Choose Your Weapons: Paul Nicholson 2022

By Joe Reid 03/03/2022

With the excitement of the PDC World Championship now over, players and fans alike will now look to the year ahead with excitement, anticipation and nerves.

While many on the professional tour will seek to move up the rankings, many outside the PDC circuit will attempt to fight their way back into form, seeking form and glory through competitions such as the MODUS Live League and PDC Challenge Tour, as well as local leagues and tournaments.

One of those outsides of the professional circuit is Winmau’s own Paul Nicholson. Whilst lately he may appear more active in the commentary box than at the oche, the passion for playing has not been lost on ‘The Asset’ – as shown in the latest release of his new darts!

Review as it appears in Darts World 578

A change in style for Paul could very well signify a fresh start within his playing career – something many fans have been eagerly anticipating since his last televised appearance back in December 2018, in the 2019 PDC World Championship.

I was lucky enough to catch a quick word with Paul just after Winmau’s recent launch, to gain an insight into the barrels designed and used by the man himself, and how they differ from previous designs.

Breakdown and Specifications

Steel Tip – 22g

  • Length: 50.80mm
  • Width: 6.50mm
  • Tungsten Percentage: 90%
  • Points: Winmau 32mm Black
  • Stems: Winmau Vecta Short
  • Flights: Winmau Prism Alpha
  • Price: £49.95

The Changes:

My first question for Paul was a simple one – what was the thought process behind the change in grip? Both the style, and position of grip has undergone a complete transformation over the years, likening his newer design more to his older Unicorn barrels, which had been inspired by the darts used by James Wade, than the darts previously released by Winmau.

The grip itself, described by Winmau as a milled grip with a buttress effect, feels very aggressive to touch – a level-up from the Winmau Firestorm darts I reviewed in Issue 577 of Darts World Magazine! Paul explained to me that the change “was a natural step from my previous Winmau dart. The thing that was most important with the new grip pattern was having the grip in place for yet another grip change”.

This change in grip was prompted by “constant problems with wrist injuries”, which have plagued Paul’s playing career. “I have now changed my grip in my career 4 times,” Paul elaborated, “which is something a lot of people don’t know.” 

Delving into the profile of the grip, I was intrigued to find out why it had been extended further towards the stem, as opposed to the centralized focus featured on many of Paul’s prior designs. “Any place that is now smooth is to do with weight distribution, and I didn’t need grooving at that spot anymore, so that gives the dart a little more personalisation towards my newer grips.”

The grip wasn’t the only aspect of the barrel to be put under the microscope by Paul, Lee Huxtable, and the rest of the Winmau team. Where before Paul’s darts featured a ‘James Wade’ style bull-nose, the taper on his newer darts are far more rounded, allowing for a smoother transition from barrel to point.

“Lee has, since 2014, tried to tell me that this would be the best option for me”, explained Paul. “For years I stuck to what I knew, but with the added weight, better weight distribution, and slick look, I thought after a period of testing that they could work for the grip I have now, as the bullnose was starting to flick against my interior middle fingertip.

I have gotten used to this development and it will maximise scoring potential when I am match fit.”

I’d noticed another slight change to the dart compared to previous barrels while scouring the Winmau website – Paul’s newer darts measure up 0.2mm thicker. While to non-players, this change seems insignificant, the slightest change can make all the difference. When questioned on whether the change was noticeable to him, Paul replied

“Not really, because I knew I was jumping 2 grams in weight so I was mentally ready to hold something that had a little more girth.”

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Paul Nicholson for his incredible insight into the development and production of his new darts.

I’m always intrigued by the ‘other side’ of the barrel, and Paul has further shown me just how much can go on behind the scenes in perfecting the darts the professionals use!

I very much hope to see them in action soon!

—–ENDS—–

The original review appears:

Darts World Magazine (Issue 578) and 2022 bundle offers
Subscribe or purchase your copy

More specifications:

Soft Tip – 20g

  • Length: 50.80mm
  • Width: 6.50mm
  • Tungsten Percentage: 90%
  • Points: Winmau Trition Black
  • Stems: Winmau Vecta Short
  • Flights: Winmau Prism Alpha
  • Price: £49.95

Joe Reid (@JoeReid180)
https://joereiddartsreviews.weebly.com

Darts World Magazine (Issue 577) and 2022 bundle offers
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