Who is Mr Quantum Darts?
There’s a face which pops up regularly in our social media posts which you may have seen over the last 12 months. This is me, Dan, the owner of Quantum Darts.
For me the journey started when I found a dartboard in a relative’s house, I put the board up and had a try with it to see how good I was and what it was like; starting with an old set of mid weight darts, which would transfer the smell of brass onto your hands after using them. As soon as I found tungsten darts, I quickly changed with an impulse purchase set of 21g Tony West darts from EBay (I don’t use these now but I have still got them for old times’ sake) for a bargain price at the time. This initial purchase was the beginning of what has become my obsession.
The number of sets rapidly grew thereafter at an alarming rate (more so for the bank balance) into a personal collection of around 200 sets of darts dating back as far as the 1980’s (with the vast majority being of professional past and present dart players), let alone any sets I’ve had and then sold on or swapped with others in the past.
I would say I’m an average player, certainly not boasting any TV worthy averages that’s for sure, but I do really enjoy the social side of darts, making a lot of friends along the way, especially in local leagues which I’ve been playing in for the last 10 years.
“Darts is defined by your understanding and enjoyment of the game”
This is something I firmly believe in. I’ve played darts in a Filipino bar in the hotel I was staying in in Dubai, played darts (and visited dart stores) in the Netherlands, played darts in the sunshine in Spain and no matter what language barriers may be present, there is no disadvantage that separates the enjoyment for both parties, just the scoring which needs no language.
I founded the business based on my own personal experiences from buying, swapping and selling darts during this time defining key deliverables of:
* Affordable products
* Exciting/flamboyant dart designs
* Quality (both is customer service and products)
* Focus on customer engagement
As well as being the owner, I’m also the designer of the barrels that we’ve released and I have a technical background, having studied a BEng (Bachelors Degree) in Mechanical/Manufacturing Engineering & an Msc (Masters degree) in Lean Manufacturing – specifically focusing on the design engineering element and subsequently leaning more towards CAD (computer aided design)/CAM (computer aided manufacturing) links in both.
This knowledge allows Quantum to create designs which are exciting (in line with current and possible future manufacturing technologies) but also sticking within strict manufacturing guidelines, for efficient production and machining capabilities. There is always an extended thought process behind each design; questions asked for example; Is this for a front, middle or rear gripper? Where is the balance point on this design? Front weighted, rear weighted or centre weighted?, Steel tip?, Soft tip?, Short, Medium length or Long? Shark Grip, Knurled grip, milled grip what about Ring grip? ….. The list goes on!
Steel tip or soft tip darts?
I personally prefer the steel tip game, but I think that comes down to how ingrained into the culture that is within the local darts scene. Having travelled to various locations over the UK to test out our soft tip darts (because of the limited locations) and experience the soft tip game first hand, I think it’s definitely something I would like to play more of. The levels of interactivity and methodology behind soft tip does make your mind boggle a little before you get used to how it’s played, but it does add contrast and character to a normal game of darts.
Quantum Darts are advocators of the soft tip game here in the UK and will be heading to the United Kingdom Soft Darts Association (UKSDA) big weekender later this month run by IdartUK.
I would like to travel and see how other people experience soft tip darts especially outside of the UK and I think this might help understand more what people want from their soft tip products.
The best part about designing the darts?
For anyone who designs, ultimately the best part is the gratification seeing the customer using the product and giving positive feedback about the product that you have created. Again, if you follow Quantum Darts on social media, you’ll see some of the Quantum concepts that I’ve created that get shared with you and there are lots and lots more; I have some really out there concepts stashed away!
Favourite Quantum Dart?
I don’t have to think about the answer to this, considering the aesthetics of the dart, it has to be the Paradox barrel. Sometimes it takes a few prototypes before the dart transitions from the concept into its final version. The Paradox barrel is one of the only barrels that as soon as the prototype was made, I knew no changes were needed and I knew you would love them. Ok I know it is a soft tip barrel but I just love it!
The highlight of the last year for Quantum darts
As a company it’s been amazing to see how much Quantum Darts has grown over the last year expanding product offerings and accessory ranges, however, I think it’s the sponsored players who are representing the brand on a daily basis that have made me even prouder. These players are using our products and it is helping to believe that they can perform, especially our youth players who will be representing Wales in Gibraltar later this month. Aside from this it has to be getting the opportunity to meet lots of new people and make lots of friends along the way.
Best advice for new dart players
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen people who pick up the first set of darts they find and then stick with them for the remainder of their playing career, but the best advice I give to any new dart player (steel or soft tip) would be to experiment with different darts when you’re starting out. This could be anything from different weights of darts (don’t get stuck in the stereotype that big muscular people need heavy darts as I’ve seen some brawny people using 15g darts), different lengths of barrel, different grip types and also different flight/shaft/point combinations. Each player is different and you should never make choices based solely on what someone else is using
Future plans for Quantum Darts
There are lots of plans for the future, including some new steel tip dart releases but that’s all I can reveal at the moment, without giving away too much! New barrel designs aside, there are certainly some exciting things which have been penned during brainstorming sessions and I’m excited to get the opportunity to take these further.
I hope this gives you an insight into the company; I can’t give enough thanks to you all for being part of the journey and I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am.
Dan at QD