it and has been tested to level of extreme impact (i.e. repeatedly smashed with a 1lb ball pein hammer on a steel bench until the actual barrel is totally deformed!).
Regarding wear, as you may already know diamond is the hardest material known to man – nothing can touch it except diamond itself.
We have looked at the effect of well used darts under microscopes and the effect of clashing darts can cause small edges of diamond particles to break away and form a brand new sharp multi faceted edge.
Our professionals who were lucky enough to take part in the new project have been more than pleased with the level of grip performance either on stage or at the end of a very long practice session.
This exact coating has been in use by Dennis Priestley for over 18 months in all competitions and in that time he has won his 5 most recent PDC pro tour titles.
Trina Gulliver has been using darts with the exact same coating since May and speaking to her on the weekend she is very, very happy with her form and her new darts. Andy Fordham switched to the same coating in July and has since told me that he is now playing at the best level he has done since 2005 when his form dropped due to illness.
The fact that these players have actually improved their game is most pleasing as it could be argued that certain players are happy to change darts and use different new coatings as they know that it will have little effect on their actual performance.
The same cannot be said diamond coating as there is no other grip available like it that looks and feels so different.
One observation that we have picked up on is that over time and heavy use the diamond coating can pick up minute particles of skin or dirt off even the cleanest of hands – this further proves how effective the grip is at maintaining the perfect non-slip grip on a dart.
We have developed a simple way of removing this debris when needed by simply gently rubbing the coated area with a soft rubber which is included with the darts – after a few seconds the darts will look and feel like new.